iPaaS vs. Integrated App Automation

iPaaS vs. Integrated App Automation

More and more apps now have integrated automations that serve to integrate other apps. On the other hand, there are applications such as Zapier or Make that have also set themselves precisely this task: Linking and integrating apps on a lean platform. But where exactly is the difference? When is it better to use Make or Zapier, and when is it better to use the integrated automation of Airtable, for example?

Cloud automation is just taking off and more and more apps are following suit. There are more and more no-code workflow solutions. But finding the right one for your own company can be difficult. Two tools that have made a big name for themselves in the scene are Zapier and Make . On the iPaaS platform, countless apps and applications can be linked to create automatic workflows without any human interaction.  

To help you navigate the world and terms of automation, we would like to clarify when Zapier and when it is better to use integrated automation. So, here we go

When Integrated Automation Makes Sense

Airtable (one of our favorite apps), Teams or Pipedrive are ideal examples of integrated automation. Other, external apps are connected and data is transferred automatically. Most of these options are also free of charge and easy to use. So a real alternative to Zapier or Make? Unfortunately not always. In our experience, the requirements of our customers often exceed the integrated automations of such apps.

Three aspects should be considered when deciding whether to use integrated automation or an automation platform such as Zapier or Make.

#1 Complexity of Automation

Both Zapier and Make have countless functions and almost everything imaginable can be automated there. However, this also brings with it an increased complexity: logical processes have to be understood and learned. Users with little experience can easily feel overwhelmed.

Integrated automations, on the other hand, are often very simple and this is a great advantage: new users can quickly create automations themselves. Usually only in one or two steps. Even if automations only integrate within this app or only one other app, these functions are often sufficient.

So: the lower the complexity of the automation, the more likely it is to be integrated.

#2 Experience

iPaaS platforms usually advertise their simplicity and, due to the low-code or no-code interfaces, (apparently) no programming knowledge is necessary. But appearances can be deceptive. Inexperienced users can already reach their limits when releasing an API key. This can lead to frustration instead of the promised simplification of work processes.

Also, the error codes, should something not be configured correctly, quickly become very complex and require endless searches on the support pages or video tutorials, which only cause more confusion. So: If your experience with Zapier or Make is limited, integrated automations can usually do the job satisfactorily.

#3 Your Existing Infrastructure

Maybe your entire infrastructure is built around one app and it is tightly interwoven with all the other apps. When one ecosystem overrides everything else, it is often very complicated to add external apps. If the automation of your desired tasks also works within this ecosystem without external providers, then the switch to an iPaaS platform does not have to be forced.

When iPaaS Makes Sense

Despite the previously mentioned arguments AGAINST Zapier or Make, there are of course scenarios that favor such a tool. Especially when a large project with high complexity and numerous processes is to be automated, both applications come into their own and can show their true strengths.

#1 Versatility

When you're at the very beginning of your automation journey, the mountain can often seem impossibly high. We always emphasize that automation is only as good as the processes behind it. The first step is usually to outline the process to be automated - often the first time ever. Experience has shown that this step already yields unexpected results: Inefficiencies are recognized or the process was underestimated in scope at the beginning. Instead of a planned 5-step process, a 10-step process with numerous branches and conditions suddenly emerges.

This complexity must then be mapped in a lean and efficient manner in Zapier or Make- and both platforms deliver exactly that. Almost all processes can be mapped using integrated functions and workarounds.
Nevertheless, for particularly complex processes, we recommend seeking advice from experts. That's why we do what we do.

#2 Support

Not only on the support pages of Zapier and Make themselves, but also in the social media, huge, helpful communities have come together in the meantime. Inspiration, help, suggestions: Everything imaginable is available for free and can help you to realize your automations, even if you are a beginner. Because sooner or later you will surely face obstacles that someone before you has already mastered and published the instructions for.

You may have noticed that deciding whether to use integrated automation or an iPaaS platform is not so easy. If you need advice on this, we will be happy to help you in a free consultation. Together we will find individual solutions that are flexible and scalable.

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