OverviewQ: 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.
- How much will it cost to build the integration and is the cost worth the benefit?
- Why would I need integration?
- Do I need to push (send) data to Tracker or pull (receive) data out of Tracker? Or both?
- What data is being pushed or pulled?
- How much data is being pushed and pulled and how often (real time, every minute, hourly, daily)?
- What system does Tracker need to integrate with and how easy is it to work with that vendor?
- What is the architecture of the other system? Can we link directly to a database or will we pass information via XML files?
- Integration with the hosted version of Tracker
CostWe 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.
- 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.
- Any licensing required to allow data to pass from one system to another.
- Any long term maintenance required for the integration.
Why do I need integrationA 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:
- The cost of doing an integration is less than the cost of not doing it.
- There is a valid demand for the integration.
- Integration will result in a significant time savings.
- Other systems will greatly benefit from the data being shared.
Pushing or Pulling dataIt'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 oftenThis 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 withThis 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.