Currently, I’m working on a LabWare LIMS and Symyx ELN integration. Regardless what two brands we work with and even regardless what two types of systems we’re integrating, certain things apply. Here are five tips to get you on the right path for your integrations:
- Describe the main purpose of each system to be integrated. It’s good to have this definition around. When you’re unsure of which system should be handling which tasks, it sometimes helps to have a simple definition in which to return. That sometimes clarifies the situation.
- Map the workflows for each system to be integrated. Really understand what each system is doing and/or intended to do.
- Map the intended workflow between the two systems and determine how it will affect the users. By doing this, you’ll better understand whether the integration will be clumsy for the users.
- Identify the owner of each piece of data required for the integration. This is another way to help you decide which system will manage specific data. If you can say that specific data “belongs to” one system or another, then that data most likely should be managed by that system. It’s rare that this isn’t the case.
- Determine which data is most appropriately shared versus which information is better to give to the other system. What I mean is this: sometimes, one system owns a particular list that is frequently updated and it is sometimes easier to share that list with the other system than to make the second system keep that same list and to try to keep the two lists in-synch.