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The Efficient Practice: Transform and Optimize Your Financial Advisory Practice for Greater Profits by David L. Lawrence

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CHAPTER 6

Systems Integration

One of the goals of efficiency is to reduce or eliminate repetitive tasks wherever possible. With software, this generally means the reduction of keystrokes and the repetitive typing of the same information into divergent applications. Such items as birthdates, Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and so on form the bulk of wasted staff time when employees are asked to type this same information over and over again. A database, particularly a relational database such as a client relationship management (CRM) software, is ideally suited to warehouse such data for use outside of its own functionality. However, all too often, one software program does not necessarily talk to another.

SOFTWARE INTEGRATION AND COMMUNICATION

How softwares talk to one another is through an application programming interface (API). The API is a language and message format used by an application program to communicate with the operating system or some other control program such as a database management system (DBMS) or communications protocol. APIs are implemented by writing software code that provides the linkage to the required other application. The API can be configured to map data fields from one program into corresponding fields of another such as in the case of a CRM program linking its data to a financial planning software. This type of linkage is typically done throughout the software industry. And, while the concept to the end-user appears simple, it ...

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