Project Management

Best Practices for Application Integration

Tad VanderVorste

Whether part of a large enterprise software program or a project to pass data between two applications, integration deliverables present a unique set of challenges. The seven best practices below can be applied to any integration effort, large or small, to improve your delivery results.

Application Integration is the process of exchanging data between two or more business/application systems. The primary objectives often include streamlining business operations and improving quality by eliminating redundant data entry.

Best Practices:

  • Develop a realistic plan
  • Design for the business process
  • Build a balanced team
  • Leverage an architecture, but be practical
  • Communicate with context
  • Deliver iteratively
  • Plan for errors and exceptions

Develop a realistic plan

Developing a realistic plan for integration work requires special considerations. If you are not comfortable with some level of ambiguity, it’s easy to fall into the trap of analysis paralysis. While planning, it’s important to recognize that you won’t know all of the answers. Sometimes you won’t even know the questions.

Your plan should serve as a place to start and it will change – set those expectations early and reinforce them regularly. Include contingencies for those questions you haven’t …


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"Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."

- Oscar Wilde