Having support for a wide breadth of integrations has become key for companies to remain competitive and you’d be hard-pressed to find a modern-day B2B SaaS tool that doesn’t brag about the number of customer-facing integrations they support. Not to mention, there are a whole host of benefits that come with building integrations.
But how are companies developing and maintaining such a vast number of user-facing integrations? For many, the answer is by using an embedded integrations platform, also known as an embedded iPaaS. Embedded integrations platforms are designed to help you rapidly scale the number of customer-facing integrations your product supports by abstracting away some of the many difficulties that come with building integrations.
But what exactly are embedded integration platforms and how do they work? In this article, we’ll dive into this question and explore common types of embedded iPaaSes.
I’m going to assume you’re familiar with what a customer-facing integration is. If you’re not, no worries, you can take a second to read our article on what native integrations are.
An integrations platform, or integrations platform as a service (iPaaS), is a SaaS designed to help you build integrations. An embedded integrations platform then, is an integrations platform that is embedded directly into your product. Since embedded integration platforms live inside of your product, they help you build customer-facing integrations (integrations where your customer connects their SaaS tool to your product). This is different from products like Zapier which is designed to help you hook your own company's SaaS tools together (e.g., to help you automatically repost your Facebook content on Twitter). When you hear the term “embedded integrations” it’s safe to assume that means the same thing as “customer-facing integrations”.
Embedded integration platforms help you build customer-facing integrations by abstracting away parts of the integration-building process. We consider these “table-stakes” features and any major platform will provide them. These include:
If you’re new to the space, you’ve likely only heard of no-code workflow solutions like Workato. But these types of companies are only one type of embedded integration platform. In recent years, the embedded integrations space has exploded with newer ways to build customer-facing integrations. There are a few different types of integration platforms but we’ll focus on the two most common.
Workflow integration platforms model integrations as “workflows” wherein each step in the integrations process is a block that executes some ‘action’.
Here’s how you would build a customer-facing integration using a workflow platform:
Native integrations platforms don’t use workflows and instead provide tools and APIs for building customer-facing integrations directly in your code (i.e., natively).
Here’s how you would build a customer-facing integration using a native platform:
When my co-founder and I started building integrations at the beginning of our careers, the only options we had were workflow solutions which we found to be too limiting to build anything sophisticated.
That’s why we started Vessel, the most powerful native integrations platform to ever exist. Our vision for Vessel is to build the embedded integrations platform we always wanted; one that can actually handle all of the use cases you have when building user-facing integrations, from ETL to making real-time requests at scale.
With Vessel, you’re not limited by a unified API or a clunky no-code UI, we give you all of the infrastructure and interfaces you need to build the deepest and feature-rich integrations possible all while significantly reducing the time it takes you to build them.
If you’re interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to reach out at email@example.com!