Building InHouse Integrations is a Bad Idea

Building InHouse Integrations is a Bad Idea


8 min read


In the world of SaaS (Software as a Service), being able to work together with other services is crucial. Companies want their software to easily share data and functions with other apps. At first, making your own system for this seems like a good idea. You think you can make something that fits your needs perfectly. But this task is a lot harder than it looks.

Building an integration system by yourself means dealing with a lot of tricky parts. You have to figure out how to let different software talk to each other, manage all the data moving back and forth, and keep everything secure. This isn't just about connecting A to B. It's about creating a whole system that can grow, handle lots of data, and protect that data at the same time.

Many companies jump into this, thinking about all the good things a custom system can do. But soon, they see the problems. These can be things like spending too much time and money, running into technical problems, or finding out their system can't easily grow or change when they need it to.

This essay will talk about why making your own integration system can be tougher and costlier than it seems. We'll look at what it really takes to build a good integration system and show some examples. In the end, we want to help you think about whether doing it all on your own is the best choice.

The Architectural Blueprint for In-House Integrations

Creating an in-house integration system is a big project. It's like building a bridge between different islands, where each island speaks its own language and has its own rules. To make a bridge that works for everyone, you need a solid plan. This part of our essay looks at what you need to start building.

Middleware Creation

First, you need middleware. This is the translator that helps different software understand each other. It takes data from one system, translates it, and sends it to another system in a way that makes sense. Imagine you're trying to match a shirt size from one brand to another. The middleware is what tells you how a size 'M' in one brand relates to another brand's sizing system.

Pseudocode Example:

def translate_data(input_data, source_schema, target_schema):
    # Assume input_data is a dictionary, source_schema and target_schema are mappings
    translated_data = {}
    for key in input_data:
        if key in source_schema:
            target_key = source_schema[key]
            if target_key in target_schema:
                # Translate data
                translated_data[target_schema[target_key]] = input_data[key]
    return translated_data

Network Management

Next is managing network calls. This is about sending and receiving data reliably. You have to make sure you don't ask for too much too quickly (which could overwhelm the other system) and that you handle any errors gracefully. It's like making sure your bridge can handle traffic well, even during rush hour or a storm.

Pseudocode Example:

def make_network_call(api_url, data):
        response = send_data_to_api(api_url, data)
        if response.status_code == 429:
            # Hit rate limit, wait and retry
            wait_and_retry(api_url, data)
        return response
    except NetworkError as e:

Security Considerations

Finally, security is crucial. You need to make sure only the right people can send data across your bridge. This means setting up checkpoints and making sure every message is checked and safe. It's about keeping out unwanted visitors while making sure messages aren't tampered with.

Pseudocode Example:

def secure_send(data, encryption_key, api_url):
    encrypted_data = encrypt_data(data, encryption_key)
    send_data_to_api(api_url, encrypted_data)

def encrypt_data(data, key):
    # This is a simplified example. Use secure and tested encryption methods.
    return f"{key}{data}{key}"

Building a system that does all this well is no small feat. It takes time, skill, and resources. And even when you think you've got it right, you need to keep updating it as new challenges come up. It's a continuous effort to maintain the bridge you've built.

In the next part of our essay, we'll look at the hidden costs and challenges that come with taking on this huge task.

The Hidden Costs of In-House Integration Systems

When companies decide to build their own integration systems, they often focus on the immediate benefits and overlook the long-term costs. These hidden costs can significantly impact the overall efficiency, scalability, and financial health of the project. Let's explore some of the key areas where these costs emerge.

Ongoing Maintenance

One of the most significant ongoing costs is maintenance. As software updates, so too must the integration. Each update from a service your system integrates with can potentially break the connection, requiring immediate attention to fix. This isn't a one-time task; it's a continuous cycle of monitoring, updating, and testing.

Scalability Challenges

Scalability is another hidden cost. An in-house system built today might meet current needs but can quickly become inadequate as your company grows or as the volume of data increases. Upgrading the system to handle more data or more complex workflows can be as costly and time-consuming as building the system in the first place.

Resource Allocation

Building and maintaining an in-house integration system requires skilled personnel. Not only does this divert resources from other projects, but it also incurs significant costs in terms of salaries, training, and tools. The opportunity cost can be substantial, as the time and money spent on the integration system could have been invested in core product development or other areas that directly contribute to the company's value proposition.

Example of Indirect Costs

Imagine your company has built an in-house integration to connect your CRM with a popular email marketing service. Initially, the system works well. However, as your customer base grows, the system begins to slow down due to the increased volume of data. Additionally, the email marketing service releases a major update, breaking the integration. Your team scrambles to fix it, pulling resources from a critical product update. Meanwhile, the system's limitations are starting to stifle your marketing team's ability to execute campaigns effectively, impacting revenue.

This example illustrates not just the tangible costs of maintenance and upgrading but also the intangible costs, such as lost opportunities and reduced operational efficiency. These hidden costs can make in-house integrations far more expensive and less efficient than anticipated, challenging the initial rationale for avoiding third-party integration solutions.

In the next section, we will introduce IntegrationOS, a platform designed to streamline the integration process, mitigating these hidden costs and offering a scalable, secure, and efficient solution for SaaS businesses looking to integrate with other services.

Introducing IntegrationOS: A Streamlined Solution

After exploring the complexities and hidden costs of building and maintaining in-house integration systems, it becomes clear that an alternative approach is not just beneficial but necessary for sustainable growth and operational efficiency. This is where IntegrationOS steps in, offering a streamlined solution that directly addresses these challenges through its innovative features, including a unified API and AuthKit.

Unified API: Simplifying Complexity

IntegrationOS has developed a unified API that serves as a single point of contact for multiple external services, dramatically simplifying the integration process. This approach means that instead of your team having to create and manage separate connections for each service, IntegrationOS does the heavy lifting for you. The unified API abstracts away the complexity of dealing with individual APIs, offering a coherent and consistent interface that can easily integrate with a wide range of services.


  • Reduced Complexity: Developers no longer need to learn the ins and outs of each external service’s API, speeding up development time.

  • Enhanced Scalability: IntegrationOS is designed to handle increased loads, allowing your integrations to scale smoothly as your business grows.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: By centralizing the integration process, IntegrationOS reduces the resources required for individual connections, saving time and money.

AuthKit: Secure and Seamless Authentication

AuthKit, a component of IntegrationOS, offers a ready-to-use authentication solution that integrates seamlessly with your front end. It handles the complexities of securing data transmission and managing user authentication, ensuring that your integrations are not only efficient but also secure.


  • Streamlined Authentication: AuthKit provides a straightforward way to implement authentication, reducing development time and eliminating common security pitfalls.

  • User Experience: With AuthKit, the user authentication process is smooth and integrated, enhancing the overall user experience of your application.

  • Security: Leveraging best practices in security, AuthKit ensures that your data and user information are protected, giving you peace of mind.

The Bottom Line: Efficiency, Scalability, Security

IntegrationOS offers a powerful solution for businesses looking to overcome the challenges of in-house integrations. Its unified API and AuthKit simplify the integration process, making it more efficient, scalable, and secure. By choosing IntegrationOS, businesses can focus on their core offerings, secure in the knowledge that their integration needs are being expertly managed.

In an ever-evolving digital landscape, staying ahead of integration challenges is crucial. IntegrationOS provides the tools and technology to do just that, ensuring that your business remains competitive, agile, and ready to grow without being weighed down by the complexities of in-house integrations.


Throughout this discussion, we've delved into the architectural challenges and hidden costs associated with building in-house integration systems. From the complexities of middleware creation, network management, and security considerations to the ongoing maintenance, scalability issues, and resource allocation, the path of custom integrations is fraught with obstacles. These challenges not only demand significant time and technical expertise but also divert valuable resources away from core business objectives.

In contrast, IntegrationOS emerges as the smart alternative to these painstaking efforts. By offering a unified API and AuthKit, IntegrationOS simplifies the integration process, abstracting the complexities involved in connecting with multiple APIs and managing secure authentications. This streamlined approach not only saves time and resources but also provides advanced capabilities right out of the box. With IntegrationOS, businesses can scale more efficiently, ensure data security, and improve the overall user experience without the burden of in-house solutions.

The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and the ability to integrate smoothly with a myriad of services is crucial for staying competitive. IntegrationOS equips businesses with the tools needed to navigate this landscape with ease. By choosing IntegrationOS, companies can transform their integration strategy, focusing on growth and innovation while leaving the integration complexities to a platform built specifically to handle them.

We invite you to explore how IntegrationOS can revolutionize your approach to integrations. In doing so, you'll not only overcome the inherent challenges of in-house systems but also unlock new potentials for efficiency and scalability. IntegrationOS is more than just a platform; it's your partner in achieving seamless integration success.