For well over a decade now, IT teams have used one directional, point-to-point integrations to connect up their apps and services. This has created huge problems, waste and complexity. However, there is another way.
So traditionally, if IT wanted to introduce multiple services to their ecosystem, this meant building more and more single integrations. And each time they’d do this, each integration is slightly (or sometimes very) different to the last. Maybe this is because there was an opportunity to improve on the last one, it was built by someone else or they used a new integration technology. Either way, each integration is different and as the ecosystem of integrations grows, so does the in inherent complexity.
When you build an integration between two platforms by hand, you commonly use the two API’s available within each platform and create a method of passing data from one point to the other. You have to do this once to allow data to be passed in one direction, and then - more often than not – do it again for data to pass in the opposite direction.
Ultimately, every integration operates in isolation, with no system having any influence over what happens to the data it passes on after it leaves.
Why the world doesn’t want just APIs and single-point integration anymore?
'Yes, as the ecosystem grows, it creates more waste, more complexity, friction and fragility. However, there is another significant factor that these APIs and coded integration present. For every new app, platform and service you bring into the fold, it comes with its own APIs and nuances and you will need to learn how these things work before you can really do anything with them.
Not a major issue for you if you just hooking up ServiceNow to another instance of ServiceNow somewhere in your client/vendor network. You probably know how the API works and the other end looks pretty similar! However, what happens when you add a CRM to the mix… and then an HR system, and then payroll, and then a handful of marketing apps… you get the picture, right?
This is unmanageable and the learning involved is long, tedious and probably not something you have the capacity for. So you have two options; you can muddle through and hope for the best, OR you can use a Many-to-Many integration solution, such as ONEiO.
Many-to-Many works by leveraging pre-built integration across your most commonly used apps, service providers and vendors. The provides you with a centralised hub to manage all these multipoint integrations from. Each end-point has an adapter, which translates everything it sends out into a single language that the hub can easily understand and use to route data around your service ecosystem at any scale.
This is means one app can communication with an unlimited number of other apps just by sending one message to the integration hub. It’s easy, fast and highly scalable. But more than this, you never have touch an API or line of code ever again!
How a many-to-many integration works
Many-to-many integrations solve a BIG problem, in that you no longer BUILD your integrations. You simply add them to your network. They are architected entirely differently to traditional integrations, in the sense that it is well and truly centralized.
The system of adapters connecting to each end-point acts as a two-way road for data to be passed through to a network of brokers who can understand, translate and direct messages around an entire ecosystem of software and services. The centralized portal in the center of it all enables you to manage, maintain and configure the rules of your ecosystem (supposed to the rules of each individual integration).
This is what makes Integration Automation Platforms so different to existing and incumbent players in the IPaaS space. The traditional tools use isolated point-to-point integrations, then place a portal over the top so that you may see the integrations in place and carry out basic commands.
They are built from the outside in. Integration Automation Platform is fully automated, ‘inside-out’. All the logic and intelligence of your integration ecosystem is set from the beginning, from the center and most importantly impartially from any existing software, service or integration. Often times they can even be purchased as a turn-key solution.
The power of is this is that integration now becomes a business-led activity. The rules of how your integrations perform come from an ideal which places what the business, it’s teams and people need and then applications are joined to the network and share the processes and values of the ecosystem. This solves the traditional issue of integrations typically being an IT-lead function, governed within the rules of what is technically appropriate or possible, within each isolated integration.
Organisations who have embraced many-to-many integrations now have the opportunity to roll out more and more high-performing integrations, across all departments and functions of the business.
Read more: This is enterprise integration
Getting started with Multipoint integrations
Integration Automation Platform such as ONEiO make many-to-many / multipoint integrations easy to do and you can have most of them up and running within a day. Better yet; you can purchase a turn-key solution and leave your integration-worries behind.