An embedded iPaaS is a set of tools that enables a SaaS company to quickly build integrations connecting its product to the other apps its customers use and deliver those integrations as an integral part of its product.
It is embedded because it includes an integration marketplace and integration designer that SaaS teams can white-label and embed in their product to create a self-activated, in-app integration experience for end users. This solution is also sometimes referred to as a white-label iPaaS.
Any B2B SaaS company that provides integrations for its customers can use an embedded iPaaS, making it essential for startups, scale-ups, and enterprises in every industry segment.
In addition, product, dev, customer service, and customer support teams all benefit from the efficiencies of an embedded iPaaS.
Devs, for example, can save time by not having to build, deploy, and support integration infrastructure. Based on recent data from our customers (SaaS companies), 44% of them plan to build more than 10 integrations within the coming year, with some planning to build as many as 75 integrations in that time. Each company can then deploy a single integration to its many different customers, without needing to create unique integrations per customer. This speed of development and deployment is unthinkable for SaaS teams building integrations the traditional way. That approach often requires multiple months of development per integration before integrations are customized and uniquely deployed and supported for each customer.
With an embedded iPaaS, customer support can also resolve many issues without engineering by using the platform-provided monitoring and troubleshooting tools.
Embedded iPaaS and enterprise iPaaS sound similar but have different roles in creating and managing integrations.
An enterprise iPaaS is a general-purpose platform used by businesses to create integrations for internal use.
An embedded iPaaS is a purpose-built platform software companies use to create native product integrations for their customers.
For a comparison of these platforms, check out our post on embedded iPaaS vs enterprise iPaaS.
SaaS teams often wonder which tool is the best to connect their SaaS product with their customers' other apps: a unified API or an embedded iPaaS.
A unified API connects multiple APIs in a common software category, like HRIS, to one API. This API abstracts the complexity of connecting to many systems into a single set of rules for one API, simplifying the process of building integrations with those systems.
An embedded iPaaS is a purpose-built platform SaaS companies use to create native product integrations between their product and any other app their customers use.
Depending on a B2B SaaS company's particular needs, it may make sense to provide customer integrations using a unified API, an embedded iPaaS, or a combination of both platforms.
For a comparison of these tools, check out our post on unified API vs embedded iPaaS.
Embedded iPaaS provides B2B software companies with an efficient, cost-effective, and scalable strategy for customer integrations. Here are the benefits you could realize with an embedded iPaaS.
Building and managing integrations and integration infrastructure in-house takes much dev time and resources. Using an embedded iPaaS significantly reduces that burden.
Raven Industries reduced dev time per integration by 80% after implementing Prismatic. Read Raven's full story here.
To see how much our embedded iPaaS might save you, we've embedded a simplified version of our ROI calculator. Enter your numbers in the fields below to estimate potential savings from using Prismatic for integration development.
To work with more variables and view underlying assumptions for these ROI calculations, use our standard ROI calculator.
Too often, teams treat SaaS integrations as services, built as "one-offs" to meet a single customer's needs. Not only does this waste time and create maintenance headaches, but the results often feel like unpolished afterthoughts bolted on to the core product.
Prior to working with Prismatic, our customers had built an average of 20 integrations each. In many cases, they did this the traditional way – custom code and a lot of time. But that approach is not sustainable.
In contrast, an embedded iPaaS provides everything you need to productize your integrations and deliver them as a first-class part of your product offering.
Embedded iPaaS speeds up integration delivery by allowing non-developers to build integrations without waiting for dev resources. Developers can also write code for integrations without building and maintaining deployment infrastructure.
Teams are free to rapidly create needed integrations instead of waiting on an engineering backlog. Teams can quickly deliver a POC, say yes to a prospect's request, reach a new market segment, or meet growing customer needs.
Integrations can be a major source of risk and delay in customer onboarding. New customers' integration needs often get stuck in a dev backlog. When they eventually become high priority, there's often poor communication between customers, services teams, and dev teams about requirements.
An embedded iPaaS enables the quick delivery of new customers' integrations as part of onboarding. Customer-facing teams can rapidly test, deploy, and iterate to ensure these new integrations work as customers expect.
Many teams lack the tools to provide essential support for their customers' integrations. As a result, customers are often the first to know when an integration fails. And support staff struggle to quickly determine what went wrong, as they must often rely on dev teams to access logs or other info.
"Our customers now have an integration marketplace where they can connect and configure their integrations themselves which has reduced time and mistakes for our internal support teams."
Adam Jacox, VP of Engineering at Hatch. Read Hatch's full story here.
An embedded iPaaS provides customer-facing teams a complete integration management environment with logging, monitoring, and alerting tools. This allows them to provide proactive integration support to efficiently examine and resolve integration problems.
An embedded iPaaS includes:
- A low-code integration designer that empowers non-developers to build and test productized integration workflows to configure and deploy to multiple customers.
- A library of built-in components that reduces the effort of building native integrations by providing connectivity to many common SaaS apps and standard integration logic functions without the need to write code.
- An integration marketplace that teams can white-label and embed in their product to provide end users with a self-activated, in-app integration experience.
- An embedded designer that enables customers to build their own integrations between a software company's B2B SaaS product and other apps they use.
- Integration deployment and support tools that enable customer-facing teams to configure, deploy, monitor, and troubleshoot customers' integrations without dev involvement.
- A cloud infrastructure that runs integrations and handles scalability, security, and compliance.
When choosing an embedded iPaaS, you'll want to answer a number of questions. These questions can be divided into the following categories: features, people, and process.
We just listed high-level features of an embedded iPaaS above. It is possible that you don't need all those, but you'll want to confirm that the embedded iPaaS you are choosing has all the high-level features you need – as well as low-level ones like built-in auth, integration versioning, or automatic retry.
"[Prismatic] is laid out in a clear and concise manner, but has a lot of really cool features and flexibility (like sharing endpoints between all users or making them super granular with per-user per-flow URLs), inline code blocks for writing small bits of logic quickly, provisioning triggers for handling integration deployment logic, pre-processing logic to route calls to specific users/flows, and the ability to dynamically reference deeply-nested fields from previous steps."
Colton M., Software Engineer
For the people part of choosing an embedded iPaaS, you'll need to know your expectations for the vendor, as well as how your devs (and non-devs) are planning to use the platform. Will the vendor be around for the long-haul? Will your non-devs build integrations, or is that something that will stay with your devs? Does the platform allow your devs to create custom connectors (such as to third-party APIs for vertical-specific apps), or is that something that only the vendor can do?
Finally, the process. You'll need to make sure you have the right people to dig into the embedded iPaaS via a demo and proof-of-concept and ensure that it can handle all your integration requirements, including edge cases and future needs.
For much more help with choosing an embedded iPaaS, check out our post on how to choose an embedded iPaaS.
You may have dozens of customers today, but you might have hundreds or thousands next year. And, based on trends, each customer will use more apps over time. So you'll need to create even more integrations to keep pace.
An embedded iPaaS is the ideal tool to help you scale everything you need, including development, deployment, support, and infrastructure.
- Development scales as you can use the low-code designer and API connectors to build integrations with little code, and robust dev tools when you need to write code.
- Deployment scales as you list all your integrations in the embedded marketplace and allow customers to search, activate, and troubleshoot them. And use customer-specific configuration options to deploy a single integration to dozens or hundreds of customers efficiently.
- Support scales as you allow non-devs to handle more of the up-front issues and keep the devs for the truly difficult tickets. In addition, your customers have access to logs and monitoring data for their integrations, allowing them to address issues before they come to your attention.
- Infrastructure scales to match the integration load, all without you needing to do a thing. Quiet times or busy times, the infrastructure handles whatever load it needs to. Period.
For much more detail on scaling your integration strategy, check out our post on how to scale integrations.
The best embedded iPaaS is the one that fulfills your B2B SaaS integration needs now and in the future. We recommend keeping the following questions in mind as you determine the embedded iPaaS that's best for you:
- Does the vendor focus on embedded iPaaS?
- Does the tool fit nicely with your existing development ecosystem?
- Can devs and non-devs create the specific integrations your customers need?
- Does the tool enable you to deploy and manage integrations at scale?
- Does the platform give your customers a great user experience?
For more details on these questions and comparison data for top embedded iPaaS systems, check out our post on the best embedded iPaaS.
An embedded iPaaS can become part of your SaaS app in different ways, but a custom UI or an iframe are chosen most often.
When you use an iframe, the embedded iPaaS displays as a page in your SaaS app. To fully match things up with your app, you can change logos and colors to theme the embedded marketplace. Users will then auth directly with your app. This option is straightforward since it requires a few lines of code and minimal UI configuration.
When you need a custom UI, you use the embedded iPaaS API. You have complete control over all UI elements (because you are building them), so you can design and create an embedded marketplace that precisely fits your needs. And your customers will still auth directly with your app. This option takes more effort than the iframe but provides fine-grained control over the user experience.
An embedded iPaaS can be a game-changer for your team when it comes to figuring out how to move forward with a workable, sustainable B2B SaaS integration strategy.
Other tools can help with integrations, but the embedded iPaaS is the only one that is uniquely suited to build all the integrations you need between your SaaS product and your customers' other apps.
And embedded iPaaS allows you to maximize the integration potential of your dev and non-dev teams, without adding headcount.
Finding the right embedded iPaaS might take a bit of time and research, but the result speaks for itself.
Schedule a demo and we'll show you what an embedded iPaaS is and how it can completely change the way you do integrations.
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Prismatic is the integration platform for B2B software companies. It's the quickest way to build integrations to the other apps your customers use and to add a native integration marketplace to your product. A complete embedded iPaaS solution that empowers your whole organization, Prismatic encompasses an intuitive integration designer, embedded integration marketplace, integration deployment and support, and a purpose-built cloud infrastructure. Prismatic was built in a way developers love and provides the tools to make it perfectly fit the way you build software.
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