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Using Connectors to Integrate SaaS Software Technological advancement in the twenty-first century has led to the rise of what is commonly referred to as software as a service systems. Software as a service is an approach of selling software only based on clients’ demands. This implies that, for instance, a software meant to offer sales, marketing and inventory control will not necessarily have to offer all the three services to a client. For this case, a client only interested in two services will not have to buy the third service. In software as a service approach, customers usually log in and are permitted access to services they consider important to them. Based on the nature of this software, this software is usually hosted in the cloud and thus saves the clients the pain of having to host it themselves. Cloud hosting, however, comes with a challenge. The disadvantage is that they are not readily integrable to systems which are not hosted on the cloud. For this reason, there is need to integrate these software to such systems. For such software, integration must be done using what is termed as connectors Connectors have the main work of extending a system’s usability through software integration. Several connectors exist today and some of these are the e-commerce, payroll among other connectors. Two main approaches to integration using connectors are by the use custom coded connectors and also by using cloud-based integration.
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Custom made connectors are usually created by software developers who need not necessarily be the designers of the software to be integrated. These connectors are meant to solve specific user needs which a vendor might never have had considered in their initial design of their software. Although custom made connectors solve a lot of integration needs, they are usually cost intensive and are hardly scalable. Furthermore, these custom made connectors are hard to maintain since they must be updated more frequently in order to keep them up to date with the software to integrate with.
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Cloud based integration works on the approach of bringing together many software developers who come up with connectors for sharing with clients. Since the developers who come together are usually very many and therefore their pool of knowledge, they are able to come up a rich library of tested, hardened and reliable connectors that can handle very many customer needs. Connectors made for cloud integrations are usually meant to do away with the disadvantages custom made connectors bring. This is because cloud-based connectors are usually inexpensive and very scalable and as a result, they handle more integration scenarios for customers as opposed to custom made connectors. Furthermore, cloud-based connectors are easier to maintain that custom made connectors.

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