Why Error Handling is Critical to Your Integration Projects
Integrating data between applications is a complex project. One challenge is to make sure that discrepancies in the data are identified quickly to remove erroneous data and manage the errors that can arise. Error handling is crucial to a successful data integration project; however, it is often an overlooked area because developers can find it intimidating when they try to understand it and cater to it. A solution that handles the complexities of application and data integration, and the inevitable errors that will occur, would be a great help not only to developers but also to non-technical users who want to use it.
Types of Integration Errors
Since companies manage large amounts of data, the possibility for varying types of errors to arise are endless. It is for this reason that developers need to understand how to deal with them. Here are some common examples of errors developers have to identify and manage.
· Data errors: during input or output when data does not match the defined schema.
· Process errors: when there is a failure of an data flow during runtime.
· Authentication problems: when the credentials provided to perform an integration are invalid.
· Business validation errors: when a data request is rejected, it violates business rules.
· System threshold problems: when, for example, the number of allowable API calls to an application is exceeded.
· System availability problems: when an integration will not complete because a system goes down or is temporarily unavailable.
The Need for Error Management
Application and data integration is becoming an increasingly regular part of the IT environment. As organizations adopt more cloud-based applications they should expect integration challenges. Often times SaaS applications do not allow a great deal of flexibility around integration. and it is highly likely that business requirements will gravitate towards using one of these solutions. With that will come integration-related errors that will need to be reported and managed, and so there will be a need for error management.
Often it is non-technical staff making use of an integrated application that has problems with errors. If they cannot readily identify and resolve the error themselves, the next step is to relay the error message. Without proper error management, the message is usually given to a front-line IT team, and if they cannot fix it, then it goes to the integration development team. This can result in a tedious email exchange between the development team and the user until the error is finally sorted out. Often times the dev team will say it is fixed, but the user does not seethe results of this...and then ensues much tension!
How to Handle Integration Errors
One of the first steps to handling integration errors correctly is to stop using custom-coded integrations. When developers build custom integration, they tend to forget to consider what happens when an error occurs. When errors occur, which they invariably always do, the code often displays a blanket error message.
One of the benefits of working with a Hybrid Integration Platform is the transparency and control it offers. A platform with an error management framework provides a comprehensive error-handling process that ensures that errors are handled in a standardized way. Not being able to resolve errors in real-time could result in data integrity issues in the target application and other downstream failures.
Error Management in Synatic
Synatic's Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP) focuses on simplifying the notification of errors, making it easy to alert teams about data flow, process, and system failures. Using the graphical user interface (UI) which gives a visual representation of what actions are performed on the data, the Operations Portal (Ops Portal) provides poignant and directed information to both the users and development teams, which eliminates the need to wade through reams of code and visual flows to locate an error. This prevents that slow, frustrating, and inefficient email trail between users and IT support.
Access to the Ops Portal can be managed so that non-technical users can view an integration to ensure the integration is working correctly between systems. They can pinpoint where a problem is and communicate this to developers to ensure a speedy resolution. Developers can then be given full access so integration errors can be fixed with incomparable speed.
The visual UI of the Ops Portal makes training easy so users can be onboarded quickly, and time-to-value is short.
Considering Error Management When Choosing an Integration Platform
When considering an integration platform, CTOs can help reduce the support work of developers by selecting one that has a full range of error management functions. It is said that 50% of integration is doing the integration itself, the other 50% is fixing the implementation when unanticipated errors occur. Business decision-makers too should look at how their non-technical users can be assisted in their work through a sophisticated error management tool within the integration platform. The purpose of the integration platform should not just be to have a wide range of integration options, but also to make the task of integrating data and applications across all environments simpler and faster. This means companies can implement integrations more efficiently and turn data into valuable and actionable insights. To learn more about how a HIP can improve the way your development team and line of business users handle integration errors, contact Synatic today.