Integrating With SaaS Applications — Common Architectural Elements

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Integrating With SaaS Applications — Common Architectural Elements

The continuation of this series on integrating with SaaS applications delves into some of the divisional aspects of a SaaS architecture.

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Integrated SAAS application architecture

The introduction to integrating with SaaS applicationslaid the groundwork for a deeper exploration of its logical diagram. In this article, we continue with a look at the common architectural elements. A description is provided to guide you with aligning what we've presented here with the landscape your organization works with every day.

These details should help you understand both what the elements contain and how they might align and how their functionalities are grouped.

Let's look at the foundation of our integration with SaaS applications blueprint, the logical diagram with its architectural elements.

You may also enjoy: Integrating With SaaS Applications — An Introduction

External Applications

There is one element in this category of external applications and it's meant to encompass the applications external to our systems.

These can be any applications provided by the organization or third parties connecting with internal services.

These are applications that can operate outside of the organization's infrastructure, or as internal employee interfaces to the organizational services, including IVR, text, chatbots, etc. We've seen many instances of these applications and decided to group them in one element fronting all external actions that trigger a need for integrating with SaaS applications.

Container platform

Container Platform Services 

A group of elements is collected here in the container platform and provides essential services to external applications.

Note that each element covers a microservice collection and in most cases are discussed as a group of microservices without detailing or splitting out single specific services.

  • Front end microservices: Interface of business logic, mobile clients and orchestration calls to back end components.
  • Process microservices: Services for orchestration using deployed process automation services.
  • Integration data microservices: Providing abstraction between front end services and internal storage.
  • Integration microservices: Providing abstraction between front end services and external systems.

As these microservices would likely be specific to each organization's needs, it's helpful enough to understand their groupings without worrying about functional details.

Infrastructure services

Infrastructure Services 

These services are grouped into infrastructure, as they provide core functionality that crosses many system boundaries and/or are embedded with the help of code plugins.

Some are physical servers or platforms that support services across the organization and others have a coordinating function.

  • API management: Manage and expose APIs for microservice and application interface availability.
  • External SaaS CRM: External customer resource management (CRM) system exposing an API.
  • Third-party services platform: A platform hosted with services for an entire organization, legacy architecture choice.
  • Single-sign-on (SSO) server: Single-Sign-On server, supporting code plugins.
  • Storage: Large unstructured data or file storage local or cloud-based as needed by applications, processes or services.
As we look into the more detailed schematic diagrams of specific use cases, not all of these infrastructure elements are apparent, but they are core to the successful integrating with SaaS applications solutions.

What's Next

An overview of the series on integrating SaaS applications portfolio architecture blueprint can be found here:

  1. An introduction
  2. Common architectural elements
  3. Example CRM integration
  4. Example CRM connector integration
  5. Example 3rd-party platform integration
  6. Example processes with 3rd-party platform integration
Catch up on any articles you missed by following one of the links above. Next in this series, taking a look at an example of integrating with external SaaS CRM applications.
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