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Play well with others!
The importance of Software Integration


What do you mean by integration?

It’s nice to have software that plays well with others.

No piece of software can be everything to everyone. And, no software developer can create software solutions for everyone—although we try.

So, integration is the process of making sure that there is constructive connectivity between solutions. It means sharing data between solutions at the easiest, so that job information is delivered between them. Some solutions share working files between them, offering a handshake and allowing each of them to perform specific tasks, sending the work back and forth. Sometimes a solution is truly, automatically invoked by a different system to perform a few tasks.

There are different ways this is done. Sometimes a file can be checked in and out of a digital asset management (DAM) system—or information can be added to a file in the DAM. Sometimes, a sophisticated connection is used, called an API. API is short for Application Programming Interface. Without going into too much detail, it is an intentional key to the software’s side door, allowing systems to communicate and work with each other.

Why do I need integration?

As mentioned above, no one system can do everything for you. You need to invest in a powerful workflow to do most of what you need but ‘open’ enough to accept help from other software systems when required.

Also, any system that can avoid duplication of effort is valuable. To be able to enter data once and transfer it through any number of systems—like an ERP, Web2Print, production workflow, or even production equipment—reduces manual errors and speeds up production.

What is the business case for integration?

A good, nearly complete workflow will make it cost-effective to fit in the pieces you are missing without breaking the bank. It will allow you to upgrade your system—not by requiring you to invest in something completely new, but by adding the pieces you miss. In this way, you enable the benefits of the best of each system by streamlining the information between them and adding multiple services to your global ecosystem.