Embedded no-code automation: The future beyond (embedded) iPaaS

Discover the future of SaaS: Embedded no-code automation. Learn how to empower users with customizable integrations directly within your product, beyond traditional (embedded) iPaaS limitations.


In 2000, Salesforce published their API, allowing developers to interact with their platform programmatically. In the years that followed, companies like Twitter, Facebook, and many others joined, starting the era of integrations as we know them today. At that point, needless to say, you needed to know how to code to utilize the possibilities APIs brought.

In 2012, Zapier changed this paradigm and made integrations and workflow automation available even to non-technical people—starting the no-code/low-code movement. A significant step, supported by product launches from companies like IFTTT and Integromat (now Make), shaped the future of (SaaS) integrations and automation.

In 2024, at the time of writing this article, we find ourselves in a world where automating routine work and interacting with applications through APIs have become our daily bread. Marketers, HR managers, sales reps, and all other non-technical folks utilize no-code platforms like Zapier or Make to connect their tools, sync data, and be more productive through the power of automation.

Zapier user growth over time


The rise (and fall) of embedded iPaaS

In 2018, a new category of technology arose and changed the way people integrate. iPaaS, represented by the above-mentioned integration pioneers, has been revolutionized by embedded iPaaS providers who understood the limitations of traditional iPaaS, particularly for SaaS vendors.

SaaS businesses introduce new features to reduce churn rates and enhance product stickiness. However, directing users to third-party integration tools has the opposite effect—it in fact reduces stickiness and increases churn rates. The “use Zapier to integrate our tool with others” approach, for many reasons, does not work anymore.

Do you really want to send your end users to Zapier or a similar tool where your application is listed among 30 other competitors? Would you prefer that they pay Zapier instead of paying you for integration features you could easily offer in your SaaS product? These are critical questions to consider when planning your integration strategy. To make an informed decision, delve into the six reasons why avoiding integration with Zapier or similar platforms could benefit your business.

Embedded iPaaS solutions let SaaS vendors pre-build integrations in a low-code/no-code environment, offering a set of ready-made connectors to third-party applications and thus lowering the burden associated with API development and maintenance. Once non-technical internal teams build integrations, end users can access them in the form of an intuitive integration wizard or template. Activating these integrations takes just a few clicks, and their management happens within the SaaS product, eliminating the need for an external integration tool and even writing a single line of code.

Example of a traditional embedded iPaaS (white-labeled in a SaaS product)


Embedded iPaaS brings significant efficiency in how SaaS businesses build, deploy, and commercialize integrations. They know their customers best and can finally launch native integrations—tailored to their customers' needs—without the resource-demanding development and maintenance.

đź’ˇ Learn more about all significant players in the embedded iPaaS space in this thorough comparison.

Even embedded iPaaS comes with its limitations, though. As much as this approach saves time and resources on the SaaS vendor side, the end user is offered a pre-built template with little or no way to customize it.

Let's give an example. Say Peter uses a CRM and needs to integrate it with a marketing automation tool to sync contacts as soon as they fill out a form. The CRM, relying on embedded iPaaS to offer such integrations natively, gives Peter a predefined integration template that lets him sync contacts the way he needs. So far, so good. However, if Peter changes his requirements and needs to subscribe people from his CRM to a marketing automation campaign only once their associated deal stage changes, he's left with no way to do that (unless the SaaS vendor has templated exactly the same integration too, or builds a custom integration at Peter's request).

Long story short, while embedded iPaaS solutions make the building, launching, and activating of integrations very easy, the customization options for end users are very limited. For many use cases, this does not represent an obstacle at all. In other cases, more freedom is needed to give SaaS end users what they want. 

The question is, can't you combine both approaches to widen your market and satisfy users with “limited” and forecastable needs as well as power users, partners, or internal teams who desire unlimited customization?

The future: Embedded no-code automation

The answer lies in what we at Appmixer see as the future of SaaS integrations and automation: Embedded no-code automation.

The innovation comes in a few key aspects:

  • SaaS vendors have the option to embed not only the integration templates, as discussed above, but also a full-featured no-code automation designer.
  • End users thus have unlimited access to no-code automation, powered by AI, pre-built connectors, logic, schedulers, and other useful utilities.
Embedded no-code automation


It's the end users who decide how they integrate your SaaS solution with others—what triggers the automation and what actions follow, and how data is synced and transformed in real-time. With embedded no-code automation, they make these decisions (build the automations) directly in the SaaS product, without ever leaving its interface.

Embedded no-code automation becomes especially helpful if:

  • Support teams are overwhelmed with bespoke integration requests.
  • Customers demand a high level of freedom in how they integrate and automate.
  • Partners—if playing an important role in the ecosystem—need to integrate with the respective SaaS product to provide value to their customers.
  • Sales teams have a hard time explaining the value of an API product and would appreciate a visual interface to showcase its key features.

Examples of embedded no-code automation in action

There are endless cases where SaaS end users could appreciate a no-code automation environment to automate their work. We'll walk you through four very concrete examples that are very different from each other but have more complex automation needs in common.

Marketing and cloud communication applications

This is the obvious one. All HubSpots, ActiveCampaigns, or Twilios of the world offer some form of no-code automation, as it pretty much forms the core of their feature set. A marketing automation platform without visual automation does not make much sense, and the same goes for IVR or chatbot builders. Companies either choose to build these features in-house or rely on ready-made solutions such as Appmixer to ease their R&D efforts and bring their products to market faster.

Intelligent document processing

Companies offering robust API functionality face the problem of complex products that are difficult to understand at first glance and even more difficult to use. Imagine a scenario where customers use a document processing software product to extract data from a received invoice and send it automatically to an invoicing system if the amount is lower than a defined threshold. To build such automation, they can either spend days learning the API documentation of all participating applications or design the workflow using drag-and-drop and set it live in minutes. Which one would you choose?

Customers use document processing tools in many different ways. By adopting embedded no-code automation, they have everything they need to satisfy their document-related workflows in a no-code fashion.

Security automation

As the World Economic Forum states, 2023 was a big year for cybercrime. With more than 11 trillion USD in estimated costs of cybercrime worldwide, security is becoming a key area of SaaS development going forward. Today, companies rely on cybersecurity applications accompanied by SOAR and SIEM systems to detect and react to cyber attacks. These systems are, nonetheless, unaffordable for small and medium businesses, creating an opportunity for simpler, more intuitive, and affordable security automation solutions. Companies such as Salt Security, which relies on Appmixer, help their customers automate threat response and thus increase the chances of successful threat detection and resolution.

A different use case from the first two described above, but the same (or slightly tweaked) automation UI for the end users to do the work.

No-code automation + AI

Since the inception of OpenAI's ChatGPT, AI has taken the world by storm. It's probably a fair guess to say that every product manager today is considering how to implement AI into their product to stay relevant. By embedding a no-code automation designer, powered by pre-built connectors to ChatGPT, Gemini, or other LLMs, SaaS companies enrich the functionality of their products with AI.

Say you build a ticketing system that helps your customers gather feedback and assists their support teams in resolving tickets. By embedding no-code automation and exposing the automation designer to customers, they gain access to automations such as the one below that utilizes ChatGPT to propose answers to tickets right after they are received. If the proposal passes human approval, the answer is automatically sent to the customers and the ticket is marked as replied. Simple yet very powerful use of no-code automation and AI.

The future of SaaS integrations and automation

As we've seen in the Zapier usage graph above, users are getting accustomed to no-code/low-code tools to automate their work. Their usage grows, and so does their understanding of automation tools and their benefits. It's only a matter of time until they start to require such features built into the tools they use on a daily basis. 

We at Appmixer believe in and support both worlds: the one where pre-defined integration templates with little customization for the end users play an important role (think embedded iPaaS), and the one where SaaS businesses empower their end users with unlimited automation through the power of no-code (think embedded no-code automation).

If the above sounds like something that could elevate your SaaS product, feel free to start a free Appmixer trial and give your customers what they desire. Based on our customers' experiences, you can have Appmixer-powered features production-ready in 14 days from now.