Building software is like building a car, and third-party integrations are the key to making the software development process faster, cheaper, and more reliable. The software development process is best when each component is sourced from top-of-the-line manufacturers instead of building each piece singularly.
Enterprises Rely On 3rd Party Integrations - So Should You!
In our experience, most enterprises growing a custom piece of software take advantage of third-party integrations to achieve data consistency, organizational ease, and advanced functionality. This article will discuss what third-party integrations are, their pros and cons, and how to choose the right one for your business.
What are third-party integrations?
Third-party integrations add external data or features to an existing platform.
Integrations merge another platform or service to another. Through APIs (Application Program Interfaces) or programming shortcuts, applications communicate with each other and allow developers to increase functionality without building them from scratch.
An example is an Instagram integration, which allows almost any application or website to connect to a user’s Instagram account and sync data.
Finding the right API
The proper third-party integration depends on your customers' needs and your value proposition, but one universal API required by most businesses is a payment gateway. A payment gateway makes it easier for customers to purchase products online using existing credentials from another platform like PayPal or Afterpay.
When deciding on the proper third-party integration for your software, here are a few things to consider:
- Industry experts: Who are the leaders in the industry for the particular service or function you want to integrate? (i.e., Stripe for payment, Slack for chat)
- Customer support: Is the support 24/7? Is documentation online? What’s their customer support’s reputation?
- Functionality: What problem will the API solve for your customers? Will the integration make the user experience (UX) smoother? Does the integration clash with other features on the platform?
- Budget: What tiers of plans are available? What will it cost to implement and maintain? Are there other contingencies that might increase the cost?
These are essential considerations to assess before deciding on the correct third-party integration for your software. Read further to review the pros and cons of third-party integrations.
The benefits of third-party integrations
- It saves time and money
- The best features on the market
- Provides advanced functionality with much less effort
- Quick deployment
The cons of third-party integrations
- External dependencies
- Selecting the right provider
- The more integrations, the higher the cost
- Maintenance costs (i.e., Qualified testers to check for compatibility, IT team)
Other examples of helpful integrations are:
- Oauth: An API that enables secure delegated access between platforms.
- Outside content library: An API for customizing and extending the External Content Library (ECL) feature
- Software automation: An API that improves the manual labor of workflows.
Though it may take time to find the right ones, there are continuous integrations to improve the features and functionality of your platform. Third-party integrations simplify the development process for your engineers, reserving time, money, and workforce for the elements of your software that matter most. If you have questions about the right third-party integrations for your next custom software project, contact Tragic Media for a consultation.