Plug and Play Data Integrations
The term 'plug and play' (PnP) comes from the early days of mass home computing when adding new devices or peripherals required physical device configuration well beyond simply plugging them in.
Like connecting computers and devices 20 years ago, system integrations that require a lot of data to be exchanged usually take a large amount of manual configuration - can lending system data integrations become PnP as well?
Yes! LIXI2 is forging the way, showing how the LIXI2 data standards can be used to make data integrations truly PnP! Let's look at five key characteristics of data integrations in lending using LIXI2 that are critical to being PnP:
- Standard Data Model;
- Standard API Specification;
- Standard Actions;
- Standard Errors & Warnings; and
- Standard Conformance Tests.
1. Standard Data Model: Minimal Data Transformations
I should not be forced to execute substantial data transformations to be able to integrate with:
- different parts of the origination workflow where the same data is required (eg - CRM, Origination System, Credit Engines, Core Banking, Data Providers etc)
- multiple providers of the same type of service
- different product origination workflows (commercial mortgages, consumer mortgages, personal loans and asset finance for example).
This is exactly the purpose for which the LIXI2 data standards have been developed over the last 20 years, with thousands of hours of contributions from collaborators across the industry. Why try and reinvent this wheel when it's already been done for you?
2. Standard API Specification: Easy Connection
Open API Specifications (version 3) have a strong toolset that enables integration and testing using a wide range of industry tools. Whether you are using the Swagger toolset, Postman, or building your own, connecting using the Open API Spec we have published for LIXI2 messages is incredibly easy.
3. Standard Actions: Consistent Instructions, Events and Status Updates
Credit origination integration projects usually require the sharing and updating of application status (eg. 'Ready for Settlement') and the occurrence of events (such as 'Valuation Received' or 'Credit Check Ordered') amongst multiple participants. LIXI2 standardises these instructions, events and status updates.
4. Standard Errors and Warnings: Simpler Resolution
Dealing with a range of ways in which logical and technical errors are reported across different API integrations make them significantly more complicated. Lots of analysis and development effort is spent on determining how systems should respond to these errors. By standardising the way these errors are reported, including the location of the error also makes these integrations much more PnP.
5. Standard Conformance Tests: Greater Interoperability
By enabling a collaboratively developed standardised set of rules LIXI2 effectively provides a conformance rule test set that dramatically increases both data quality (internal consistency) and interoperability. These rules are easily embedded into the build process of any participant in the transaction, so CI/CD processes are more comprehensive, helping to discover issues earlier in the integration, whilst they are much cheaper to correct.
Shane Rigby, LIXI Limited CEO
First Published: March 5, 2021