When you think of the word “integration,” what comes to mind? Most likely, you think of combining different parts to create a whole. That’s precisely what software integration is—the combination of various software applications to create a unified system.
It’s generally done to improve the overall performance of the software and make it more user-friendly.
Software integration can be tricky, as many different software applications are often involved. But, when done correctly, it is a powerful tool that will make your software more efficient and easier to use.
You may be wondering why software integration is necessary. After all, if you have two software applications working fine on their own, why go through the trouble of combining them?
The answer is—while two software applications may work fine on their own, they may not work together as well as you’d like. Even if they are compatible, they may not share data or communicate with each other as efficiently as you need them to. Integration can help solve these problems by combining the software applications into a single system.
Now that you know a little bit more about software integration let’s consider how it may come up in the development of your product.
How Does Software Integration Help Businesses?
Imagine you’ve just started a software company. You’ve got the best software engineers in the business, and you’re confident your product will be a huge success. You’re about to release your first software product, but there’s one problem: it only works on windows.
It may not seem like a big deal at first, but it quickly becomes apparent that it is. You start losing customers because they can’t use your software on their macs or Linux machines. You can’t even release a software update because it would break compatibility with all of your existing customers. You’re stuck.
At this point, software integration takes the stage. Software integration is the process of ensuring that your software works with other software and operating systems. It can be a difficult and time-consuming process, but it’s essential if you want your software to be successful.
Software integration is vital for businesses because it allows them to reach a wider audience. It allows businesses to take advantage of new technologies and operating systems as they are released. Without software integration, businesses would be stuck using outdated software that doesn’t work with the latest technologies.
It is a crucial part of any software development process. even the best software in the world is useless if it can’t be used by your customers. If you’re not integrating your software, you’re not doing it right.
When developing a product, software integration should be considered from the start. It’s essential to plan for software integration early on in the development process. If you wait until the end, integrating your software will be much more complex and time-consuming.
Types Of Software Integration
There are different types of software integration that can be used to achieve various results. Your specific needs and goals will determine the type you will need. Some of them are:
- Horizontal integration
- Vertical integration
- Star integration
#1. Horizontal Integration
It is also known as Enterprise Service Bus(ESB). The process of horizontal software integration is used to create software that can communicate with other software. It is done by breaking down the software into different subsystems and then using an ESB to enable communication between them.
The benefits of horizontal software integration are that it allows the software to be more modular and easier to change. It also makes it possible to reuse software components in different applications.
#2. Vertical Integration
Unlike horizontal software integration, vertical software integration is considered a short-term solution. Here, you may need to create a functional entity in your software and vertically sync it. The software components are not reusable in this case.
Vertical software integration is generally faster and easier to implement. It’s also less expensive. The downside is that it’s not as flexible as horizontal software integration. If you need to make changes to your software, it’s much more difficult to do so.
#3. Star Integration
A star software integration works by developing intercommunication between the subsystems in the software. While this can be similar to horizontal software integration, the main difference is that star software integration uses a central point to manage the communication. This central point is known as the hub.
The name “star” was derived from the shape it creates after it has been connected. But it may also look like a plate of spaghetti depending on the number of subsystems involved. Regardless of its shape, a star software integration is an efficient way to manage the communication between software subsystems.