What is database integration?
Databases are software programs that contain "data" including anything from text content to store orders to donation records. In the web marketing and programming context, "database integration" refers to getting data from one database to another. The integration could be in "real time" or happen on a periodic basis: nightly, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually.
Is database integration difficult?
Integration can be extremely difficult for a numerous reasons. First, databases often store the same data in different ways, sometimes drastically so. Mapping between these differences can be time consuming, especially when ensuring that the information transfers back and forth correctly. Secondly, data is often generated by third-party programs and then inserted into the database. When you integrate systems, you need to be sure you are not breaking those third-party systems' communication processes. Lastly, databases are often stored on different computers on different networks so keeping the data secure can be tricky. The key is to have a well-documented strategic and technical plan for the integration so the road forward will be smooth.
How does database integration drive results?
Despite the potential difficulties, integrating database systems together can reduce time and errors related to rekeying information by hand; give you important data on a timely basis; and can reduce costs.