Low-Code: The Key to Effortless Business System Integration
Integrating different systems is a complex and time-consuming task. It often requires significant technical expertise and can be costly to implement and maintain. Are low-code platforms an easier alternative?
Companies are always striving to improve efficiency, reduce costs and make better business decisions. One key way to achieve these goals is through the integration of data, spread across multiple business systems. Connecting these systems and data sources enables the automation and streamlining of processes, improve data flow and consistency, and gain better visibility into their operations.
However, integrating different systems is a complex and time-consuming task. It often requires significant technical expertise and can be costly to implement and maintain. As technology and business requirements change, systems need to be updated or replaced, which leads to additional challenges.
To address these challenges, low-code development platforms have emerged as a powerful solution for creating and deploying applications, that connect, manage and correct data. These platforms provide a user-friendly interface and pre-built components that make it easy for everyone, from developers, business analysts, and other non-technical users, to configure, test, and deploy applications. Low-code platforms offer a range of benefits for business system integration, such as streamlined business processes, improved data flow and consistency, and faster time for deployment by reducing the need for expensive and time-consuming custom coding. Furthermore, low-code platforms can be easily customized, and updated as the business needs evolve.
Let’s start by taking a look into the features that make low-code platforms a great solution for data integration.
Integration features to look for in Low-Code Platforms
Low-code platforms typically include pre-built connectors that allow developers to easily connect and integrate with various systems and data sources. These connectors usually include things like database connectors, CRM connectors, and legacy system connectors. This makes it easy to connect and extract data, without the need for extensive coding or technical skills.
Low-code platforms also often include a range of integration tools that enable developers to create and manage their own custom integrations between different systems. These will include data mapping, data validation, and error handling. They can also include features like scheduling, so that integrations can be run automatically at set intervals.
Many platforms will also provide the capability to transform data from one format to another, this can be done with minimal coding and technical skills. This is especially useful for integrating systems that use different data structures or formats.
Good low-code platforms will provide security features to ensure that data integration is done in a secure way. This includes encryption, data masking, and access controls.
Getting the most from your low-code platform when integrating data
The power of drag-and-drop: Low-code platforms provide a visual drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to create integrations and workflows between different systems. This approach allows developers, business analysts, and other non-technical users to design, test and deploy integrations without the need for extensive coding or technical skills.
Automation: Using the drag-and-drop interface allows users to create workflows to automate tasks and processes, such as data validation, data mapping, and error handling. These workflows can be designed to run automatically, at set intervals, or be triggered by certain events.
Monitoring and troubleshooting: Low-code platforms also provide tools for monitoring and troubleshooting workflows, including real-time monitoring, error notifications, and detailed log files. This allows developers to quickly identify and resolve any issues that may arise.
For example, a business analyst could use a low-code platform to create a workflow that automatically transfers customer data from a website form to a CRM system. The workflow could include data validation and error handling, and could be set to run. The analyst could then monitor the workflow in real-time to ensure it is running smoothly, and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.
Without low-code the business analyst would need have to have knowledge on how to extract from the website and rely on spreadsheets to correct the data. Failing that, they would need someone with technical skills to create scripts to do this for them. Then they would need to manually before uploading the corrected data to the CRM. The visual drag-and-drop method of creating applications and workflows provides non-technical users with the tools to create the applications they need without relying on other departments or external contractors.
Key benefits of using Low-Code Platforms for data integration
A key benefit with low-code platforms is the ability to automate and streamline business processes. By connecting different systems and automating workflows, organisations can improve operational efficiency and reduce the need for manual intervention. This can lead to significant time and cost savings.
Low-code platforms also help to improve data flow and consistency across different systems. They do this by automating data transfer across integrated systems, ensuring data is accurate, up-to-date, and consistent across all systems. As a result the consumers of the data can have confidence in the data leading to improved decision-making.
Enhanced collaboration and communication between teams and departments is achievable too. By combining subject matter experts and technical users together in Fusion Teams, when building applications, will ensure that the correct data is utilised and deployment of the first iteration will occur much faster.
Real-world Examples: Successful Business System Integration with Low-Code Platforms
Case study 1: Order Tracking
Online shopping systems for large retailers need to handle the complex behaviours of customers who can place multiple items in their baskets but after ordering may cancel some, return others and perhaps replace some items altogether after delivery. Add to this mix an online market place of external partners, suppliers, internal warehouses and delivery channels, it’s not surprising that sometimes orders can get lost.
Striving for the best customer experience, a major UK retailer utilised the PhixFlow low-code platform to monitor the full order flow. The application connected to multiple databases, reading remote files and querying parcel tracking web services. PhixFlow drag and drop analytics consolidated the data and helped identify any problem orders and alerted the relevant teams.
Case study 2: Integrated Asset Management Solution
Tracking millions of individual assets, across multiple continents is no easy task, especially when trying to track them using spreadsheets. With so many individual items, each costing large sums of money and moving between sites, it is vital to have an accurate picture of which asset is where, especially when these assets contribute to the overall value of the company.
For a multi-national telecommunications provider the key reason for choosing the PhixFlow low-code platform was its ability to easily integrate with other systems. To avoid assets going missing, data was imported from a movement system to identify when an asset was moved and where to. When an asset was marked as moving from A to B, this was fed into PhixFlow and the record updated.
The solution also fed data into the movement system so that logistics engineers were informed of where a generator was and when a pickup was required. To ensure this data was accurate, real-time updates were set-up to flow between the two systems.
A new audit system was put in place to enable site engineers to scan each piece of equipment on a mobile app when they were at a site, recording information pertaining to that piece of equipment. The PhixFlow asset management solution integrated with this application, comparing that data that the engineers recorded with what it had on record about a particular site. Any discrepancies identified would trigger a workflow highlighting the issues found and alerting the management team so that an investigation could determine the correct course of action.
The Potential of Low-Code for Business System Integration
Low-code development platforms provide a powerful solution for integrating business systems. Pre-built connectors, integration tools, and visual drag-and-drop interfaces make the process easier and faster than traditional hand-coded solutions. This opens up application development to more users, putting the design of these applications in the hands of the subject matter experts who know exactly what data they require and what the data should look like. For the business, this results in applications that have all the data required to make better informed business decisions based on accurate data.
Take the next step
Unlock the full potential of business system integration with PhixFlow’s low-code platform. Schedule a demo, at a time to suit you, and see how you can easily connect your systems, automate your processes, and streamline your operations with our user-friendly platform.