Each company is unique in its business needs and goals. To achieve these goals, large enterprises may purchase or develop a system that perfectly fulfills all their requirements. However, as a business owner, you might not be able to afford to acquire such a system, which is why most small to medium businesses rely on various apps to assist in fulfilling their business requirements. In fact, 65% of new integration flows are developed outside the IT department.

For example, your business may rely on Salesforce to manage customers’ cases and tasks, Box cloud storage to manage productivity and collaboration between employees, Google Apps for emails and calendar sharing, Eventbrite to publicize events and sell tickets, Asana to manage team projects and tasks, and survey monkey to assess how content your customers are with your services.

Although these apps are very useful, each one of them works independently. What if we wanted these apps to talk to each other? To get output from one app and send it as an input to another app? Well, that’s where IBM App Connect comes in.

Using IBM App Connect, you can connect your applications in minutes, whether they are on the cloud or a private network, and with no coding required. If you’re wondering what you can do with App Connect? here are a few examples:

Example Use Cases:

– Create a Salesforce marketing campaign triggered by the arrival of new stock.
– Simple automation can allow you to replace manual costumer data pulls.
– Keep your sales team in sync with new products and customers.
– Automatically notify your employees when a new sales plan update occurs.

Figure1: Synchronizing account data from SAP to Salesforce.com using IBM App Connect Professional

Integration:

To integrate your apps together, there are 4 simple steps:
1. Select your apps (Salesforce, Trillo, MailChimp, Dropbox, Slack, Google sheets, etc).
2. Connect to your accounts.
3. Select the data you care about.
4. IBM App Connect runs it for you!

IBM App Connect is continually updating and frequently releasing new functionality such as:

Support for multiple accounts

You and your team can connect one instance of an application such as Salesforce with Slack using different credentials! This allows you to have multiple flows connected with multiple instances in your application.

Application updates

This feature helps you include comments or attachments, as well as adding support for events that trigger on updated ServiceNow objects.

Application support for Google Analytics

You can use IBM App Connect to pass key data between Google Analytics and other apps automatically & in real time. Support has been added for retrieving objects including profiles, filters, goals and custom metrics. You can use App Connect with Google Analytics by configuration and data mapping without a need for coding, and can achieve a return on your investment in minutes/hours, not days or months.

Notification feed

A notification node is added to the UI Toolbox, allowing you to send a notification as part of the logic of the flow. make decisions based on that information, and choose a course of action with a click of a button. A notification includes the title and text description. It can also contain information from the flow context and up to three user actions in the form of buttons. Each button can trigger the execution of a sub flow.

Configuration of events via polling

App Connect has some pre-configured events that you can select as triggers for your flows. For some applications, you can configure more events that can trigger a flow by polling an application for new or updated objects. For Salesforce and ERP, you can now configure flow events for a significantly increased number of objects, via polling. This will increase the number of triggers available for your flows with these applications, allowing you to use IBM App Connect event capabilities to react to additional business scenarios.

Integration with IBM Cloud Native API Management

You can now take advantage of the embedded API management capabilities that are native to IBM Cloud. This enables you to manage all API lifecycle tasks from a single & integrated solution; this includes Build, Test, Secure and Manage.

Conditional logic to create powerful flows

The ‘IF node’ in App Connect provides you with more functionality that is easy to use and helps users solve many business and technical challenges. It enables you to choose from a variety of conditional operators that evaluate against one another and execute different actions depending on the outcome. The conditional operators included in App Connect are: “Is equals to”,” Is greater than”, “Is less than”, “Is empty”, “Is true”, “Is false” and more.

Templates

This feature provides a collection of pre-built end-to-end flows that solve real world use cases. Templates allow you to create flows even faster and rapidly achieve value out of App Connect. While they offer full solutions, they are also customizable for your integration requirements.

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Figure2: Template tab in App Connect Designer.

Support IBM Cloudant

Now you can interact with IBM Cloudant instances within your IBM App Connect flows, allowing you to perform operations such as create, retrieve and update on objects including Databases, Documents and Attachments within your flows.

Import & export flows

From the IBM App Connect dashboard you could easily import and export flows. This capability makes it easy for you to copy flows across your organization and IBM App Connect environments, greatly improving team collaboration.

Adding cognitive capabilities from Watson

You can use IBM Watson Personality Insights in your application flows. This joins IBM Watson Natural Language Classifier, IBM Watson Tone Analyzer, IBM Watson Language Translator and IBM Watson Discovery to provide cognitive integration capabilities within IBM App Connect.

IBM App Connect provides a simple and easy to use browser based user interface. It allows you build app to app connections quickly. You can also build as many “flows” as you want and IBM only charges you for the ones you run. On top of all that, you can try it for free, not on a trial bases, but free forever! All you have to do is sign up for a free version https://ibm.biz/appconnectfree

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