All in One: Harness the Power of Integration and APIs

Centralize your business through Integrations and APIs



What are integrations? 

Integrations are pretty much anything that moves a large quantity of data from one place to another through the usage of APIs and other means - be it syncing or sharing data.

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Integrations and APIs offer the ability to:

  • connect several different systems, software, CRMs, CMS, and so on
  • centralize data
  • streamline processes
  • improve user experience

On top of this, usage of APIs in general can also grant additional abilities to the user!

Differences between API and integrations: 

At its core, the main difference between official integrations and using custom API calls is that an integration follows a schema of sorts, or a structured format, with its API usage. Also, they're developed by an external source and move a large quantity of data. Custom API calls have fewer restrictions on your end and tend to move less data at a time.

Integrations are:

  • Developed by an external source
  • Follows a Schema established by both the external organization and the systems
  • Transfers a large quantity of information

Custom APIs:

  • Developed internally
  • Follows a schema established by your organization and the systems you're connecting to
  • Transfers smaller quantities of information

But if we were to go into detail and not just touch upon these items, we'd be here all day!

Another way to think about it: 

Imagine you are craving a nice and proper burger. You can think of two options: go to a nice restaurant or make it yourself. Either way, you get a hamburger to dine on! In this food-related example, the restaurant is like the integration, while you making the burger yourself is like calling your custom API.

Restaurant as integration:

  • Exists as an external source
  • Follows a pre-defined set of rules to deliver the food: The waiter takes the order to the chef, who then makes the food, and the waiter returns the (hopefully editable) food to you
  • Along with your order, the restaurant also handles hundreds of other orders

You as Custom API:

  • You build and cook the meal yourself
  • You define the rules for how your food will be delivered: own seasoning, own pans, own method, etc.
  • You are only making yourself food and, thus, are only handling a single order

You might be thinking, “Why would I go to a restaurant when I can make myself a burger?" And that’s very true. Why use an integration when you can do it yourself? Well, let me ask you this: what if you wanted food you didn’t know how to cook?

In other words: 

Integrations are, on a high level, already built API configurations between two or more systems, while your own API calls are built by your organization. On top of that, the amount of data being interacted with is also generally different, along with what type of rules you have to follow.

But these solutions offer more as well. Some will allow you to control how data is synced, when data is synced, and where data is synced, along with countless other things.

Real-world example:

Two of the most powerful and popular CRMs are HubSpot and Salesforce. Both offer useful tools, extensive customization, and diverse options and usage. But at the same time, both of these tools can be surprisingly different. HubSpot is rather user-friendly and offers phenomenal automation tools, while Salesforce offers well-developed tools and extensive customizability. But thanks to the HubSpot Salesforce integration, you can combine the pros, including those not mentioned, from both systems.

What else can they do? 

APIs, in general, hold other superpowers and usages besides custom API calls and integrations. APIs allow the migration of data between systems but can also allow custom-made software to interact with systems that might otherwise be unsupported.

Say your company uses data that it generates from Google Sheets but needs to pass it to a CRM such as HubSpot so that clients can access the data. Your company could use APIs to pass the data but also automate it.

What’s the catch?

Integrations and APIs are phenomenal tools and sometimes seem too good to be true – but they do have drawbacks.

  • Data Duplications: Duplicates can easily occur if not set up correctly and can even further degrade data hygiene if poor data hygiene already exists
  • Lengthy: Existing integrations, though the faster option, are a lengthy process to go through – planning, management, data hygiene, and so much more have to be addressed
  • Complex: Integrations, especially custom API calls, can easily become complex and overwhelming, especially to those who might not be familiar with this type of technology


The utilization of APIs and integrations can be:

  • Powerful
  • Allows the bridging of systems and their pros
  • Allows the separation and organization of data
  • Bestows additional functionalities
  • Allows the syncing of data between systems

But they can also be:

  • Lengthy
  • Exacerbate existing poor data hygiene
  • Complex and overwhelming

Though these solutions might be powerful, ensure they are the right decision.

Need help?

Talk to Pivot about the systems you want to integrate with HubSpot. Book a consultation today.

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