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Introducing "ExpressConnect" - NextGen Systems Integration solution for TRIRIGA - Part 1

Updated: Feb 9, 2023

A bit of context:

For an IWMS system like TRIRIGA, the core tenets are the ability to connect to multiple different systems, exchange data, and create real-time joint solutions, which would generally not be possible while operating as a disconnected system in a silo.

TRIRIGA platform has had multiple options for Systems Integrations for a long time. You can read about traditional systems integration options from my blog post from 2015 - TRIRIGA Integration Options.

So, in a nutshell, we have multiple options for interconnections right from batch processes to near-real-time possibilities, and various Customers are using these options. These options have been around for 10+ years, so what is the problem? Why can't we continue to use these options and apply the same delivery methods?

Legacy Integration methods:

This is the problem - not much has changed in the last 10 -12 years.

The systems integration solutions in the broader industry have significantly improved (including IBM's integration product offerings), and innovations are gathering pace in the systems integration area. New options and technologies have come up - flows, streams, events, visual mashups, Webhooks, WebSockets, MQTT, Kafta, etc. Although some of these capabilities have reached the core Integration solution offerings in the market (like AppConnect and APIConnect from IBM and other comparable integration middleware from other Providers), few have made their way into the TRIRIGA solution platform.

So to summarise, this is what we are dealing with:

  • No adoption of Industry Best Practices - No adoption of industry best practices for synchronous data exchange. The current setup generally needs a custom connection resulting in a bilateral API setup.

  • Inconsistent performance - The underlying data store serves all the requests for data exchange (including reads). The API cache solution is quite archaic. The modern requirements to cater to usage spikes, instant updates, and availability generally require heavy customisations, which come at a high cost.

  • Inconsistent data model - Customers still have to deal with custom data models mostly disconnected from their standard enterprise data model.

  • Missing event framework - No out-of-the-box feature to capture and transmit the events as they happen in TRIRIGA. This is generally achieved through heavy customisation and requires constant maintenance, which comes at a high cost.

  • Lack of management and control capabilities for the APIs - The run-time exception and debugging options are pretty limited. It takes a lot of effort and an army of people to look across the integration record lifecycle distributed across multiple systems to conduct any failure analysis.

  • Long cycles of design and development - It still takes a Customer anything from 3 to 6 months to get their bearings right in the systems integration area. An extended adoption and continuous change process generally follow this stage. As a result, the time to market is relatively slow, and the realisation of end to end process is quite challenging. Most of the time, the business requirements have moved on by the time the integrations are realised.

  • Inconsistent documentation and prolonged onboarding - Additional efforts are required to keep the integration documents up to date. The onboarding of external systems, testing and confirming go-live for each integration is a costly, prolonged drawn exercise.

For further technical information, please click on the arrow to expand the list.

All these bilateral APIs come at a very high cost and are coded relatively rigidly, preventing changes from being applied seamlessly.

With these traditional methods of systems integrations, Customers are stuck in sorting out the basics of systems integrations. As a result, they cannot quickly realise the full benefits of enabling more innovative use cases related to solving real-world problems. For each engagement, customers generally have to start from a blank page; everything comes with an extended cost, extended time, and extended pain.

So what are the other options? What can you do differently?

Well, a band of integration specialists started with a mission to make your life easy (whether you are a Product Owner, a Developer, an End-user, a Project Manager, or a Commercial manager) through a straightforward solution for TRIRIGA Systems Integration with the following tenets:

  • A kind of solution which delivers the return on investment in days, not months and years.

  • A solution that can get you started on day one and has hundreds of pre-built integrations.

  • A solution which is straightforward to discover and utilise.

  • A solution that has performance features built in.

  • A solution that, once built, can be re-used multiple times.

  • A solution that allows other systems to "listen" to the changes in TRIRIGA and act accordingly.

  • A solution that can help you focus on delta changes.

  • A solution that doesn't require a massive upfront investment.

  • A solution that is based on the Industry Standards and allows a high degree of interoperability with other external systems and open source tool kits.

Excited? Interested? We know you are.

In part 2, we introduce the ExpressConnect Integration solution and its high-level components.

Meanwhile, if you need to discuss anything, don't hesitate to contact us through this link.

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