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Enterprise content management integrations

Integration with other applications is a defining success criterion for ECM deployments.

The ability to move and synchronize information is crucial to process integrity and employees’ confidence in the information with which they’re working.

Which integrations are most important? That depends on your company. But typically, integration with a finance-centric ERP like Sage, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP or QuickBooks is critical. Secondly, integration with a sales-centric CRM like Microsoft Dynamics or Salesforce is equally crucial. Also, integration with HR-centric software dramatically boosts recruiting, onboarding, credentialing, performance management and ongoing employee management.

Integration with email clients is frequently necessary to properly manage email content within the ECM system.

There are several “tiers” of technical integration methodologies, scaling from simple “point and click” to advanced programmatic work. It is not necessary for an ECM system to have a “native” connector to other applications – it’s only important to have some option to bring them together.

Point-and-click integration

Many ECM platforms enable a user to point to elements within an interface and then link them to key fields within an ECM platform. This requires no programming and is a great way to connect applications at a fast, basic level.

URL integrations

If the applications are web-based, you can link information, records and other information through simple URLs. The technical experience is slightly more sophisticated but overall this is a fast, reliable means to move information between systems.

API and SDK integration

These are the “deep” integrations possible with advanced programming skills. They provide a means to connect applications at a very deep level. As a general rule, ECM providers should expose at least 80% of their functionality via their APIs.

Native connectors

These are dedicated pieces of software connect two applications at the deepest possible level. This usually results in enhanced functionality not possible from point-and-click integration methods, or a “native” user interface that facilitates the end-user’s experience.


iPaas (integration platforms as a service) are third-party, cloud-native services that enable robust API-type connections between applications without less programming.


Did you know?

Across its thousands of customers, DocuWare has successfully integrated with over 500 different applications using a range of methodologies, from point-and-click to native connectors.

Next: Tips for successful ECM implementation


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