When talking clients about cloud integration, I alway used to recommend a service oriented architecture approach. I noticed though that many clients are scared off this approach because it’s very complex, time consuming and risky. More and more clients turn to a best-of-breed strategy. This approach has implications for integration. You will have to interact with to the specific interface imposed by the best-of-breed application. A lot of times this will be a SOAP or REST-based service interface, but it may also be a queue interface or OData.
A second, somewhat related trend, is the trend to use LowCode platforms to develop the user interface, geared at either mobile, tablet or desktop. This scenario doesn’t necessarily call for service oriented architecture, but it definitely calls for services or API’s to be called from the LowCode platform.
Advantages Best of Breed:
- Use the best solution to handle specific functionality.
- System updates are outsourced to the vendor. Automatic improvements in case of SaaS.
Disadvantages Best of Breed:
- Multiple technologies (database+application) and vendors. Complexity, more training, more strain on IT support.
- Integration gets more complex, especially when application has no decent API layer. Also think of possibly disjointed business processes.
- Risk of duplicate data and data entry.
- Higher total cost of ownership due to multiple vendor support costs.
- Different user interfaces can lead to user non-acceptance.
- Solving problems might be more complex with multiple vendors.
No final thoughts on either of best of breed or low code. This post is more of a call for action.