An introduction into Integration made Easy by Dovetail

Integration made Easy by Dovetail; take a look at the vital steps of integration

Dovetail is a cloud-based integration platform (iPaaS). It will help you to build integrations quickly thanks to the drag and drop user interface. With over 200 opinionated components you will always find what you need to build your integration. The number of end points you can connect are endless.

Video transcript


My name is Chrisje and I would like to take you through our world of application integration. In this field, data is exchanged between software applications and these applications can work together seamlessly. This enables you and your organization to work more efficiently; making fewer mistakes and to process data quicker. 

Integrating applications is all about the collaboration between people, the business processes they have in place and the technology used to do so.

Often used in application integrations is iPaaS; integration platform as a service. This means that the technology needed for integration is provided as a service, without the need to install software or infrastructure yourself. 

We believe the field of application integration is complex, but it does not have to be difficult.

The complexity lies in the amount of detail that must be gathered and interpreted from both internal and external parties. And it is important to continue asking questions until the desired end result is clear.

The Dovetail application is built on the solid base of Apache Camel, the Apache foundation's most widely used open source project worldwide for integration purposes.

Apache Camel is based on the book "Enterprise Integration Patterns" by Gregor Hohpe and Bobby Woolf. This book describes a large number of technology independent integration patterns, in a visual notation and based on common problems and their solutions.

Our drag and drop interface provides you with a library of integration components that you drag onto the canvas, and connect to each other. Each component has a number of opinionated configurations. This means that you only need to configure the obvious while other configuration options are set to default.

In this example, you see a flow we have built, that handles multiple operations on a Channel Engine's product endpoint.

We value our documentation and we find it very important to keep this up to date and available. For example, you can go directly from any component to our Academy. There we explain to you how to use and configure the component.

In our experience, many integrations basically consist of the same steps; I'll go over them with you.

The first step is Connect.

Applications need to be able to communicate with each other, which first requires access to those applications. Often, the application provides an API with documentation on how to use it. Collect the appropriate documentation first before you configure access to the API in Dovetail.

We encounter many different ways for accessing the API. They range from very simple to very advanced.

The second step is Translate.

Not every endpoint speaks the same language, for example, one uses JSON while the other endpoint uses XML. In this step, the dataset is converted into what the receiving endpoint can process.

In the third step, the content of the sender's message must be mapped to what the recipient can process. Imagine having to process product data from your ERP to a web shop. Chances are that the field containing your unique item code will have a completely different field name on the receiving end. During mapping, you ensure that your data is processed in the right place.

The definition of mapping the data between the supplied data and the data to be processed is described in an XSLT. In our application the Dovetail XSLT component takes care of this and ensures the correct processing.

Building an integration flow is done with the information available at that moment. The better the preparation, the greater the chance of getting the right result. This result we call the "happy flow," you take into account everything you know.

Our experience however, is that you don't know, what you don't know.

On many occasions we see that the behavior of endpoints is creating unexpected outcomes. For example; the feedback you receive was not documented and could therefore not be taken into account. Or the supplier of the endpoint imposed limits on the number of messages of the endpoint but they were not documented or not documented well enough. All these kinds of circumstances require the "happy flow" to be optimized.

For each flow, you can create an error route in Dovetail that is kicked off once an error occurs. That error route is again a flow that you can configure yourself. For example, a log to Slack or a post on a monitoring system.

Our mission is to make application integration as simple as possible. By combining the solid base of Apache Camel with our very user-friendly interface, we offer a nocode integration platform that can be used directly from the browser.

We do everything with our premise Integration made Easy in mind.

So, Dovetail is an Integration Platform as a Service with the following key advantages;

* you don’t need any programming knowledge, because you don’t have to write any code. That is why we call Dovetail a nocode integration platform

*You build your integration like a drawing with our user-friendly drag & drop interface

*the integration flow is readable for everyone. You can add explanatory notes at any level. This way the flow also becomes the documentation of the integration.

*You can start immediately and you don’t have to install or maintain any software.

*because we use the cloud infrastructure of Amazon Web Services your integration platform is secure and scalable

*our customers report that they spend up to 75% less time building their integrations compared to programming them

*the savings that can be achieved by integrating applications instead of continuing to perform error-prone and repetitive work leads to a very short payback period

That’s it for today. I would like to thank you for your attention and hope to see you next time!

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