Building an integration is not the challenge, maintaining it, that’s the key! With Scope4mation Data Manager (short SDM) and our approach we offer simple steps to build a link in a controlled and ordered way. At this moment we have an active customer base of more then 100 active customers all around the world!
Not only during the building phase, but especially during the flexible life of the integration/link this is very important. In fact, each link is technically the same, but most of the time only the data is different. Our approach provides insight and involvement of and among the (end) users, those who depend on the information that is processed by a link. Together with the end users and the involvement we provide a link that is future proof!
The scenario we often encounter is that there is an application landscape present, in almost all cases this is department transcending. It is not possible to work organisation wide with only a single application. Often you need information between application A and B to be exchanged and then in such a way that it can be done in a repeating way. The challenge here is that if application A is gray and B is black: to use the correct grey tint for the link. With our approach and SDM we can ensure that we have the right tint of grey and that we can start building straight away.
The question we often get: “Can you connect to source X …” Our answer is (almost) always: “Yes, we do support that, depending on the possibilities of source X”. The need and frequency often determine the possibilities. Take a look at our Connector overview for an overview of the Connector possibilities. If the desired Connector does not exist, please contact us, we are happy to discuss the possibilities!
HOW DO YOU BUILD A LINK/INTEGRATION?
Most of the time building an integration / link relies on technology, in our case we have prepared and secured a large part of this technique in SDM. Our Connector approach ensures that there is focus on the functionality, automatically a Connector is linked to our Monitoring / Auditing and Logging parts of our SDM. We separate data from technology. Together with a developer of ours, we look at the requirements / needs around the link and then build and embed (and maintain) this knowledge on our SDM standards.
Our generic approach and processing of information takes care that no data is processed unnecessarily and/or a live source application is consulted several times (at once for different links). Our system has a so-called staging area where information can be stored. Obviously with the specific privacy rules.
Please find below an functional overview of our Data Manager Platform. Every aspect of the platform is shortly motivated.
The dashboard/portal is used to give (end) users and managers simple insights into the status of the process flows via our webportal. Questions like “How is the link functioning?” or ” When did it run? ” and ” Did things go wrong? ” are answered. Also it is used to obtain transaction (monitor / auditing / logging) information. This is available per person or for a group of people.
In order to ensure that the information (read records) is processed from A to B, it is necessary to have a processor. There are different industry standard names in the market that are being used, we named it a so called Workflow Engine (WE), also reffered to as ESB. Do you already have an ESB in your environment, no problem, we can seamlessly integrate with this. The Workflow Engine is the central point in the middle, from this point all transactions are started and monitored.
BUSINESS RULES ENGINE (ETL)
As soon as information (read records) has been processed from an application, it appears in the construction section, the so-called ‘staging area’. Before it processes the records, it is possible to apply specific process rules. We often refer to these rules as business rules. Using our graphical toolkit we ensure that the record is ready to be processed towards a target application. No programming technique is used for this, it is built via our graphical interface (drag&drop).
The following rules can be applied (for a complete overview, please refer to our Support portal):
- Enriching / checking / editing records, this usually takes place on the basis of so-called database transactions such as concat, transpose, If this then that statements, RegularExpression, Left, Group, Batchnumber etc. The transactions can be executed sequentially.
- Compare records with another application
- Extend records with data from another application
- Filter records based on criteria
The trick is to process the records in small steps, with the technology we use this is possible. Each so-called diagram (collection of fields with as content records) can be built and the subsequent diagram can use this as input again for the next diagram. This way you can implement the business rules defined for the link in small steps. The final consolidation task, connect the data to a connector or put it ready in a database (think for example for a report).
We use Connectors to make contact with an application. It is difficult to talk about a source and target connector, as this can not be used in all process flows. We talk about a Connector when we make a connection from our platform with the outside world. We have many types of connectors, in our connector base we have these stored and made available individually with a short description. Is a connector not present or you’re curious if a connector has a function which is not present on the website, let us know, we’re happy to talk to you!
LICENSING / HOSTING / SAAS
Our SDM license is based on a subscription model and is hosted initially on-premise*, but when needed we also deliver this via our SaaS environment. The license model is setup in a way that it’s affordable to start with 1 link, depending on the extensions the subscription price will grow. In this way the platform is affordable in most scenarios. We can offer it as SaaS but this is an application hosted model (we host the SDM application and MS SQL database on a server in our cloud environment).
Qixium or Data Manager?
Qixium is used for specific scenarios, Data Manager is our enterprise solution for aall integrations. Qixium can be attached to Data Manager.
*Please note: Our Outlook Bi-directional Room Booker connector for TOPdesk is an exception. This Connector can function on its own and we prefer delivering this via our Outlook Bi-directional Room Booker SaaS solution.