What Is Integration?

Published on 10/1/2022 by Jimmy Hurff
Last Updated on 3/22/2023

Categories: Integration

For the most basic definition, integration is the process of combining two or more things to create one whole new thing. For businesses, the term integration often refers to software or systems integration.  In this definition, it means to bring together one or more business systems to act as a new whole.  Integration allows information to be shared between the connected systems.

Key Takeaways

  • Integration is the process of combining two or more things to create one whole new thing. 

  • For businesses, integration often refers to software or systems integration, which involves bringing together one or more business systems to act as a new whole. 

  • Integration allows information to be shared between the connected systems.

Integration Quick Guide

Below, we outline some basic steps you should take when creating an integration between systems.

Define the Purpose of the Integration.

Before getting started it is important to establish a clear purpose for the integration and define what the desired outcomes are. This will give you a better idea of the resources and tools that need to be used in order to achieve your goals. Additionally, it will help you anticipate any potential challenges or roadblocks and plan for them in advance.

Determine Integration Type and Requirements.

The next step is to determine the type of integration that best meets the needs of your project and the requirements specified. This could be a simple data integration, a services integration or a more complex system-level integration. Once you have identified the type of integration that you will use, it is important to outline the detailed components and specs. This includes defining areas like communication protocols, authentication mechanisms, security measures and access control procedures.

Create a Testing Plan for Quality Assurance.

An important step prior to releasing any integration for production is quality assurance testing. This is a key step in determining the overall accuracy and reliability of the system integrations. To ensure that the integrations are performing as expected, create a comprehensive plan for testing. This will help ensure that all business logic and data integrity requirements have been met before the integration is released. It's important to keep in mind that extensive testing may be necessary depending on the size and complexity of your project.

Decide on API Usage and Tools for Implementation.

Prior to beginning your integration project, it's important to know what API and tools you intend to use. Establishing the technology that will be used for the connection is key to having a successful integration process. Different APIs provide different levels of access, so evaluate each one carefully before making decisions on which ones you'll use. Once you've figured out the technical aspects, look at what development toolkit will best fit for your project. Doing research on different tools can help save time and improve performance in the long run.

Architect, Design, and Build the Interface

Now it's time to start building. The architecture will be the framework for all development phases, so it's important that this step is thoroughly thought out and planned. Keep all stakeholders involved throughout the process and use key input from everyone before making design and development decisions. When designing the interface, you should consider elements such as user experience, scalability, security, flexibility, customization options, and maintenance needs. Once you have a firm grasp on what’s necessary, you can then begin coding the interface to create the integration.


Why is integration important? 

Integration is important because it allows organizations to connect different systems,  applications, and processes to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and create smooth data flows. This process is essential for ensuring that different parts of a system can work together  seamlessly and efficiently. 

What are the benefits of Integration? 

The benefits of integration include

  • Cost savings

  • Streamlining and automation

  • Productivity and efficiency

  • Convenience, accuracy, and coordination

  • Cost-effectiveness

  • Performance insights availability

  • Scalability and security

  • Improve customer satisfaction.

System integration removes the need for data storage and management. It offers a unified system built on a scalable and secure framework. In conjunction with other advantages, the enhanced data collection and retrieval process enables your business to accomplish operational and cost efficiencies.

What is the impact of integration?

Integration can have a positive impact on an organization by improving productivity, reducing costs, increasing accuracy, and creating better customer experiences. 

However, planning and executing software integration carefully is important to ensure that it is implemented successfully and delivers the desired benefits.

What are the types of integration?

The types of integration include data integration, application integration, process integration, and business process integration. Other types include legacy system integration, third-party system integration, business-to-business integration, and cloud services integration.

What is an integration strategy?

An integration strategy refers to a plan or approach that an organization uses to integrate its various systems, applications, and technologies to create a unified and interoperable solution. 

The strategy outlines the steps, resources, and tools required to integrate the different systems and ensure that they work together seamlessly.

What means integration in business?

Integration in business refers to the process of combining different business functions, departments, systems, or technologies to create a more efficient and effective organization. 

This can involve integrating different business processes, such as sales, marketing, finance, and operations, or integrating different technologies, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, or supply chain management (SCM) systems.

What is integration in an organization?

Integration in an organization refers to the process of connecting different departments, teams, functions, and systems to create a more cohesive and collaborative organization. 

This involves breaking down silos and promoting communication, coordination, and information sharing across different parts of the organization.

What is the main purpose of integration?

The main purpose of integration is to create a unified and efficient whole by combining different parts, functions, systems, or entities. 

The goal of integration is to break down silos and barriers that may exist between different parts of an organization and to enable them to work together more effectively to achieve common goals.

What is an example of integration?

An example is the integration of various software applications or systems in an organization to work together seamlessly. For instance, a company may use separate software applications for accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), and project management. 

System integration involves developing interfaces or middleware to enable the different applications to communicate and work together. 

For example, a middleware could be developed to extract relevant data from the CRM system and integrate it into the accounting and project management systems. This would allow the company to streamline its processes, reduce errors, and improve overall efficiency.

How do you do integration?

Integration is typically done using integration platforms or middleware, which provide the necessary tools and services to connect different systems, applications, and processes. 

However, system integration is a complex process that requires careful planning, technical expertise, and collaboration between different teams and vendors. It is important to have a clear understanding of the integration goals, requirements, and risks before embarking on a system integration project.

What does integration mean in work?

In the context of work, integration refers to the process of bringing together different functions, processes, or teams within an organization to work together. The goal of integration is to improve efficiency, reduce errors, and promote collaboration between different parts of the organization.

About the Author, Jimmy Hurff

Jimmy is a seasoned technology executive & entrepreneur noted for leading business transformations. Over his 25+ year career, Jimmy has developed multi-platform expertise in the domains of engineering, data analytics, security, compliance & business transformation. Starting in 1995, Jimmy worked with his best friend, David Webb, to develop one of the world's first Internet job board and resume bank applications. From then to now, Jimmy has been consistently helping his customers to build great teams, using best practices and world-class technology.

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