SQL (Structured Query Language) has been around since the 70s, but it’s still the standard language for relational databases—such as those common to websites. It may not be the most elegant computing language, nor the fastest for processing speed or runtime. Still, it’s got excellent ease-of-use and is highly flexible in its applications. Factors like these will keep it chugging along for years to come.
However, there are some complications. SQL is both:
- A very old language
- Broadly used in both professional and amateur coding alike
This means there are a ton of old websites and legacy, custom SQL databases out there with dated database architecture, or that have been patchworked with a tangled mess of in-house add-ons and workarounds since they were first put into service. It’s possible there isn’t even anyone left on staff with firsthand knowledge of the how’s and the why’s of the custom SQL database’s construction.
Old-School vs. Modern Databases
Back in the day, SQL server integration was an intricate, manual process. Databases served their collection and storage functions and could be queried to produce data, but they weren’t expected to interface directly and seamlessly with a slew of other major software platforms from day one.
Databases today are much more “social.” They expect to be integrated with other software right out-of-the-box—a primary step of the initial implementation. Bi-directional synchronization between databases keeps your whole stack of products cohesive and unified.
Contact databases in leading software like Salesforce, Personify, iMIS, or Marketo come pre-packaged with a vast list of APIs to hook them seamlessly into your workflow and share their data. Maybe financial data on the members in your AMS need to migrate into accounting software like Quickbooks or Xero. Perhaps your grant management software has to synchronize with the contact list on your website. Whatever the case, companies make it happen with a fleet of native APIs.
Is Your Custom SQL Database on an Island?
If all of your critical data is housed in an old, homemade SQL server, you may be struggling to find modern software that communicates with it in an easy, automated fashion. An SQL database migration tool is one option—you could migrate the data to a modern database (SQL or otherwise).
Another option is to pair it with SaaS solutions, where the service provider shares in the workload of connecting the systems. For example: our company, OpenWater, offers a cloud-based submission management system with a comprehensive selection of out-of-the-box APIs that can pull data for any of the submission use cases within OpenWater.
We’ll also handle custom integrations for you so you can access and leverage data from your custom SQL database without the hassle of abandoning and migrating a heavily-ingrained legacy system. This saves you the effort of developing your own integrations and rescues your data quickly.
There’s no need to have an in-house developer for SQL server integration with OpenWater. We’ll get your data off its custom SQL database island and develop the custom integrations you need to pre-populate fields, verify submissions, and leverage existing contact lists.