How to Overcome Integration Challenges With Cloud Elements

By Guy Van Wert in GET/technical, SaaS Integration, Enterprise Integration Posted Dec 13, 2018

“Cloud Elements is a developer oriented platform.”

As a Solutions Engineer, our team often hears the above statement to describe the Cloud Elements platform. And although that statement is true, this post is intended to show you how our platform offers so much more. Bringing a fully embedded integration experience to your customers requires you to write code and touch API end-points of the other systems. It is not easy and becomes even more complex as your business scales and you need to connect to multiple systems.

You know best where and when to accomplish that in your own application and still maintain that same great user experience that you are after. Leveraging Cloud Elements just makes sure you only need to write your integration code once.  Afterwards, you will scale up faster than ever before by reusing that exact same flow and swapping in other instance tokens. Your application won’t even really need to know which particular third-party application it connected to. Cloud elements will transform that incoming data for you.

Integration flow
The Cloud Elements platform provides a single, well thought out integration flow in your app, addressing all API calls using Cloud Elements, easily addressing multiple application connections

Cloud Elements | We Make Integration Suck Less

Yes, developer oriented. By using Cloud Elements your team will still need to analyze, write and test code. That brings us to why we run around with t-shirts stating “we make integration suck less.”  

After all, you want to integrate and do not want your users to leave your application when they need data of the other systems. This and the future posts will be showcasing this in day to day practice using java code samples of a real life fintech use case.

To start, here are some of the complexities all integrations need to overcome and where our platform helps you out:


[1] PROTOCOLS

Different applications to connect to, different ways of how their APIs are exposed. SOAP, REST, ODATA, … uniformity is a pain. The good news: Cloud Elements is 100% REST-based.

It doesn’t matter which protocol the end-point is using, our Element represents their service but we turned it around in REST. Meaning: less libraries in your codebase, easy (de)serializable JSON payloads, less experienced developer resources required as they no longer need to be experts with specific protocols, easy usage with most code languages as you are always dealing with JSON payloads.

[2]AUTHENTICATION
Security is a big deal for everyone. There are so many ‘standards’ allowing your users to authenticate themselves. As with everything in our platform, Cloud Elements allows you to run the authentication calls over REST.  Many of these applications require specific parameters to be set, your actual authentication method might be specific to the end point to take these into account. To cover specifics, read our developer documentation per Element you are connecting to (the ‘authentication tab’). We have standardized them but outlined the specific requirements.

Cloud Elements Authentication Flow

Once your user authenticated and allows your app to act on their behalf, it is time to request an instance out of the Element you connected to. You get an instance token in return which is to be used for every API call on behalf of this user. We will make sure to refresh the tokens whenever required so you don’t have to build this in for any of your connections.


[3] GETTING LIVE UPDATES
Not all third-party applications out there are supporting webhooks meaning that if you want “live updates” you are most likely scheduling recurrent calls with your current integrations. Cloud Elements changes that for you! When authenticating to our elements you can subscribe to events on the end-point and provide a webhook or callback URL. We will monitor the objects for you and keep you posted whenever data was altered or created!

[4] INTEGRATION
This is where the real development work comes in. You need to analyze, develop and test your integration flow.  With Cloud Elements you can design this from the start as an abstract flow rather than specific to the end point, using our Virtual Data Resources.  This gives you extreme reusability the moment that you start adding your other elements to it.  Your integration will become very readable in code because that VDR is a replica of your model classes which are easy (de)serializable making the entire integration easy to refactor and sustainable.

You can find more helpful articles on our features and products here:


Now that you have a great understanding of how the Cloud Elements is more than a developer orientated tool, let's take the next step. Request a personalized demo with one of our solution experts below. 

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