Unified API platform vs integration marketplace as a service
You have several options at your disposal, including using a unified API solution or an integration marketplace as a service (iMaaS)
Will review each product integration solution in depth to help you better decide which, if either, is right for your organization.
What is an integration marketplace as a service?
An iMaaS allows you to design and embed an integration marketplace—via an iFrame—into your application. That way, visitors can search for, discover, and implement integrations without leaving your application.
Related: What is a universal API?
Pros of an iMaaS
- Lets you control the the functionality and appearance of your marketplace
- Offers pre-built connectors to accelerate integration development
- Provides usage metrics for visibility on the integrations that are getting adopted and by which accounts
Cons of an iMaaS
- Requires custom code to develop the integrations
- Fails to offer a full suite of integration management capabilities
- Forces you build integrations one at a time
Related: Examples of integration marketplaces
What is a unified API platform?
A unified API solution offers an aggregated API. Once you connect to it, you’ll be able to access multiple integrations in a given software category (e.g. applicant tracking systems).
Related: An overview on API aggregation
Pros of a unified API
- Allows you to take dozens, if not hundreds, of integrations live within a few weeks
- Enables your developers to focus on your core initiatives—instead of building and maintaining multiple API connections
- May offer robust integration management features that help clients identify and troubleshoot integration issues easily and quickly
Cons of a unified API
- May only provide one or two unified APIs, which prevents you from offering key integrations and expanding your integration offerings in the future
- Could fail to provide comprehensive integration management features (e.g. automated issue detection)
- A given unified API might provide a short set of integrations and use a common model that’s limited in scope (i.e. doesn’t account for many of the fields and objects you care about)
- Some vendors use "manual unified APIs", which is essentially just a vendor responding to API calls manually (this naturally delays response times and increases the likelihood of human errors)
Note: None of these cons apply to Merge.
There’s clearly a lot to consider when evaluating the two platforms. To keep things simple, we’ll provide a concise comparison in the following section.
Unified API vs integration marketplace as a service
The two offer fundamentally different approaches to building, offering, and maintaining product integrations. An integration marketplace as a service can be effective in distributing and monetizing integrations, but it’s generally worse than unified APIs when it comes to scaling and maintaining integrations.
Build best-in-class integrations with Merge
Merge, the leading unified API platform, offers 7 unified API categories (and growing), hundreds of integrations, and comprehensive common models—all but ensuring that you’re able to offer the integrations your end-users need.
The platform also provides robust integration management features, advanced features for syncing custom objects and fields (e.g. Field Mapping), and enterprise-grade security controls, such as encrypting data at rest and in transit. Finally, Merge clients like Causal, Ramp, and Drata (among many others) leverage our platform to build world-class integration marketplaces.
To learn how you can build robust integrations at scale with Merge, you can schedule a demo with one of our integration experts.