The Important Difference Between Interfacing and Integration

With all the technical jargon thrown around these days, particularly when you work within the software industry, it’s easy to interchange words that aren’t quite interchangeable. Normally, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal. However, when somebody uses the phrases interfacing and integrating when describing their online payroll and HR software, it’s important to understand that they mean completely different things. Understanding the difference between them could save you a lot of time and some major headaches.

Before diving into the exact differences between these two words, let’s discuss how they’re similar. Essentially, both interfacing and integration are used to pass along data from one place to another. That’s about where the similarities end, however. As you evaluate your payroll and HR software, pay close attention to whether or not the various products you use are interfaced together or completely integrated, because the difference can make a huge impact on your daily processes.  

Interfacing

Typically, interfacing is an interim solution that connects to very different systems together in order to exchange data back and forth. Nothing changes to the applications involved, there is simply an added feature that ensures they will send and receive information while acting independently of each other. The communication between these applications is limited and the data is maintained in multiple locations. This requires significantly more attention and work on behalf of the system users and causes the data interchange to fail quite frequently. The only benefit to interfacing is that it’s relatively easy to implement. However, the headaches it can cause make it a poor solution for anything but the most temporary of situations.

Integration

On the flip side, integration is significantly more complex, digging into the architecture of the various applications and connecting them on a fundamental level. Rather than having the different systems talk back and forth, as with interfacing, integration allows for a seamless transition of information so that all data is stored in a single location and the various applications are unified. There has to be a strategy in place to connect each system so that the value of each is increased, rather than just one or the other. An integrated system not only eliminates dual-storage and the mistakes that come with it, but also allows you to handle growth within the software. Instead of having a patchwork of applications that are desperately trying to talk to one another, you can have a fully integrated platform that is designed to grow and evolve over time and has the ability to handle new applications as they come along.

Why It Matters

At Dominion, we offer a full range of products to assist with all our clients’ needs, ranging from Payroll to Time & Attendance to Applicant Tracking and so much more. As a proprietary software, we are capable of making all of our various features completely integrated, so whether a client is using our base payroll package or our full suite of products, they don’t have to worry about poor communication between features and can add and remove applications as necessary. Some other software providers simply create an interface been their own software and others that they have partnerships with, creating a disconnect and causing system users to deal with mistakes in communication and an overall disjointed feeling. Want to learn more about Dominion’s all-in-one product? Click below for a free demo at no obligation!