Integrating critical systems is an effective way to extend the functionality of those systems, eliminate silos of data and improve data accuracy. Integrated systems also create efficiencies and provide a more complete view of processes and results, ultimately maximizing the value of IT investments.
In order to ensure the best results from any integration, it's important to design the integration thoughtfully and to conduct it in a way that aligns with your development process. Here are some best practices for designing and managing integrations.
Build Integration Around Business Processes
When deciding which integrations to enable, start with a strong understanding of the business processes that each application supports. Identify the integration needs of each group of users, and align those requirements with the relevant data and processes within your corporate applications.
Good integration opportunities lie where the data necessary to perform a task is located outside the core application for that function. An example of this might be when billing data is not being imported into ERP systems—a use case that Recurly solved with our NetSuite integration. When subscription billing revenue is integrated with corporate accounting and financial systems, processes for recognizing revenue and reporting on it become more efficient and the results more accurate. Read more about this integration here.
API Key Management
Good management of API keys will make implementing and supporting your integration easier. It will also provide for enhanced data security. Here are some best practices:
- Use one private key per application, or if you have multiple applications, use one key for apps with similar purposes.
- Use a public key for integrating with Recurly.js, the library merchants use to create public payment pages for their website.
- Name keys according to use cases. This will provide a memory aid if an integration service needs to be deactivated or if a security risk occurs.
- If services should not write data, make their API keys read-only.
- If a regenerated key is needed and security is not a concern, use Recurly’s option to leave the key active for 12 hours.
Maintain Good Data Quality for Outbound Integrations
When conducting an outbound Integration (an integration that is sending data to another system), remember that your data is now in two or more applications at once. If you had bad data or too much data in the source application, you’ll now have bad data in the target application. This has the potential to create a significant data hygiene issue.
Before integrating, make sure data is clean and reliable. In Recurly, this means ensuring that source data is accurate, especially when working with financial systems and data. It’s also important to make sure that the application that will be sending data to Recurly is trusted. Finally, test in a sandbox site before integrating with any production site.
Integrating business-critical applications with Recurly is straightforward, enabling merchants to get up and running quickly and optimizing their investment with Recurly. For more information, see our developer documentation or get in touch with our Sales team.