Dropbox API integration

You’ve probably heard a lot about in-house vs. outsourcing in the context of software development. However, today we’d like to invite you to a narrower discussion—how they differ when it comes to third-party API integrations, as product development from scratch may not always be the case. What if you already have a software product and audience but would like to streamline your processes for higher sales and new customer attraction? That’s when the API integrations can come in handy. 

But which path to choose—in-house or outsourced teams for API integration? Or maybe even not a team, but a single API integration developer. As the answer significantly depends on your project’s requirements, let’s start small from here.

Why do businesses usually hire outsourced developers? In 2016, the key reason was cost. In 2018, the list of companies’ motivations in favour of outsourcing expanded a lot, placing wide access to talents on top:

Since that time, not much has changed. In-house developers are valued for the optimized workflow, product focus, and easier management, while outsourced engineers are hired to meet talent expectations, reduce costs, and get rid of further liabilities. But everything isn’t so black and white; that’s why it’s better to compare the two approaches in more detail. Read on!

The role of APIs in software development

In short, API bridges the communication between different systems, being the common language they understand. Literally, it takes the information from one source (let’s say a website) and takes it to the other, saving development time and effort to a great extent.

APIs can be public (for anyone), private (for authorized users), and partner (with terms & conditions on usage). To integrate your solutions with the latter, you need API integration specialists, and Patternica can help you with this task through our custom API integrations.

In-house development team: Pros and cons

API integrations can be realized by the hands of both the in-house development team and the outsourced one. For a start, let’s dwell on the first approach.

In-house software development pros include:

  • Better control over the SDLC. The direct access to the development team makes it easier to monitor and evaluate the efficacy of everyone’s progress.
  • Easier communication. As you can interact with the team that works in the office and has similar working hours (or close to it), communication has no serious obstacles to moving smoothly.
  • Tribal knowledge. Usually, in-house developers can easily access and share the accumulating knowledge within the company.
  • Product orientation. In-house engineers are more likely to have a deeper and fuller picture of the product compared to remote teams.

In contrast, when we speak about the in-house software developers, you should also account for the cons:

  • Harder team scaling. Due to the frequent changes and challenges, scaling the in-house team can be complicated and result in inefficiencies as well as extra costs.
  • Expertise shortage. Having built your in-house team, you can have little or no access to the specific narrow skills and expertise, or should pay for it additionally. 
  • High costs. This is the logical consequence of the previous points. Also, add up to it the office expenses, regular salaries, training expenses, etc.
  • Slow time-to-market. Another con of working with the in-house developers is the slower development as some specialists can be engaged in a few projects simultaneously.

In-house software development examples for building third-party API integrations

You’re already familiar with the in-house vs. outsourcing pros and cons, so let’s switch to some examples of companies that took the in-house development path and profited from it. 

Here’s the list of brands you know very well: 

  • Netflix. This is the case when the software product is tightly connected with the business purpose, and a devoted in-house team is a perfect fit here.
  • Amazon. The company gathered its own internal team to dig into the processes deeper and share the same corporate values, which required solid investment in growing the employees’ technical expertise.
  • Salesforce. Here’s the situation when the management wants full control over the product development process to resolve problems proactively, and outsourcing isn’t the best way for it.

Outsourcing development team: Pros and cons

In 2017, among the other off-shored IT services, software development appeared at the top of outsourcing, followed by app maintenance and data centres. Now the API integrations also join the list, and, in this light, you might want to know the outsourcing software development pros and cons.

Let’s begin with the outsourced software developer advantages:

  • Mature and relevant experts. You’re not limited here by the expertise of the available specialists and can find the exact talent match for your project’s needs.
  • Global talent pool. While an in-house team is always locally limited, outsourcing lets you meet specialists from different corners of the world and bring new ideas to the table.
  • Proven delivery results. Outsourcing specifics usually means team cooperation in numerous projects before. Hence, you can delegate the task to people who have already done something similar in the past.
  • Easier team scaling. As you have no obligations to take developers full-time, you can manage the size of the team based on your current business interests.
  • Faster time-to-market. Usually, the outsourced team shows faster accomplishment, due to all the reasons mentioned above.
  • Reduced costs. Again, no liabilities for the future, and no need to pay regular salaries, no office expenses. You pay only for the hours spent on making a task.

Now it’s just to mention the cons of outsourcing software development:

  • Privacy concerns. As you need to share some company information with a third-party provider, you should care about protecting your intellectual property and be able to mitigate risks.
  • Harder management. As you don’t manage the team directly and usually communicate with it through the mediator (usually, a PM), you might face lesser visibility over the development process.
  • Integration challenge. Though there’s nothing impossible, the integration job done with the help of the outsourced developers needs careful and deliberate planning.

Outsourcing software development examples of third-party API integrations

Being equipped with the outsourced software developer pros and cons, you can now decide on what approach suits you best. But before you do, check a few examples of successful development outsourcing:

  • B2B API payment integrations like Stripe, Braintree, or Square. Patternica is experienced in adding a payment processing capacity to web products. One of our cases to read about is Worldremit.
  • E-commerce integrations with Shopify and Linnworks. That’s our other specialization, so mind this if you’re interested in sales orchestration. Also, we know how to use Salesforce for easier process management.

Select Patternica and forget any headache over the API integrations

If you’re ready to cooperate with a reliable outsourcing partner, use our tips to select it smartly or contact us at once. With our help, you can build the connection between your web product and third-party services that can positively affect your business growth. Moreover, we can help you with further IT support, which will be way cheaper than keeping an in-house development team.

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