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RMS Integrations

Overview

Q: Does Tracker integrate with other RMS or systems that collect evidence data? A. Simply put, it is possible. There are several factors that come in to play when dealing with a possible integration and many more things that you need to take into account.

  1. How much will it cost to build the integration and is the cost worth the benefit?
  2. Why would I need integration?
  3. Do I need to push (send) data to Tracker or pull (receive) data out of Tracker? Or both?
  4. What data is being pushed or pulled?
  5. How much data is being pushed and pulled and how often (real time, every minute, hourly, daily)?
  6. What system does Tracker need to integrate with and how easy is it to work with that vendor?
  7. What is the architecture of the other system? Can we link directly to a database or will we pass information via XML files?
  8. Integration with the hosted version of Tracker
  9. Example

Cost

We start with cost because this is typically the bottom line and the most important factor in determining whether or not you will want or need an integration of data. There are three line items that will typically determine a cost of getting an integration done.

  1. Programming work to pass data from one system to another. This is typically a one time cost to get the work done. In many cases the RMS vendor will do the work but in some cases we (Tracker) will do the work.
  2. Any licensing required to allow data to pass from one system to another.
  3. Any long term maintenance required for the integration.

Why do I need integration

A lot of agencies think they need to integrate systems just because it sounds like a good idea. This guide was designed to help you consider the facts about data integration. Here are a few things that will help you determine whether or not you need to pursue integration:

  1. The cost of doing an integration is less than the cost of not doing it.
  2. There is a valid demand for the integration.
  3. Integration will result in a significant time savings.
  4. Other systems will greatly benefit from the data being shared.

Pushing or Pulling data

It's important to understand which system is pushing the data and which is receiving. In most integrations, Case and Person data is being injected into the Safe application and Item data is being pulled back out.

How much data is being pushed or pulled and how often

This typically has little effect on the cost of an integration but it should be discussed. This will help in determining if there are any network issues to take in to account when building the integration.

What system is Tracker integrating with

This is typically the biggest hurdle in any integration. We have worked with vendors that are very pleasant to work with and we have unfortunately, had some people that were rather difficult or refused to help. It is a necessity that we have participation from the other vendor or designer in order to build the bridge for data to flow. In some cases, we have circumvented the vendor or designer all together, but this is NOT the ideal solution.

We have completed integrations with many systems in the past, however, there are no other systems that we integrate with out of the box. All integrations will require some level of setup and customization.

What is the architecture of the other system

We need to know as much as possible about the other system and how it was developed. Can data be pushed to or pulled from another database? If so, what type of database is it? Will we be doing a direct data push/pull OR will we be passing stored data through files, such as XML or other types?

Access to Data

For most Safe clients you are using our cloud based SaaS system and your data is in a location that we don't have access too. This might be a consideration unless both systems are cloud based with API available systems.

Why not just port Item(s) from RMS to Safe

The most important feature of the Safe application is the entry and tracking of evidence items. In most cases, our system is collecting far more data than the RMS system is tracking. If your RMS does NOT collect all the data that is being collected in Safe then you will lose many of the Safe features because of missing data. It is far better to have your users entering data into Safe and then draw from that data back into the RMS system.