Agile doesn't mean easy!
Quote from a client “All we want to do is total an expense from QuickBooks and update to a project budget spreadsheet” to improve our managing project budgets.
Sound simple enough, doesn’t it? Integration software, middleware, vendors talk about the ease in integration. Point to the connector they have for QuickBooks and Google Sheets, select and map the fields, add some logic and insert it into the right spreadsheet. They have easy-to-use visual mapping tools and even templates for some common use cases.
Well, easy to use, yes, but easy to develop and deploy the agile integration maybe not.
These connectors are suitable for some common use cases, but they don’t always have visibility to all applications’ data and fields.
So, if your integration needs are not supported by the available connector, such as our client described above, no worries, you can directly integrate via their native APIs. These integration solutions help ease API level integration but require you to research the API and the entities to be queried for your business needs. As a reference point, even the well-documented API from QuickBooks has 74 entities, each with many attributes.
As we research APIs, Connectors, and software solutions, it may make you wonder if writing custom code or even keeping the current manual process might just be the most efficient.
The answer is no. There are key advantages to automating the integration with an agile integration solution, including:
All the integration logic, even accessing APIs and necessary calculations, will occur by configuring the integration layer with no changes being required to QuickBooks and Google Sheets.
There is no custom code to write and maintain, requiring updating and testing when the business requirements change or the application vendors change their software.
Once the solution is deployed, it will work the same for one or thousands of projects. The administrator can enter the QuickBooks’ expenses, and the integration software will handle the updates to all spreadsheets.
It will help minimize human error and allow the administrator to focus on more important tasks than the spreadsheets’ updates.
It will be easy to extend these applications’ value by adding additional tasks to the integration, such as sending alerts to project managers as there are updates to the budget report. These notifications could be via email for standard reports and slack or text messages when projects are close to going over budget.
At An Integrated Business, we approach each integration project with a keen focus on the business value and requirements. By focusing on the business and defining requirements with the business professionals, we help assure we deliver the real value required, on time, and yes, on budget.
Work with our trusted advisors to help you walk through Agile Integration steps, and you can realize the value along with your current applications and your developers as well.