Interface Strategies and Methods

Interface Strategies and Methods
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● Integration Basics
○ Triggers
○ Methods
○ Comparing Methods
Keys to Success
Exercise – Develop an interface
Common Interfaces
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Integration Basics – Triggers
● Event Based
○ This type of Interface is triggered by event in the system. (Either something got created
or updated or deleted)
● Batch
○ This type of interface is scheduled and triggered at a set time (nightly or at certain
interval, etc.). Since, batch interfaces will handle multiple instances, you want to
address transaction managements (what happens when a record fails – one fail, all
● Manual
○ This type of Interface is manually started by the user when they are ready for data
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Integration Basics – Methods
● Flat File
○ A .CSV file ftp'd onto a server can be pulled into Clarity. The file can be processed by custom
GEL script that can be scheduled or started manually. (This is CA’s preferred method of
integration for the On-Demand Clients)
● Web Services
○ XML based messaging that makes a call via URLs, or over HTTP to request data from or push
data into clarity. This method could leverage GEL scripts, Java classes, or Stored Procedures
in the DB
○ This is the most common approach used by any industry for Integrating different systems.
Most of the big software vendors like SAP, Oracle, HP, CA have web service API’s developed
for bi-directional data exchange with their systems.
● Database Links
○ Establish a link from the Clarity DB to another system database and just pull data from one
system to another using a stored procedure or SQL statement. Best practice in this form is to
create a “view” in the source system vs. the core tables. (This is not an option for the On
Demand Clients)
● Third Party Tools
○ Leverage a third party integration tool like ITROI, etc. to build integrations.
○ Leverage an integration service – Pervasive or Task Top
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Comparing Methods
Available in SaaS
Rough Effort*
Flat File
Web Services
DB Link
40-60 Hours
80-120 Hours
40-60 Hours
Send journal entry for
capital entry
Read data from any
legacy system.
Process to read
Error object
Create SAP project
from new Clarity
Auto create support
tickets in Clarity by
reading data from
ticketing system
Process for outbound
Java for inbound
Error Object
Pull non-labor
financials to Clarity
Pull resources into
Push assignment
data from Clarity
View to read
Process to move
from view to object
Error object
*With an integration, effort is needed on both the sending and receiving application. This means that any Clarity integration will
require some effort form the support team of the system you are integrating to. The level of effort depends on the type of interface
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You are an On-Demand customer and you want to bring in Actuals
from your financial system.
You are an On-Premise customer and have a million Resource
Assignments that have to be loaded into your HR System for
populating Resource timesheets.
You want to import all your support-inbox emails into Clarity as
incidents or some other custom object
You want Clarity and your Project Accounting system to be in sync and
you want the changes to be sent over instantly
A project created in Clarity needs to be sent over to your Financial
System for Budget Approval. Upon approval in your Financial System,
Clarity needs to be updated so that the Project Plan is sent over to
your Timekeeping system. How would you implement this?
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Keys to Success
● Simpler is Better
○ With integrations, the more complex the interface is the more difficult it will be to
build and maintain. One Direction vs. Bi-Direction is simpler.
● Get it Right the First Time
○ We love agile and iterative development, but not when building an interface. Interfaces
are best done with solid waterfall requirements and signoffs.
● Integrations are recurring jobs.
○ Integration are not for performing one time data loads. Integrations are for exchanging
data between two systems on a regular basis.
● Data Ownership is Key
○ You must determine which system is the “master” vs. the “slave” of the data. One
source must be the owner of the data in case there is a conflict. Do not make the
mistake to think Clarity will be the “source” of everything. Leverage other systems to
pull summarized data vs. all detail.
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Keys to Success
● Error Handling / Transaction Management
○ Errors are inevitable when two different systems are being integrated. Therefore plan
to developing an error handing mechanism to handle data errors, connectivity errors,
and system outages.
○ Equally important is transaction management and performance considerations
● Trial First to Avoid Errors
○ Before you build the complete interface – try a semi-automated load to ensure the
“process” you have defined is correct.
○ Have a Testing Environment. It is really important to have test environments that
mirror the productions as much as possible and that the data is representative of
actual production data.
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1. Create a csv file on your server with data for the following
Project ID, Amount Approved, Amount Requested, Date Approved,
Approved By
2. Create a custom object in Clarity (can be a Master Object or a
sub-object of Project ) with the following attributes
Project ID, Amount Approved, Amount Requested, Date Approved,
Approved By
3. Create a Workflow with GEL script that will read the .csv file
on the server and load data into the custom object using XOG.
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Common Interfaces
● Single Sign On
○ Using a common ID, authenticate users in Clarity for login.
● Time
○ Push time from Clarity into an HR or time pay system like Ceridian, PeopleSoft, etc.
● Financials
○ Pull actuals, budgets, or rates from a financial system into Clarity
● Human Resources
○ Pull resource related data from an HR system into Clarity. This may include manager,
cost center, country, rates, skills, OBS, RBS, etc.
● Help Desk
○ Escalate tickets from a help desk system into Clarity for work management and
assignments. Potentially a feed from Clarity back to the help desk system upon
● Sharepoint
○ Push data from Clarity to sharepoint, including project information to allow users in
sharepoint to see high level information – status, fields, milestones, etc.
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Common Interfaces
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Contact US
Thank you.
Raghu Bongu
Bishnu Chattopadhyay
Email Contact
[email protected]
Web Site
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