Every now and then I encounter the use of standards, or rather, I do recommend the use of standards. This is based on experience and if you use standards in your implementations, especially in integrations.

The kind of standards discussed here is how your data is defined in integration between two systems.

So why should you use them?

Ease of change

This is the number one argument I use. If you have a well-known and established way to communicate, you probably can exchange one integrated system for another with greater ease.

Reduction of cost

With standards used in interchange of data you reduce the cost of integration in the long run. If you use a standard in your integration, the probability is higher that a receiving organization already have this standard implemented and the implementation time is reduced, testing can be smoother and the cost is lowered.

Readability

Well, readable is maybe not the correct definition. But if you use a standard, for example GS1, there are already definitions for the data fields and therefore you don’t have to translate field definitions between systems. Compare this with a custom definition of fields, the probability is high that you have to explain why the fields are used and what data they are supposed to carry.

Companies embrace standards

As more and more companies embrace standards, more integrations will be standardized. And therefore you can connect to more systems in a quicker way to reduced cost.

As an example Google drives the use of standards if you’d like to be listed on Google Shopping. As of May 16, 2016 all products listed that has a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) must include this in the feed, or else those items will be disapproved.

Contact me to discuss your needs to simplify and reduce your integration costs.