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Integration Guide for Enterprise App Development

Integration Guide for Enterprise App Development

You keep adding apps to make your business more efficient as you scale. Before you know it, managing all of your different apps has become one of your top productivity killers. As far as pain goes, growing pains are the best kind. Still, it’s best to avoid this kind of discomfort, and enterprise application development might offer a cure for said growing pains.

The best app developers find ways to bring all of your enterprise data and software together. Staying organized maximizes efficiency and visibility while minimizing headaches. If you’re exhausted from juggling too many tools, you’re in the right place. This guide will help you combine everything into a cohesive, manageable solution.

What Is Enterprise Application Integration (EAI)?

Simply put, EAI is all about connecting and configuring separate business apps and software systems. Whether the integration happens in the cloud or with in-house software, it should allow automatic data sharing and collaboration between your existing tools. 

How Does EAI Work?

We’ll dive into some technical details later, but the main point here is that enterprise application integration works by passing information and commands between your existing software. In essence, this creates an interconnected system that acts as your control center. 

Why Is Enterprise App Integration Important?

When a business is small and only requires a few tools, it isn’t hard to keep everything synced and accurate. It’s relatively easy to share data manually when there are only a few apps to update. Once a business grows, though, it will develop data silos unless it integrated its enterprise apps.

The primary benefits of using enterprise application integration to break down data silos include all of the following:

  • Better Business Decisions – With all of your important enterprise data in one place, you can see the information you need at a glance. Your decision-making process will get faster and better as a result.
  • Process Improvement – When information flows quickly and seamlessly between apps, there are fewer bottlenecks and delays.
  • Cost Reduction – Accelerating your decision-making and processes increases throughput. This means less wasted time and effort.
  • Collaboration Between Teams – Playing a corporate version of the telephone game causes miscommunication and frustration. Team chemistry improves when everyone has the same access to accurate information.
  • Data Visibility and Visualization – Connecting your enterprise applications allows you to build dashboards that pull from multiple sources. That means you don’t have to compile information from multiple sources to build out your regular reports.
  • Data Integrity – When you split data across multiple solutions, it’s hard to know which version you should trust. EAI eliminates this problem by reflecting all changes and updates across the entire enterprise. 
  • Less Busy Work – Few employees enjoy manually moving data around. Now they won’t have to.
  • Flexibility – Integration doesn’t lock you into a tech stack. On the contrary, well-configured integrations make it easier to add or change software as you continue to grow.

As you think about the benefits you want from enterprise app integration, you might start to get ideas for which apps you want to integrate first.

Important Enterprise Application Integrations to Consider

It’s possible to integrate all types of tools. Any time two apps or pieces of software interact with the same information, there might be an opportunity for integration. It all comes down to what you’re trying to achieve with your custom software. Here are nine common tools you might want to integrate with your enterprise app.

1 – SAP

SAP is one of the leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, and even one of the best enterprise app examples overall. Unfortunately, many companies find it difficult to make changes or customizations to such a massive system. Getting support from SAP itself might put you on a waiting list for as long as six months. 

ERP consulting companies charge an arm and a leg, too, because they’re in such high demand. Even doing something as simple as changing the color of a button or shuffling elements around can get expensive if you hire consultants or go straight to SAP. Fortunately, integrating your ERP with a third-party system can help you achieve the functionality you need, with a user experience your employees appreciate, and a budget you can stomach. 

For example, an ERP developer might build a custom business application for work safety. This app can pull data about machinery and personnel from your enterprise deployment of SAP without the need to duplicate any information. An enterprise application with ERP integration extends your in-house flows by building more functionality on top of your existing data.

2 – Infor

Infor is another leading ERP solution, so learning how to integrate apps with it is extremely valuable. ERP developers who can create seamless integrations with third-party apps are in high demand. Indeed, perfecting your approach to integration is one of the best ways to get more out of Infor.

For example, imagine an enterprise uses Infor to store different data assets. An ERP development team can build a custom API or backend to link other apps with Infor.  This custom backend passes information to other apps without interrupting internal business and data flows.

Two-way data syncing between Infor and a secondary database will extend your capabilities. A custom ERP development project can improve workflows with your existing software.  You might even be able to streamline your tech stack once you optimize your Infor deployment.

Extending the utility of your ERP will also help you connect with users who are outside of Infor. For example, you might want to give warehouse operators and truck drivers access to some information without giving them logins to Infor itself. 

The WorkZone Customer Portal from National Trench Safety (NTS) is a prime example. The Infor ERP couldn’t quite do everything the business needed from it. They wanted more functionality and value from the database. The company decided to bolt on a custom web app for customers to use. 

NTS found a team of Infor app developers with Designli. National Trench Safety’s CIO, Greg Moreno-Earle reports, “The team was able to build a working product from scratch within an aggressive timeline.”

More importantly, the custom app allows customers to self-serve ERP data. “The portal has an intuitive design,” adds Moreno-Earle, “so we’ve been able to roll it out to many customers without having to teach them how to use it.” Ultimately, this means fewer customer service calls and higher customer retention for NTS.

3 – Plaid

Plaid fetches data from a User’s bank account, which makes it useful for any of the following purposes:

  • Reporting a list of transactions
  • Instantly validating a bank account
  • Creating automated flows for credit tracking

It’s useful for consumer payments as well as B2B applications. The ability to verify accounts instantly is especially useful when compared to traditional ACH workflows that need to send tiny transactions to validate the connection.

4 – Stripe

Stripe is among the most popular payment processing solutions, which makes it one of the most vital enterprise app integrations. Specifically, it’s often valuable to implement custom billing flows and tailor them to specific use cases. Stripe offers simple integration for basic use cases, while a specialized process may require experienced app developers. 

Enterprise app developers often use Stripe Connect for marketplaces and platforms. The platform allows you to connect your bank account to the software. Imagine that, like Amazon, you want to create a store and take a percentage of each transaction. Stripe Connect would be a terrific integration for this use case.

5 – Dwolla

If Stripe isn’t quite right for your enterprise application, Dwolla might be a better fit. Another large ACH platform, developers use this to connect with Plaid, verify accounts, then make transfers quickly. The option to achieve bulk transfers makes it valuable for vendor management or paying numerous parties at once.

6 – HubSpot

HubSpot is a customer relationship management (CRM) tool above all else. A CRM tool allows your enterprise to store, view, and analyze customer information more efficiently. This tool is valuable for marketing and sales teams. 

Beyond keeping track of prospects, leads, and customers, HubSpot includes a content management system (CMS). A CMS is a type of architecture for storing and managing content, such as a blog, simply. HubSpot’s CMS API allows for easy content integrations with enterprise applications.

7 – Quickbase

Formerly a part of Intuit, Quickbase provides a low-code application development platform. Even with low-code tools, custom software development might be right for your business. For instance, a business might require experienced enterprise app developers to create seamless integrations across multiple platforms. 

Such a business might look for Quickbase developers for hire when there’s a need to connect different data assets. Establishing integrations between assets makes it possible to build an application and extend those assets without changing organizational workflows. Integrating data assets and to build an enterprise application makes useful data more accessible without requiring a lengthy adoption process. 

For example, a utility company might use Quickbase to give their techs asset tracking via smartphone. This kind of enterprise app makes it easier to track what’s in the truck, from tools to power meters.

8 – Apple Business Manager

This is Apple’s web-based portal for IT administration and mobile device management (MDM). Enterprise device management is vital for organizations that want to retain control over all devices and accounts within an organization. 

This isn’t the only MDM solution, but it is one reliable option for managing devices remotely. Apple Business Manager makes it possible to do all of the following, even remotely:

  • Load apps onto employee devices
  • Push updates to your fleet of phones
  • Control settings and most device functions
  • Remove employee access to apps as needed

For a business with many employees and devices, mobile device management becomes a massive time saver.

9 – Braze 

Braze is a solid CRM option for those who don’t need all of the sales and customer support tools offered by HubSpot. Braze’s customer engagement platform is focused specifically on organizing and analyzing data to empower more targeted marketing efforts. 

For example, a media company might integrate its enterprise game app with Braze to keep track of analytics data from its players. Braze can track all kinds of things, so the enterprise app developers will tag whichever options are useful to the business.

Understanding how users interact with the gaming app provides insight into the customer lifecycle. It gives the business an empirical look at how it’s doing. It also creates opportunities to serve relevant content or experiences. Ultimately, this is one way to detect, predict, and avoid churn.

How to Integrate Your Enterprise Applications

There are many ways to approach enterprise application integrations. The following are some of the most common options:


This approach requires the creation of a new integration for each app-to-app connection. It’s relatively simple, but might not be ideal if you need to integrate many programs.


Typically, middleware is any software that exists between a computer’s operating system and an application. It might be used for enterprise application integration to move data between databases.

Hub and Spoke

This approach uses a central software hub, which connects out to other applications in a pattern like spokes coming out of the center of the wheel. This is more scalable than point-to-point EAI, but puts a heavy burden on the hub. If the hub gets overwhelmed and fails, the whole network goes down with it.

Shared Database

Similar to hub and spoke, a shared database approach connects everything to one single data store. Like hub and spoke, this type of system is vulnerable because any problem with the database, all applications are affected. Building a shared database might not make sense if you already have an ERP or CRM solution. Creating a shared database is basically like building a custom ERP.

Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)

This model is generally considered an evolution of the hub and spoke model. It runs everything through a centralized component for data processing, but offers multiple ways to transfer data. Problems with any one component can cause a ripple effect, but this approach is generally scalable and resilient.

Robotic Process Automation

This approach follows a similar workflow to manual data transfer between applications. The difference is that the actions are automated, which is nice because robots don’t get bored or make typos. Like a human, though, the robot can get overwhelmed or bogged down if there are too many changes or too many applications.

Enterprise Application Integration vs. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)

Some enterprises might eventually face a choice between EAI and service-oriented architecture. Service-oriented architecture is one method of achieving enterprise app integration, but it’s a somewhat unique approach. SOA is all about pulling in services (functions) from different pieces of software.

For example, mobile app developers might use Apple’s free mapping service instead of building their own map functionality. In many cases, the consideration of SOA overlaps with the build vs. buy debate.

An enterprise can also choose a microservices architecture. The main difference between microservices and SOA comes down to scope. SOA has an enterprise-wide scope, so modules are shared and reused many times. A microservices architecture relies on individual, independent modules.

There are many ways to achieve enterprise app integration. A simple point-to-point integration might be enough in some cases. Other enterprises might want to commit to an ESB model or even SOA. The most successful enterprise app development projects are customized to meet business needs. Instead of trying a one-size-fits-all approach, it’s often worth some extra time and effort to maximize the ROI of your enterprise app.

Enterprise Application Development On-Demand

Creating a single connection between two apps is a relatively simple task in many cases. Preparing for enterprise-wide app integration is a different story. When you’re building a custom ERP or doing other enterprise app development that requires many integrations, it can become a huge project.
Instead of finding enterprise app developers for hire, a pre-built dev team can help you achieve the benefits of integration faster. Designli can help. Contact us about enterprise application development, and we’ll deliver a team of the best app developers for your exact requirements.

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