An iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) helps organizations connect various cloud-based applications and on-premise systems seamlessly to automate processes without having to setup an in-house integration system. With the steadily increasing number of iPaaS providers, choosing an iPaaS that suits your integration requirements can become an arduous task.
Moreover, with rapidly changing market conditions, it's almost impossible for any organization to predict the features or functionalities that it would require from an iPaaS in the next few years. The key is to focus on the immediate requirements that can be addressed by the iPaaS. For instance, if your requirement is to sync some web services with IoT devices, pick the ones, that provide IoT integration capabilities. Once this is done, you can start evaluating the shortlisted iPaaS providers based on the following factors:
Choose an iPaaS that can be trusted with sensitive data. The strict government regulations for data protection –not to mention the direct financial losses an organization would incur in case of data leak– have made security the most critical aspect of the business. An iPaaS with meager security mechanisms may make your organizational data such as customer records, personal information, and passwords, susceptible to data breach and misuse. One way to avoid this, is to invest in an iPaaS that has robust security mechanisms such as data encryption, password protection, session management, security certifications, and information security standards in place.
2. Supported connectors/applications
To get the most out of your iPaaS, make sure that it supports all the web applications being used by your organization, along with the other web applications that you may adopt in the future. In addition to supporting your applications, see if they provide the specific actions you may need.
If this is difficult to find, look for providers that offer the ability to create connectors through their developer platform, through which any new application with an API can be integrated with your existing applications.
3. API versioning support
API versioning support is a pivotal part of iPaaS integration. When a web application upgrades their API version, the relevant changes also need to be incorporated in the integration architecture. In these scenarios, it is important to check whether the iPaaS provider will be handling the API changes and versioning, or if you will be responsible for upgrades and changes.
4. Performance and scalability
Scaling and performance are key areas to focus on when choosing an iPaaS. Even if you are a small organizations that doesn’t work with bulk data currently, you may do so in future. So rather than going for an iPaaS that caters to your current scaling requirements, always select an iPaaS that can handle your scaling requirements a couple of years down the line. Moreover, make sure that scaling doesn’t come at the price of performance. To get consistent or better results from your iPaaS, it is important that iPaaS performance remains constant at its highest scaling capability. In other words, the selected iPaaS should be able to handle a high volume of data with minimum or no latency.
5. Data transformation
When dealing with multiple applications and systems, you will inevitably run into a mismatch between outputs and inputs. To drive data integrity in all of your applications, your iPaaS must be able to handle all of your data transformation needs. A couple key features to look for are:
- Data mapping - Maps data from one web service/application into another
- Data transformations - Transforms data from one web service to fit the data structure of another web service
- Custom functions - Allows to write and apply custom logic on web service data
Pricing plays an important role while finalizing the iPaaS provider. While evaluating this factor you need to consider a few parameters: Features, Support, and ROI. Most iPaaS providers offer a trial period in which you can see if the product is a fit for your use case while also seeing how responsive their support team is.
One of the biggest advantages to using an integration platform is that anyone with basic knowledge of integrations can maintain and improve your workflows. This means the user interface and ease of onboarding are of paramount importance. When you choose your platform, thoroughly test it and see if it is using the latest technology to power the integration engine as well as the front end.
Built.io Flow is a leading iPaaS platform, recognized in Gartner’s Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service magic quadrant, for two consecutive years. Take a look at the complete list of powerful features offered by Built.io Flow or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org for any assistance.