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One of the biggest mistakes you can make in an integration project is to neglect documentation. But this blog is not meant as a “shame-on-youif you’re not giving this topic any attention yet. It is meant as a mini-guide. With this information you can explain to your project management or customer why and how to you spend your time on something “peculiar” as documentation.


Guidelines for documentation

When talking about software development and system integrations, documentation is essential. Without clear, accessible and up-to-date documentation, building and maintaining integrations between systems can become unnecessarily complicated. This document explains the importance of good documentation and provides practical guidelines for effectively documenting your links.

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Why is documentation important?

  1. Simplifies onboarding: Good documentation makes the onboarding process of new team members easier. It provides them with a clear overview of the project structure, technologies used and specific implementations. This allows new team members to become productive quickly and contribute to the project.
  2. Promotes maintenance: It makes identifying and fixing problems faster and more efficient, reducing downtime.
  3. Facilitates scalability: It helps with planning for upgrades or expansions by providing insight into current system architecture and dependencies.
  4. Enhances communication: It serves as a central source of knowledge for both technical and non-technical stakeholders, reducing miscommunication.
  5. Compliance and security: Documentation may be required for legal compliance and helps ensure security by providing detailed information on data flows and access controls.

How to document an integration effectively?

When documenting a software integration, a structured approach is a must. A tight method by which you maintain an overview ensures that everyone benefits from documentation. Here are some tips to consider when using such a method:

  1. Start with an overview: begin with a high-level description of the link, including its purpose, the systems involved, and the benefits it provides.
  2. Detail the architecture: Detail the architecture, including diagrams of how the systems communicate with each other, what technologies are used, and data flows.
  3. Describe the interfaces: Document the APIs or other interfaces used for communication. This includes endpoints, methods, expected requests and responses, and any authentication mechanisms.
  4. Outline usage scenarios and examples: Examples and scenarios of how the link can be used are essential for developers. This helps them understand how to apply integration in their own work.
  5. Maintenance and troubleshooting: develop guidelines for maintaining the integration. How updates are managed, logging and monitoring, and common errors and their solutions are important aspects here.
  6. Security and compliance: document all relevant security protocols and compliance information, such as how data is protected, access controls, and audit logs.
  7. Version control and updates: keep a changelog with information about versions, updates, and the rationale behind changes. This is crucial for managing dependencies and backward compatibility.

Tools and best practices

  • Use tools such as Swagger or Redoc for API documentation
  • Make sure the documentation is accessible and easy to find by hosting it on an internal wiki or GitHub, for example
  • Involve stakeholders in the documentation review process to ensure completeness and accuracy
  • Update the documentation regularly to reflect changes in the link or system.


By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your software links are resilient, maintainable and scalable, with clear communication channels for all parties involved. Good documentation is the foundation of successful system integrations