When clients of ours hear the phrase “custom integration platform,” they immediately want to know how much something like that is going to cost them. They might not know exactly what it is, but they do know that it sounds expensive.
And yes, sometimes it can be. But there are several different factors that drive the cost of these platforms, and how they affect your costs will depend a lot on exactly what it is you need from your custom integration platform.
First, let’s start by defining our terms: What is an integration platform? It may sound like an obscure and complicated concept, but really it’s just what it says it is – a platform that allows you to integrate several different applications, so that they can talk to and share data with each other.
Think about this for a minute, and it should be pretty clear that the description “integration platform” is a pretty broad one, encompassing small-scale, scheduled integrations and distributed, real-time integrations alike. Obviously, the former are going to be much less complex than the latter, and therefore will almost certainly cost less.
Three things to consider
There are three requirements you will have to consider when deciding on the appropriate integration platform for your business:
- Complexity. By this, I mean how many different applications will be integrated with each other, and how this will be accomplished. In some cases, for example, cloud-based integration is the logical choice – but it’s not necessarily for everyone.
- Data volume. How much data will your company be sharing and syncing on a day-to-day basis? Some platforms are built for heavy-duty use, while others best accommodate small-scale syncing.
- Syncing frequency. Less-frequent, scheduled integrations are easier to implement and less expensive, but they’re not always as effective, especially for a business that relies on data that’s updated on a minute-to-minute basis. Real-time integration, on the other hand, offers the best experience available, but can get much more expensive very quickly.
The role of the API
Many businesses in need of a custom integration platform overlook importance of the API. The API is what actually does the hard work of translating and communicating between the different applications. When a platform is built on a mature and reliable API, real-time integration – the best kind, remember – suddenly becomes more cost-effective and affordable.
This is why I always recommend going with developers and consultants who have deep API experience, like Oyova. It’s exactly the kind of knowledge that can have a real impact on the effectiveness of the integration solution, as well as the project’s bottom line. So give us a call today and find out how we can help you.