Which Embedded iPaaS on the Market is the Best for You?

Get a comparison of business integration software. Discover the best Embedded iPaaS software to deliver workflow automation and scale a SaaS business.

Choosing the right Embedded iPaaS solution for your product is not an easy task. To make it at least a little bit easier for you, we prepared an overview comparing different Embedded iPaaS offerings so that you can make a wise choice.

Embedded iPaaS can help you scale your SaaS business and make your customers happier. As your business and user base grows, you’ll find yourself adding more and more integrations to third-party applications that your users require—keeping them happy to stay with your SaaS. 

One of the best advantages of Embedded iPaaS is that it comes with ready-to-use and extensible software components and connectors. This allows you to quickly deliver native integrations and workflow automation in a scalable and maintainable manner. Not only will you reduce R&D costs but you’ll also make your product “stickier”, increase customer retention, give your product a competitive advantage, and accelerate time-to-market.

iPaaS vs Embedded iPaaS

There are many iPaaS solutions on the market. However, there’s a clear distinction between iPaaS and Embedded iPaaS that you should consider. 

One of the main questions to ask is: 

  1. If you want to integrate cloud tools that you use internally for daily work (e.g. to reduce repetitive tasks or automate data flows between apps for yourself);

OR

  1. If you want to offer native integration and workflow automation capabilities within your SaaS product for use by your end-users.

For the former, you can use an iPaaS solution that provides lots of connectors for the most common cloud applications on the market. This tool will help you to, for example, sync contacts from one CRM to another or to send notifications when new contacts are added. iPaaS is used for your own personal (or company’s internal) automations. 

The latter, Embedded iPaaS, is aimed at SaaS vendors to embed into their products, white-labeled. Having this feature will allow their end-users to integrate their products with others and automate their daily routines.

When considering an Embedded iPaaS solution that best fits your SaaS, you should look at the following six factors:

1. Embedding Options

Different Embedded iPaaS solutions provide different options for embedding integrations and workflow automation features into your SaaS product. Typically, there are four options available:

  • External link

Your application just links to an external integration hub. This option is the easiest one to implement but has many disadvantages such as limited customization and incompatible user accounts.

  • IFrames

Your application includes an IFrame with an external integration hub. This provides a slightly better user experience than the previous option since your users stay in your product. However, it has the same disadvantages as the previous option such as limited customization and incompatible user accounts.

  • Custom UI

You build your own, totally custom UI by using the iPaaS vendor REST API. This is probably the most versatile option but it requires a lot of effort from your R&D team to build and maintain.

  • JavaScript UI SDK

You use a JavaScript UI SDK provided by your iPaaS vendor to embed pre-built UIs into your own product. This provides the greatest balance between customization capabilities and your R&D effort. Moreover, the UI widgets provided by your iPaaS vendor are usually optimized for UX and modern-looking, which instantly makes your product more appealing. 

2. Custom and Built-in Connectors

Embedded iPaaS vendors usually come with a set of ready-to-use connectors which you can use in your product without any R&D effort required. However, in many applications, you’ll usually need to extend this set with your own connectors either to your private APIs or other public APIs. Also, your custom connectors can represent business logic or utilities that are specific to your application, such as data transformations, logic decision points, human entry points, notifications, and custom DB connectors, just to name a few.

Most Embedded iPaaS vendors provide some way of defining custom connectors. However, in many cases, these connectors can only be implemented using a predefined template for HTTP API calls. This is not sufficient for implementing custom processing, transformations, or logic. It’s even worse if you want to implement a connector for an API that you don’t own (i.e. you can’t change the logic of the other end of the API).

Something else to consider is the pricing of many iPaaS vendors scales up with the number of (built-in or custom) connectors used in your integrations. It’s always good to do a basic calculation based on your current and future requirements.

custom-built-in-connectors-ipaas-comparison
Built-in Connectors to Speed up your Automation Sequence Creation


3. Hosted vs On-Premise Installation

Many Embedded iPaaS vendors provide a hosted/SaaS model. While this model is easier for onboarding and maintenance, it also means that all data will be shared with your iPaaS vendor. 

If you’re not concerned by that, then a hosted solution might be just for you. If, on the other hand, you have stricter data security and privacy requirements, look for iPaaS vendors that provide you with an On-Premise installation package. Moreover, On-Premise installation packages usually come with more customization capabilities. Note that some iPaaS vendors provide on-premise packages only to enterprise customers.

hosted-on-premise-installation-ipaas-comparison

4. Drag-and-Drop Workflow Automation Builder UI

While many iPaaS vendors provide drag-and-drop workflow automation builders, allowing you to create integrations for your customers, only a few let you embed this builder UI seamlessly into your own application for your end users to use. Moreover, once you embed a third party UI into your own web application, make sure you have enough customization capabilities so your new UI widgets match your branding  as well as the look and feel of the rest of your application. This level of detail will make your end users feel like they are interacting with a native control, which can have a huge impact on how easy it feels to use your SaaS.

drag-and-drop-ipaas-comparison

5. Data visualization and BI

You and your end users’ workflows generate activity that should be recorded. These logs can be useful for both your end users—and also for you—as a SaaS vendor. These activities and data records can provide valuable insights into what’s happening in users’ automations or provide other types of BI information.

data-visualization-BI-ipaas-comparison


6. JavaScript UI SDK

JavasScript UI SDK is an alternative to embedding the iPaaS UIs via IFrames or a link to an external hub. It provides a browser native JavaScript SDK that allows you to seamlessly embed the iPaaS vendor provided UIs (the most important one being the drag-and-drop Designer UI) into your own product. As opposed to using IFrames or External Hub, your user accounts will be compatible with the user accounts of the embedded iPaaS solution.

If your vendor does not provide JavaScript UI SDK, you can still build your own UI from scratch on top of the vendor’s API. Keep in mind that this will require effort from your R&D, especially if you’re planning on exposing a drag-and-drop workflow designer UI in your product. In that case, make sure your iPaaS vendor provides an API that allows you to create new workflow automations and update existing ones, which is not always the case.

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Market Comparison of Embedded iPaaS Solutions

Now that you understand the six key factors to consider when choosing an Embedded iPaaS to support your SaaS development according to your needs, let’s compare how current Embedded iPaaS solutions available on the market measure up to each factor.

Tray.io

tray.io

Tray.io is originally an iPaaS solution that only recently extended their product to provide Embedded iPaaS features. Tray.io now allows you to create integrations in a visual drag-and-drop builder UI and configure an integration wizard for your end users to complete. Embedding Tray.io in your product can be done either via a link or an IFrame to an external hub or via a custom UI build on top of their API (with the exception of their drag-and-drop builder UI which you cannot embed natively).

With Tray.io, you will have access to a lot of ready-to-use connectors to the most common cloud applications (450+). However, custom connectors can only be made upon request to the Tray.io team or using their Universal HTTP client connector (with limited customization capabilities).

Tray.io is best suited for larger enterprises that do not seek to implement a lot of custom connectors to their own private APIs and do not require to have a drag-and-drop workflow automation builder UI as part of their products. Tray.io is mostly used by companies as a traditional iPaaS solution to automate internal business processes.

Cyclr

cyclr

Cyclr is an Embedded iPaaS that provides both hosted and an on-premise installation package. The on-premise package is available only to Enterprise customers. You should be aware and cautious that the pricing model of Cyclr quickly scales with the number of transactions and connectors used in integrations (3, 10, …). A good advantage of Cyclr is that it provides tooling to build custom connectors and UI that can be embedded with IFrames or built from scratch on top of their API.

Cyclr is suitable for smaller startups that do not require embedding drag-and-drop workflow automation builder UI in their products and that do not have a need to use a lot of connectors.

Blendr

blendr

Blendr is an Embedded iPaaS platform originally built for SaaS companies in the EventTech sector. However, the platform is generic enough to provide integrations for companies in other sectors too. Blendr is a hosted SaaS product with an on-premise package available to enterprise customers only. Custom connectors are also available to enterprise customers only. Blendr can be embedded either with an IFrame or via building a UI from scratch on top of the Blendr API.

Blendr is suited for small and medium sized SaaS businesses, especially from the EventTech sector but also in Accounting, HR and other sectors too.

Elastic.io

elastic.io

Elastic is mainly an iPaaS with some embedding features. A hosted solution is provided, which allows embedding via branding of their hosted UIs and linking to their integration hub with an external link. You also have the possibility to implement custom connectors in NodeJS or Java.
Elastic’s main target audience is companies in the Retail sector.

Cloud Elements

Cliud-Elements

Cloud Elements does not provide a real Embedded iPaaS but it’s worth mentioning as an alternative. Cloud Elements is a cloud API integration platform that enables developers to publish, integrate, aggregate, and manage all of their APIs through a unified platform. Even though Cloud Elements provides a drag-and-drop workflow automation builder UI, it is not meant to be embedded into third party products.
New connectors can be introduced only via a declarative JSON specification using the Cloud Elements provided framework (HTTP GET, POST, Webhooks, Polling). That gives you a quick way to connect to a standard HTTP API. However, it does not allow you to build custom logic or connect to an API that does not follow Cloud Elements’ requirements.

Appmixer

appmixer

Appmixer is a pure Embedded iPaaS solution with many embedding options (IFrames, External Hub, JavaScript SDK, API). Next to the 50+ ready-to-use connectors provided out of the box, Appmixer was built from the ground up to allow for an unlimited number of completely custom connectors to any private or public API (including other than HTTP protocols). Appmixer provides a server-less architecture for custom connectors built in NodeJS.

Appmixer is best suited for SaaS SMB companies especially in the Cloud Communications, MarTech, AI, Finance, Big Data and Gaming sectors, among others. Appmixer specializes in providing not only an integration and workflow automation platform but also in all visual UIs related to these platforms (embeddable drag-and-drop workflow designer UI, data visualization, workflow management, and so on).


Comparison Chart of Embedded iPaaS Solutions

Here’s a chart for a quick, at-a-glance comparison of the Embedded iPaaS solutions discussed.


Summary

As with any other technology or product, choosing the right one is not easy. Hopefully, this overview has helped to clear the confusion or overwhelm so you have a good head start to continue with your follow-up research. Since you’re considering embedding a third party technology into your product, it is always important to have the opportunity to try it out before buying. Make sure to contact your iPaaS vendor and discuss trial options.

Appmixer provides a free 30-day trial that gives you enough time to learn, experiment and build a quick proof-of-concept. Appmixer’s engineering team is ready to assist you. Contact our sales representative to request a trial or book a free demo meeting.

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