Authors: Pankaj Sharma, Staff Product Owner, ERP Integrations and Benjamin Bacon, ERP Integration Product Manager
"You can't build it until you imagine it." – George Lucas
In Articles I and II of this three-part series we talked about the evolving ERP integrations landscape and the evolution and current state of integrations in general. When choosing the direction for our next generation of integrations Transact's development team identified three tenets to guide our journey.
Take a minimal coding approach to building integrations with emphasis on visual programming, so clients can concentrate more on the business process and less on the underlying technology. Rapid deployment and automating/pre-packaging several aspects of the technology are also key to allowing clients to focus on the business process.
Deliver reusable components that abstract the underlying integration technology and can be strung together to model business processes.
Build the capability to extend delivered integrations to address institution-specific gaps, thus enabling clients to take charge of their integrations. Our integrations should handle use cases such as:
The goal is to provide the flexibility and customizability of on-premise deployments while offering the scalability of the Cloud/SaaS models.
It is our pleasure to introduce Transact Exchange (TREX for short). TREX is Transact's new cloud-based platform to deliver the next generation of integrations designed specifically for higher education. Following is a brief description of five key features of the platform. We will highlight how the platform adheres to our key tenets.
As building blocks of an integration, these reusable components, or nodes, abstract the underlying integration technology.
Updated versions of components will be published as the underlying integration technology changes, so clients can concentrate on the outcome of the integration and adjust business processes and flows as needed.The output of a node is a collection of data elements (fields) that can be used to make business decisions and drive subsequent processes.
TREX includes a library of predefined business flows that makes it easy to deploy new integrations for Transact products or use as launch points to build your own. This is key to reducing the deployment and ramp-up time for integrating two (or more) applications.
Our vision is to grow this library in collaboration with our client community so institutions can share and leverage flows created by others.
TREX implements a zero-downtime model. Irrespective of whether a client is installing updates or restarting an instance, there is no downtime required.
Transact recognizes the changing higher education IT landscape and believes that new thinking is required for integrations. Transact's vision is to prioritize business processes over technology by building products and platforms that are easy to install, configure and extend based on unique business needs. We are confident that Transact Exchange's flexibility will allow us, and more importantly our clients, to navigate these changes seamlessly and with ease.
This is part three of a three-part series written by Transact ERP Experts Pankaj Sharma and Benjamin Bacon.
Pankaj Sharma is the Staff Product Owner, ERP Integrations with more than 20 years of experience in the higher education vertical in a variety of roles that include ERP implementations and software development. The only thing he is more passionate about other than his job is Star Wars.
Benjamin Bacon is the ERP Integration Product Manager. He has worked in desktop and distributed application development for over three decades. He joined the Transact Payments team in 2011, and assumed his current role in late 2020.