Today’s enterprise-level digital environments are built around system integration planning. For those unfamiliar with the concept, system integration describes the process of linking your existing sub-systems into a larger one. The idea is to simplify your operations and ensure that all your departments have access to important business data. Integration makes up the core of the modern warehousing and manufacturing sector, offering businesses a myriad of customized options with their enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs).
Robust industrial automation solutions from EZSoft are proven to enhance the functionality of your day-to-day processes while improving communication, planning, and decision-making through a continuous stream of real-time information. Well-implemented MES and ERP software solutions similarly improve your overall operations while increasing productivity at the shop floor level.
As you begin researching the system integration process, you’ll invariably uncover dozens of support tools and purpose-built options that may or may not satisfy your criteria. Most of these products won’t help you overcome specific integration obstacles, while they might enable some businesses to implement their solutions faster.
The only way to resolve complex integration problems is through proper system design and an effective integration strategy. The best approach to executing your integration plans is to find a built-for-purpose solution or develop a customized product that meets your business objectives.
What’s the best approach for integrating your target and source systems?
Before you can arrive at the best system design, there is a number of factors to consider during the early stages of implementation. The first step is to assess which data your target system requires before completing the integration process. Understanding the target data is important to defining the particular components, objects, and tables that must be assessed prior to implementation. By targeting the key data, you’re able to effectively implement the solution by establishing critical integration points.
Once you’ve identified the essential target system data, you’ll need to find it in the source system and determine the required transformations. Information types that typically necessitate transformation are numbers and dates held within the source system. Different date formats and times must be converted before consolidating your sub-systems under a single platform.
How do you identify transactions within the integration task?
Transactions should be regarded as comprehensive work units that will impact the target system after the data successfully transfers and processes. When malfunctions occur, they usually happen during the transfer and validation stages. A transaction, in other words, creates several records in the target system that account for elements like an account and a contact. If the account is successfully generated and the account record fails validation, you have to remove the account record a second time. This ensures that the target system ultimately maintains its current state as when the transaction was first instigated.
Connecting your system and common security concerns
When it comes time to link the target system, including any associated domain names and IP addresses, there are several security and connectivity concerns to keep on your radar. These factors commonly lead to hangups that can delay your integration project significantly and even cause you to abandon it entirely. All the reasons are too numerous to list here. But they include missing firewall rules, mandatory certificates, establishing security credentials and roles, and incongruous protocols between the source and target systems.
From an IT standpoint, these issues are resolvable, but they often add more risk to security and connectivity when they’re improperly handled. When your flawed processes are identified at the validation stage, the results are that you’ll be adding significantly more time to your system integration plans. The most effective workaround is to patch your target or source systems before letting them communicate with each other. Likewise, you might consider generating new DNS entries to establish the connection between the two systems.
While these technical issues aren’t drastically complex, if you lack experience with system integration implementation, rectifying them can cost you a lot of time. By partnering with EZSoft, we’ll work to ensure that any changes that result from system patching, for instance, won’t invite additional problems to other areas of the system. This is the best approach to ensuring the integration process stays within your established timeline and budget constraints.
How will your systems interface with each other?
You’ll undoubtedly encounter several interface options like REST, SOAP, and other custom solutions. The path you choose influences the target system implementation and design. When it comes to interfacing, the direction you pursue will determine how customized your software has to be or whether or not a purpose-built product can serve as an effective approach to your system integration. The best design for your business isn’t usually discoverable in straightforward, out-of-the-box solutions.
Getting started with integration planning
Before you can effectively address the obstacles and constraints listed above, you should confirm that you’ve developed a suitable custom endpoint. While you’ll find several options available, a customized endpoint means that you’re getting more than just a standard interface which only invites additional risk and complexity into your system integration project.
Do you need help with your system integration plan? Are you searching for a customized system integration solution to secure and simplify your operations? If you are asking yourself, “Where can I find industrial automation companies near me?”, consider a partnership with EZSoft, a leading provider of process controls and system integration software. Reach out today by enquiring online or calling us directly at (484) 568-5040.