Not many decades ago, time tracking and invoices were written on paper sheets and sent with a postage stamp in the mail. There was that smell of warm freshly produced paper coming from the copier all day long, and large piles of documents were put in binders to be reviewed by Accountant Olsen. There is just something nostalgic about that old punching machine and putting that nicely folded invoice in an envelope. But let’s be honest, it is quite inefficient - and expensive.
Today useful software and automated processes have replaced this.
A modern office today tracks hours sends out invoices and manages all their projects in a system up in the cloud. Even accountant Olsen is in control over all numbers and figures in his own system. When both systems can communicate together, we can save time by avoiding manual duplications and make sure that we always have up-to-date and correct numbers available to anyone who needs it.
To achieve this, someone would need to set up an integration.
We reached out to Helene, who is in charge of the development of Moment, to learn more about the benefits of integration.
In Moment, Helene and her team are responsible for this and they are always making sure things run smoothly. Helene has been working as a developer for 15 years and has implemented integrations in various systems.
First, simply explained - what is integration?
For most people, integration is about transferring information from one end to the other. For example, it may be an invoice going from Moment into an external accounting system.
To be more detailed: Most often, the recipient will not be able to interpret what you are trying to send because the information (in this example, the invoice) has a different structure and is built up differently. Then you would need to reshape the information to fit the specific recipient. Finally, the relevant information should be equal on both sides. To do this transformation, we need to write codes. The other day we had an invoice that had to be transferred from Moment to an accounting system, and the system required that the figures were entered in cents or decimals. Then we had to change from Norwegian “kroner” by multiplying the amount by a hundred. There are small details that vary from each time we set up a new integration and when the external system makes changes.
Metaphorically we can say that integration is the bridge where
the information crosses from one side to the other.
Helene illustrates this with lego blocks.
Integration, from Latin integrare - "bring back to original condition, make whole"
What are the benefits of having integrations?
- You avoid duplication, it saves time and money on administrational and monotonous work.
- You reduce the risk of errors. The program moves each element, field by field, without changing the content.
- Get the most out of the systems your company has acquired.
What is it like to work as a developer and be responsible for integrations?
I like to alternate between meeting customers and being back at my desk and taking part in the technical development. I believe meeting customers is important, like that I will get a better understanding of what the customer really needs. For me, it’s very motivating to create things that are useful and that others can enjoy using.
When it comes to integrations, we are a committed team of developers dedicated to this work. It requires deep focus and you need to be careful and cautious about the details. We spend a lot of time on testing, as well as on maintenance and updates. It is interesting to constantly find ways to improve the code so that things go faster, safer, and more clearly. We often develop the integrations based on customer’s feedback. Sometimes we find that changes are made to the external system, eg. change of data type on fields or access control. Then we need to follow up and make sure that it does not affect existing setups. If something goes wrong, it is incredibly important to get it fixed as soon as possible, so we always make sure to establish good communication and contact with our integration partners. Both parties are committed to providing stable services to our common customers, so we usually always manage to detect the problem and then find a solution to it.
What can Moment be integrated with?
We offer integrations with over 50 systems. For accounting, we have integration to the most well-known accounting systems on the market, such as Tripletex, PowerOffice GO, Azets Connect, Visma, Navision, and Xledger. If we do not support the integration towards a different system that a company needs, we have the opportunity to create this. We also have integrations with systems other than accounting, such as Jira, for task management. As long as the external system has good interfaces (APIs), we will be able to transfer most of it.
Sometimes a so-called file-based integration is an alternative solution, which means that files are created and then read elsewhere. But we prefer to use available APIs to avoid manual steps in the process.
We are also open to external systems connecting to our API to retrieve or push data, on behalf of the customer. We will see more of this in the future, and here we will be launching more information and opportunities.