Integrating with Internal (Back Office) and External (3rd Party) Systems
Integration Services provide integration from authoritative customer systems to internally- or externally-hosted systems. These services typically include the building of interfaces between a primary software system (such as Inception CRM) and external 3rd-party and internal back oﬀice systems, as well as apps that our customers to support their business functions and processes.
Integration requires many steps. The first of these is analysis of the systems that must be integrated and the data that must be exchanged. We create a URS that includes user interface requirements as well as the required data exchange. The latter specifies the data flows from and into the primary system.
After that, we map the data flows between all entities (data sources as well as consumers), and prepare the Functional Specification. The FS covers everything from interfaces to data operations and the UI layer. A Design Specification addresses the technical architecture of the solution and how all of the interface components will work together.
Finally, we prepare an implementation plan (usually with phases), and based on this, we get to work. The implementation phase includes data cleaning and validation, and is followed by integration testing and validation. Validation typically focuses on the technical interfaces and data operations.
The last step is the documentation, specifically, the preparation (and/or updating) of interface documentation. With working with external third-parties, like wholesalers and distributors (for example, to streamline order taking), the documentation serves as an important reference for troubleshooting and quality control throughout the life cycle of the project.
Importing Historical Data
We typically import historical data when customers are using our software to replace a legacy system, but want to keep all of their old records. Importing historical data from one system to another is a complex task with many steps and maintaining the integrity of transferred data is paramount.
Before we start importing data, we fully analyse the historical data we have to work with. This includes classifying each dataset in terms of its type, format, structure. Once that’s done, we can start mapping the data from the source system to its destination.
Once the mapping is complete, we design a data migration procedure and begin preparing import bridges. We import a sample of the data first in order to validate the procedure, and once we’re confident the data is being properly transfered, we import the full set of historical data.
Additional validation tasks are then performed to ensure that the transfered records are complete, consistent, and available for consumption. The last step is prepare and/or updating the interface documentation to make sure it is accurate, complete, and current.
Validating End User Environments
End user environment validation is a service we performed in order to confirm the suitability of end user devices for prior to software installation. It involves making sure the hardware, operating systems, and software components are able to support to the installed system. It also involves performance testing the software on the devices to make sure it runs smoothly.
In some cases, we recommend optimizing the environments. Optimizations can be as simple as updating deprecated components or clearing space to allow the software to perform better. For directly installed software (usually on Windows devices), we also prepare user images and pre-install supporting software that the system needs to run effectively.