A Glossary of Integration Platform Terms

Published on by Hayley Brown

Updated on

SaaS Integration Glossary

Prior to my job interview with Cyclr (a low-code, integration platform for SaaS businesses). I did a lot of research about the company. 

For instance, reading through their website, checking out their latest blog posts, and stalking them on social media. I started to notice more than a dozen integration platform-related terms that I wasn’t familiar with. So, I found myself wondering what Webhook was, and who are Citizen Integrators. As well as, how on earth can a Scrum be Agile and what is Low Code development. Plus, why is it important?

This led to me creating a glossary of integration platform terms. Including their definitions and a practical example of how the technical term was used or how it worked. For example, Citizen Integrators are domain specialists without a programming background. They can use tools, and not code to integrate and extend business software applications. They could be a marketing specialist integrating CRM with a marketing platform. Alternatively, they could be someone dealing with finance integrating payment services with invoicing. As well as a customer support specialist integrating a helpdesk platform with CRM.

Since joining the team I’ve learnt more integration platform terms, the integration creation process, and more about embedded iPaaS platforms. As a result, my glossary has grown massively. I thought it would be useful to include the integration terms here as a guide.

If, like me, you are in the process of learning more about an integration platform check out the glossary. You’ll find out how integrations are related to all aspects of your SaaS business processes.

Integration Platform Glossary

Agile/ScrumAgile is a continuous iteration of development and testing in the software development process whereas Scrum is an Agile process to focus on delivering business value in the shortest time. 
API’sApplication Programming Interface allows us to share important data and expose practical business functionality between devices, applications and individualsWeather data, log-in using Facebook, Twitter, Google etc, pay with PayPal 
API AuthenticationThe processes of certifying the identity of users trying to access resources on the server.Logging into a service, via OAuth, to provide access to data to a service.
AutomationThe term often used to describe a background task to improve productivity, typically with an automated trigger and a defined action Form AutofillCustomer Support / Help DeskOnboarding Employees
Automation EconomyEnables firms to produce goods for lower costs and leads to significant economies of scale. 
Citizen IntegratorsA domain specialist without a programming background, who can use tools (and not code) to integrate and extend business software applications– A marketing specialist integrating CRM with a marketing platform- Someone dealing with finance integrating payment services with invoicing- A customer support specialist integrating a helpdesk platform with CRM- A small business owner integrating almost anything
ConnectionIndicates that a data link between systems is required, with non-specific requirements  
ConnectorsVisual representation of APIs, breaking down their individual methods and functions into elements that can be dragged, dropped and connected to other connectors and logic functionsSalesforce Connector
Data JourneyAimed to give you a better understanding of how, and what, data flows through your application. This could be from either user-triggered actions (running an integration for example) or from operational background processes.
Data MappingThe process of matching fields from one database to another so that when data is moved from a source it is accurate and usableFor instance in computing and data management, data mapping is the process of creating data element mappings between two distinct data models.
DevOpsThe combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools increases an organisation’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products at a faster pace than organisations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes.
Data Silo A data silo is a situation wherein only one group in an organization can access a set or source of data. An in-person example would be when several departments or groups within that organisation do not want to share information or knowledge with other individuals they work with.
E-A-TExpertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness website score – more attention will be given to websites that produce content that exhibits genuine credentials and expertise. 
Embedded IntegrationAn embedded integration solution is an advanced cloud integration mechanism that addresses the growing challenges enterprises encounter from trying to integrate with a diverse portfolio of customers and partners.Cyclr – provides a scalable connectivity framework, easy tools to design and build integrations, an API to let you create any UI/UX you like or a simple method to launch and deliver integration
Embedded iPaaSAn embedded iPaaS (integration platform as a service) allows SaaS vendors to create, manage and deploy integrations to their clients from directly within their own platform.Embedded iPaaS solutions came into place to provide tools to aid in the creation and maintenance of integrations, giving users ready-made tools and elements to construct their bridge between systems.
End-User-ToolsA set of methods, techniques and tools that allow users of software systems who are acting as non-professional software developers to create, modify or extend a software artefact Zapier – connecting the apps you use every day. Pick a trigger (email) that sets your zap in motion, finish routine tests automatically (copy the email attachment to dropbox), and simple, fill-in-the-blank setup (alert me in slack about the new dropbox file). Integrate: link your web apps with a few clicks, so they can share data automate: pass info between your apps with workflows called ZapsInnovate: build processes faster and get more done – no code required
Enterprise SoftwareA software solution that provides business logic and tools to model entire business processes for organisations to improve productivity and efficiency. Examples include billing systems, customer relationship management systems and supplier relationship management systems.
ERP Systems Enterprise resource planning systems refer to a type of software that organizations use to manage day-to-day business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management and compliance, and supply chain operations.Microsoft Dynamics, SAGE, Oracle e-Business Suite
ETL TransformationExtract, transform, load type of data integration that refers to the three steps (extract, transform, load) used to blend data from multiple sources. Data Warehouse 
FrameworkA platform for developing software applications. It provides a foundation on which software developers can build programs for a specific platform.A framework may include predefined classes and functions that can be used to process input, manage hardware devices, and interact with system software.
GUIA graphical User Interface is a system of interactive visual components for computer software. A GUI displays objects that convey information, and represent actions that can be taken by the user. Microsoft Windows, macOS, Android, Apple’s iOS
IaaSInfrastructure as a service is a cloud-based service, pay-as-you-go for services such as storage, networking and virtualisationDigitalOcean, Linode, Rackspace, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cisco Metapod, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine (GCE)
InteroperabilityThe ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make use of information between your app and the rest of the world 
IoTInternet of Things refers to the billions of physical devices around the world that are now connected to the internet, all collecting and sharing data.Thermostats, cars, lights, refrigerators and more appliances can all be connected to the IoT.- wearables: watches giving people data about their workouts- smart cities: solve traffic congestion issues, and reduce noise, crime and pollution. 
iSaaSIntegration Software as a Service is a cloud-hosted integration tool that can be used to create flows or paths between SaaS or local systems that face the Internet.Zapier is a cloud application service where you create automated actions to connect unrelated business and productivity apps or databases.
JSONJavaScript Object Notation is a standard text-based format for representing structured data based on JavaScript object syntax.Used for transmitting data in web applications for example sending some data from the server to the client so it can be displayed on a web page
Low Code/ No CodeA software development approach that required little to no coding in order to build applications and processes.A visual software development environment that allows citizen developers to drag and drop application components, connect them together and create a mobile or web app.
MaaSMarketplace-as-a-serviceMarketplace platform businesses are thought of as peer-to-peer sharing websites like Airbnb, Fiverr, Upwork, and Thumbtack.
Model-Driven Logic or development?A format to write and implement software quickly, effectively and at minimum cost
Native IntegrationRefers to software that was designed to run on a specific platform, device or operating system and has the ability to use device-specific hardware or software.Building integrations for data, triggers and functionality between say Salesforce or Hubspot and your other systems.
Pitch DeckA brief presentation to provide your audience with a quick overview of your business planGood design, find your tagline, set out the problem, keep it short and break it down
RoadmapA technology roadmap is a flexible planning technique to support strategic and long-range planning, by matching short-term and long-term goals with specific technology solutions.Create roadmaps to plan out strategic technology initiatives in the future, for instance migrating to different software systems or rolling out software updates.DevOps RoadmapInfrastructure RoadmapSoftware Roadmap
SaaSSoftware as a Service makes software available to users over the internet (for a monthly subscription fee)
With SaaS, you don’t need to install and run software applications on your computer.
Everything is available over the internet when you log in to your account online you can access the software from any device, anytime as long as there is an internet connection.
SaaS platforms are ideal for when you want an application to run smoothly and reliably with minimal input from you
BigCommerce, Google Apps, Salesforce, Dropbox, MailChimp, ZenDesk, DocuSign, Slack, Hubspot
Arguably the quintessential Software as a Service application, Salesforce remains at the vanguard of the cloud computing revolution it helped create. The customer relations management solution enables businesses to collect all information on customers, prospects and leads within a single online platform, enabling authorized employees to access critical data on any connected device at any time. Salesforce credits its tools for boosting customer sales by an average of 37 per cent as well as driving increased client loyalty and satisfaction.
SandboxAn isolated environment on a network that mimics end-user operating environments. Used to safely execute suspicious code without risking harm to the host device or network.
Software DevelopmentAn iterative logical process that aims to create programmed software to meet unique business or personal objectives, goals or processes. 
It involves multiple steps such as research, designing a data and process flow, writing technical documentation, comprehensively testing, debugging and pushing it iteratively to live. This process is known as the software development life cycle (SDLC).
Swagger/Open APIA set of tools for creating, implementing and describing a standardised RESTful API specification, known as Open API.
Sync/IntegrationTwo-way data integration, ensuring records in both SaaS applications match.
User JourneyA method of mapping out a system’s users’ usage of your application or website. The goal is to understand what common usage of a system looks like, breaking down common navigation patterns in order to see what is working and what isn’t.Visitor Recording Toolkit (Hotjar)User InterviewsAnalytics (Google Analytics)
Webhook (reverse API)One of the few ways web applications can communicate with each other and allows you to send real-time data from one application to another whenever a given event occurs.Anytime someone check-ins in, you’d be able to run any processes that you had in your application once this event is triggered.
Use a webhook to connect a payment gateway with your email marketing software so that a user gets an email whenever a payment bounces.
White Labelled DeploymentRefers to goods or services that are produced by one company, then purchased by another company to rebrand and sell as their own.Common white-label SaaS products: Social media management software mobile applications SEO and SEM management software email marketing software
WorkflowIndicates a full process, often with multiple systems and the need for logicSocial Media Workflow Example: Create content ideas, choose your ideas, determine your schedule, create your copy, work on the designed content, send to stakeholders for approval, make any necessary edits, handle the specific stake care of reporting
10 Minute BuildThe gold standard for getting what, in Agile/Scrum, we call Fast Feedback. With the click of a button, you should be able to build your software, run comprehension automated tests, and deploy to a testing environment. Extreme programming practice 

Glossary of integration, embedded iPaaS and SaaS terms

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About Author

Avatar for Hayley Brown

Hayley Brown

Joined Cyclr in 2020 after working in marketing teams in the eCommerce and education industries. She graduated from Sussex University and has a keen interest in graphic design and content writing. Follow Hayley on LinkedIn

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