Your integration will be supervised by Josh.
When you invested in software for your business, you did so because it saved your team time and ultimately made your corporation more profitable.
But out of the box, your software solutions still had your team doing some things by hand that you’ve been suspecting could be automated with technology. Manual processes were fine to get your internal systems running, but to scale, you’ve found that the cost of human labor and chances for errors is negatively impacting your business.
Your human staff need to be working on things that only humans can do. Let the machines do the machine work. This is where API integrations come in to multiply the value of your existing technology infrastructure.
API integrations connect your existing software together — be it connecting one internal system to another, connecting an internal system to a 3rd party vendor, or something similar — which in turn increases the resource-saving return on your technology investment even further.
At Centreville Tech, we’ve done API integrations for companies in spaces as diverse as freight forwarding and long-term senior care, to digital signage and furniture sales.
While the specifics of what is involved in these API projects and exactly how we connect them together will vary by client and by industry, our time-tested process for planning those integrations and ensuring they are done in a timely and predictable manner remains the same:
When you decide to commission API integrations to automate your manual business operations, our team will always start the process at the same place. We’ll connect with you via Zoom for a complimentary 1-2 hour open-ended discussion to hear all about what you’re trying to accomplish. This gives us an opportunity to meet each other, and determine if we would be a good fit to solve your specific API integration needs.
- API->API Connections
- API->Database Connections
- EDI->Database Connections
- Automated Job (CRON) Design & Development
- Integromat/Zapier Automation Development
The Discover phase is the most important part of your API integration development journey.
Experience has shown that it’s imperative to author documentation that clearly outlines both the goals of your integration and precisely how the data should move in order to maintain the integrity of your business’s critical data as it moves from system to system.
During the Discover phase, we will do the following things required for your project to be successful:
First, we will author a project requirements document (sometimes referred to as a PRD or SRS) that thoroughly defines how data needs to move across your systems and vendors, along with the corresponding user tests necessary to validate that the data moved properly. You should have this document in hand BEFORE you hire a developer to code any integrations.
Second, we will meet with the API teams (if applicable) responsible for the connection interfaces in your systems. We will book calls with them, and on those calls, learn what data is able to move in/out, what the rate limits are on them, and the best practices for secure transmission when interfacing with them.
Third, we will review API documentation (if available) for the different connection interfaces in your systems. We will learn what the capabilities are of the APIs in your systems now. If no APIs exist, we develop a strategy for expanding your existing system with a functional API for integration.
Fourth, we will develop documentation for initial recommendations around technology architecture and projected monthly infrastructure costs for maintaining said API connections in the future. This step is critical, as if you learn during our Discover phase that maintaining your API connections would require more investment than your expected investment return, you can end the project here before investing further in formal development.
Fifth, we will develop an estimate for how long we anticipate your API integration will take, while also setting rough expectations around what you can expect your development costs to be.
* Please note that every API integration project has unique attributes that will often cause development time and cost to vary by client and industry. While we attempt to be as accurate as possible and identify any potential pitfalls during the Discovery phase, there’s always the possibility for surprises when working with 3rd party software companies and vendors. For that reason, we do not offer fixed bids for these types of technology projects, and you should not expect one at the end of our Discovery phase.
During this phase of our process, our team will work to build out your API integrations and connections according to the criteria and feature set laid out in your new PRD. (The PRD will be authored earlier in the process during our Discovery phase.)
- A staging and production environment set up correctly on a reliable web host such as Linode or AWS
- A Gitlab repository containing the source code for any custom integration code we build
- An document containing all login credentials necessary to access everything that powers your API integrations
- A flow chart showing how your API integrations work; this chart will also explain timing/cadence if applicable
- The setup of a continuous integration system, such as DeployBot
- The setup of a bug tracking environment for your software such as Mantis, or Jira
- A formal data integrity audit, performed at the end of our API integration development work, to ensure all code was developed according to the specification laid out in your PRD
Some of these deliverables may not apply to your project. We’ll outline which ones are relevant during our Discover phase so there’s no surprises when you arrive at the end of the Develop phase.
While some API integration projects do not require on-going maintenance to keep them updated and secure, others do. If your project does, we’re prepared to be your technology partner to keep your technological investment running soundly for years to come. When vendors change how their APIs work, a server needs updating, or even perhaps your business needs evolve so your API integrations need tweaking and changes, our process will accommodate this and ensure minimal disruption to your critical business API infrastructure.
With term lengths of 6 months, 12 months, 2 years, and 5 years, we’ll reserve a set number of hours during our working month exclusively for you, to maintain, monitor, and improve on your API infrastructure as necessary.
We make recommendations during our Discover phase regarding what is necessary for the On-Going Maintenance phase, so you’ll be able to plan financially for the long-term care of your project.
When we sign an On-Going Maintenance covenant together, you can be assured that our team will promptly handle your requests, and be available as needed to minimize your business risk and keep your systems running at full potential.
Bibb County Administrator
Bibb County Administrator
As a business leader, you need a technology team that you can count on. You should be able to explain your goals and objectives, have a conversation about API integrations that makes sense to you, and feel confident that you’ll end up with exactly what you need. The proper technology should equip your business to succeed with minimal friction.
Our commitment is to provide excellence in API integration development. This commitment anchored around clear communication, and application of our time-tested process to hit your specific goals. We hold ourselves to this high standard of ethics because we want to demonstrate that we are trustworthy and more than competent to be an asset to your long-term vision.