Integration, integration, integration – “Raw data now!”

07May09
Time Berners-Lee: "Raw Data Now!"

Time Berners-Lee: "Raw Data Now!"

As a user experience designer you can get better results if you can design the whole user process from start to end.

In this ideal world everybody uses your software/application and it would solve all problems someone can have and you would be burned out because that would be too much work.

That’s a pity then, so maybe we should accept that everybody has already an application for certain tasks. To type a letter they have Word, to write emails they use Outlook and as CRM they have Salesforce.

The limits of an API

With API’s in theory you can integrate with any program there may be on the market (if you did a good job…). But who will do that? Integrations using API’s cost time, money and need maintenance. So realistically you will only create integrations with the big guys that everybody uses. Not bad as it serves most of the people.

But how do you get other products to use your APIs and create great third part applications ?

Be the big guy & have the API

For obvious reasons this is not always the easiest solution and only for a small share of the market.

Make it very easy

Lately I have been using Kickapps and I am surprised how easy it is to create widgets. No technical knowledge required and instant results. If you could create your integrations that way, you will be amazed how many great ideas your users have.

Offer consultancy services for integrations

Other one, offer custom integrations for special clients that you can convince to pay more for this. I guess these will be the happy few, so still open is the question what to do with the rest?

Standards are the way!

Precisely because of the growing need of integrations between platforms and applications I see the standards getting better and more agreed on. Calendars have .ics, Information streams have RSS, there is SOAP, Google Base  for I don’t know how many information formats, InDesign works with separate XML feeds and the list grows and grows.

Just offer all your info as XML and see how useful it is.

Raw Data now!

Or as Tim Berners-Lee said last march at TED:”RAW DATA NOW

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2 Responses to “Integration, integration, integration – “Raw data now!””

  1. 1 Sun Sunich

    Agreed. Although connections between services could be a threat for security, we have to admit that it’s darn great. I don’t have to remember my Vimeo account login and password because I have a facebook account… Don’t have to register for YouTube because I already have a gmail account. User experience-wise it’s great. And whenever creating a new service one should stick to standards, right you are. There’s no pint in think ‘oh no, i’m not gonna share my users and content’ – that’s anti-internet thinking. 🙂

    will watch the presentation later… thanks for interesting stuff you put in you blog.

  2. 2 Sun Sunich

    Just finished watching the speech. There could word the idea better, yet it was real good, because I have already seen examples of the thing he was talking about and they impress.


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