Not sure how to connect your data? We recommend a Middleware tool

We generally recommend using a middleware tool, such as AIR Connector, as integration “best practice.” It avoids most of the complexity that can come up during integration projects, including heavy upfront investments, long project timelines, and poorly organized data. Middleware is the most cost-effective way to move and maintain clean, validated data automatically across systems in a timely manner.

Of course, there are other methods of integration, but only two types can automate your data transfers: Middleware tools and Custom Coding.

  • Middleware tools act as a flexible conduit between your data systems. They leverage proven, configurable technology that allows for mapping fields between systems and establishing rules. Because middleware tools to transform data, manage interruptions, and set schedules. Middleware tools also have built-in monitoring features to ensure your integrations run smoothly and scale as your business grows. Using a middleware tool usually consists of purchasing a license or subscription with one-time setup or configuration costs.
  • Custom coding an integration requires writing and developing code to connect your data and share it across systems. Because is a manual process to build, monitor, and maintain hard coded integration, it can come with huge upfront investment and ongoing maintenance costs. Changes or updates to the integration must reference detailed documentation, architecture, and the code itself to ensure updates are implemented and tested without breaking or failing. It may also require purchasing additional software to support or maintain the custom coded integration.

Your organization may have priorities or resources that will determine which integration method is the best fit for your business. We break down four different types of integration, including middleware, with benefits and drawbacks for each method:

Manual Data Entry

  • No required technology investment
  • No change to business processes
  • Consumes a lot of human resources
  • Prone to human error
  • Prone to time delays
  • High security risk as employee(s) need access to data and transactional systems
  • Risk of taking priority over employees’ true responsibilities

Manual File Transfer Process

  • Usually low-cost
  • Minimal human data input
  • Standardized data output
  • Prone to human error
  • Relies on an individual or group to execute the same steps manually over and over
  • Lower security risk then manual entry but still requires employee access to data and transactional systems

Custom Coded Integration

  • Automated solution with no human intervention
  • Can be built specifically for your organization’s needs
  • Repeatable solution
  • Enables flow of information in real-time
  • Requires a specific, technical skillset to build
  • Non-proven technology requires significant time for testing
  • Requires additional infrastructure (Code repository, CICD tools, etc.) around software development
  • Usually the most expensive solution (requires design, build, and maintenance)
  • Not scalable as it
  • Slower to implement new integrations as your business needs grows. Design, build, test, deploy long SLDC lifecycle.

Middleware Tool

  • Proven technology, usually leveraging a large number of existing connectors
  • Automated solution with no human intervention
  • Maintains the integrity of the information across a multitude of systems
  • No additional cost in human talent
  • No additional cost in infrastructure around software development
  • Enables flow of information in real-time
  • Speed of adding new integrations as your business needs grows
  • Can impact real-time performance of transactional systems if they are not sized properly


We are happy to help you determine which method of integration is the best fit for your business. Please contact us if you have any questions or if you want to learn more about our middleware, integration solutions, and experience.