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iPaaS vs custom integration platform

If you are in the process of integrating your systems, you can use an integration platform that creates a flexible system environment where you can integrate systems and data flows in the business. It's a scalable and secure solution that makes it easier to control existing integrations. Additionally, it's easy to replace existing systems or start using completely new ones, allowing you to future-proof your digital growth.

Once you've decided on an integration platform, you face the choice of whether to buy a ready-made solution (iPaaS) or develop one that is entirely tailored to your needs.

iPaaS – Integration Platform as a Service

iPaaS is an integration platform service that companies can subscribe to. Everything in it is already built, such as APIs and middleware components, and it has predefined integration possibilities. There are several iPaaS providers, and it's important to investigate the options available to choose the solution that is the best fit for your business.

You can then register directly on the provider's website, and they often offer a demo or free access to the service for a limited period. Then it's time to configure the platform according to your integration requirements, connect systems, and establish integration flows, among other things. You do this in the service's interface, where you can also define events and triggers. After testing and validation, it's time to deploy the integration platform.

Custom integration platform

Comparing iPaaS with an integration platform where you, as the ordering company, are involved in developing the solution is almost like comparing custom software with an off-the-shelf solution, which we do in this article. A custom solution is developed entirely according to your needs and requirements, so you don't have to compromise on anything – the sky is the limit. Flexibility is the keyword, and the solution can be scaled infinitely.

When the integration platform is implemented, there's not much for you as the client to think about. Everything is already developed based on your premises, and you don't need to think about setting up and configuring the platform.

iPaaS vs. custom integration platform

Let's go through some major differences when it comes to iPaaS and a custom integration platform.


An iPaaS has predefined integration capabilities, so you can't get all data flows exactly as you want. Additionally, some iPaaS solutions are based on the provider's own systems, which can create a vendor lock-in. Alternatively, when using other system providers, you may get a suboptimal solution.

Today, many companies have a mix of off-the-shelf and custom systems, making a custom integration platform necessary for optimal data flows.  

Time consumption

A custom integration platform usually takes longer from decision to implementation. It needs to be built from scratch and we can promise you that there will be a lot of discussions, both internally and with your software development partner.

Implementing an iPaaS is usually faster since the solution is already developed. However, keep in mind that many companies invest a lot of time in investigating and evaluating various options, something that can become a time-consuming process in the long run.


The initial cost of a custom integration platform is typically higher since you, as the client, pay for the entire solution, including development hours. If you subscribe to an iPaaS, you will instead pay per month or year, which can result in an equally high cost, but spread over a longer period. Read more about the differences in price between an iPaaS and a custom integration platform.

Security and ownership

Together with flexibility, this is the predominant reason why companies today choose to build their own integration platform with a software development partner. Security can be completely tailored to your or your customers' requirements, and you own the solution yourself. In other words, you have full control over your integration platform. If you have an iPaaS, the provider owns the platform, and they are responsible for and determine the security measures.

What suits your business best, an iPaaS or a custom integration platform, is something your processes and integration needs will determine. In some cases, often for smaller businesses, an iPaaS is sufficient for the company’s needs, while for larger companies, it's better to develop a custom solution.

Still not convinced that an integration platform is right for your business? Check our our article 7 benefits of implementing an integration platform and we'll sure you will be!

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