Integration should be a snap, not a development process.

[POSTED March 12, 2018]
    How much time does it take you to build a simple integration map? If the answer is more than an hour then perhaps it is time to upgrade your integration software. Building a map should be as simple as mapping fields or invoking an API and nothing more. If you are building forms, controls, error trapping, logging, reporting, etc., then you’re probably wondering why your “simple” integration takes so much effort?
    Upgrade to an integration suite that magnifies your productivity and keeps you focused on business rules, not custom development.

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    The Link® lets you target complex API’s of any type by allowing you to control the API construction and population of the required fields. Then you can test your link and deploy it; all without ever having to write a user interface or user controls. With built-in error trapping, logging, reporting, monitoring, review and transaction retry capabilities, all you have worry about is your business rules and nothing else; meaning that integration is a snap. You are up and running with just your business rules in place, and no other code development effort required.

ERP Integration with batch-based processes is dying!

[POSTED February 27, 2018]
    The old way of importing manually or through schedules is being replaced by automated transactional integration which synchronizes and replicates data in real-time, enabling state of the art planning, scheduling, capacity planning, MES, and supply chain systems to work dynamically and always be up to date. Production activities process in real-time enabling better reporting, resulting in more current, better informed reporting and decision making.
    Stuck in the 1980’s? Embrace the best practices of real-time transactional integration today.

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    (The old way. Timers, batches, lots waiting)

    (The new way. Real-time transactional synchronization. All systems are up-to-date – Always)

Server Based Integrations are dying!

[POSTED February 20, 2018]
    Using centralized applications for integration is rapidly becoming an outdated methodology due to its inability to stand up to the features, speed, and flexibility of distributed microservices. It used to be that integrating data between systems could be accomplished by integration applications that ran on a centralized server, requiring that all data, all rules, and all horsepower be dedicated to that centralized server. This centralized (or monolithic) integration methodology is being supplanted with small, nimble, distributed microservices.

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    Unlike web services distributed microservices do not need to be called upon to perform work. They work silently and automatically in the background at all times. They wait for their integration trigger to occur (a new or changed file, database record, website, API call, etc.) and as soon as the trigger occurs they apply the integration map (to transform and map the data) in real-time. These real-time service maps are deployed as discrete maps that are only concerned with mapping a single endpoint collection to another endpoint collection (think file to table, or table to API method or API method to xml, etc.) As new integration maps are needed, they are created using a design tool and then deployed as individual Windows services.The advantages to using microservices for integration over a traditional monolithic integration server are many, including:

    1. Services are tiny in size and tiny in memory use, requiring few resources. No need for a massive integration server with a ton of memory and expensive processors.
    2. With no need for centralizing data, services can be deployed anywhere. Deploy them close to the data they are monitoring, or close to data target system, or use two services (one to monitor and one to write) to ensure that everything has as little latency as possible.
    3. Change control becomes more isolated and more flexible since changes can be made to individual integration maps without affecting other deployed maps.

    An enterprise-class microservices integration suite such as: The Link® also includes all of the goodies that you expect with any integration solution:

    1. Centralized management (reporting, monitoring, error tracking, failed transaction retry, scheduling, etc.)
    2. Support for centralized or distributed development and deployment of service maps.
    3. Automated transaction logging, process logging, error logging, etc.
    4. Tight integration with Visual Studio to let you work in your IDE of choice, Visual Studio, as well as support for your existing classes, dlls, APIs, etc. Leverage your existing knowledge and existing code.

    Missing Link Technology developed The Link® , a powerful and flexible integration suite. The Link® allows add-on applications to communicate with an unlimited number of other systems such as ERP, Time and attendance, shop floor systems, and more. Using open standards, The Link® supports reading and writing: tables (any ODBC-compliant database), views, delimited files, xml files, web services, web APIs, .NET APIs, and more. Endlessly extensible through tight integration with Visual Studio, The Link® has the power and the flexibility to integrate to all your systems.


    The end result is more sales! The value proposition for The Link® and your customers is a real-time integration solution offering to facilitate integration between many systems including well-established ERP systems that any customer or partner can take advantage of. Also customers will see dramatically improved speed to solution with built-in error trapping, error reporting, transaction logging, monitoring, management, and reporting tools. The Link® allows you to provide world-class real-time integration solutions for your customers without the need for specific knowledge of each ERP or other enterprise systems.


    (The old way. Everything in one single, monolithic server. All eggs in one basket)

    (The new way. Small, agile, individual Windows services; each running a single integration map)