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Data management and integration

Suggest edit Updated on April 6, 2022

Organize and model your application data and ensure successful communication between Pega Platform and external systems to meet all your business requirements.

Modern enterprise applications and their data sources are rarely contained on the same system. By combining powerful and flexible proprietary tools with industry-wide standards and protocols, Pega Platform helps your new application access data from various systems of record. As a result, you can design highly functional solutions that do not require you to reinvent your entire existing framework.

Apart from integration capabilities, you can take full advantage of data modeling facilities that help you build and organize your data structure to provide and sustain a strong foundation for your application.

Pega Platform provides and supports the following data management and integration solutions:

Data modeling

All applications need data to operate effectively. A well-designed data model is a blueprint that encompasses the complete data structure of your application. This blueprint can provide your business process with a number of benefits:

  • Efficient reuse
  • Easy maintenance
  • Increased adaptability and scalability
The process of creating a data model is one of the most critical phases during the process of application development. The main purpose of the data model is to define the types of information in your application, and then establish the relationships between the specific types in the model.

The following figure shows how components of data model interact with each other:

Key data model components
A diagram that shows the relationship between such basic data model components as data objects, data pages, and data records.

For more information, see Data modeling.

Email

By integrating your application with an email service, you can improve customer relations, provide timely and consistent interactions, and gain potential customers.

Email integration in Pega Platform consists of the following components:

Email account
A business email address for handling customer queries, receiving support requests, or sharing information that is pertinent to your use case.
Email listener
The service that monitors a specific folder in the email account (commonly the inbox) for new messages and routes them for further processing.
Service Email
The component that reads and processes incoming messages. Based on the message content, Service Email invokes appropriate activities for creating or updating cases, responding to the sender, and so on.

The following figure illustrates how Pega applications integrate with email services:

Email integration in Pega
A diagram showing the major components of email integration in Pega.
For more information, see Integrating your application with an email provider.

REST

Representational State Transfer (REST) helps you establish quick, low-bandwidth communication between your application and external systems. Compared to SOAP, the lightweight structure of REST is best suited for situations where resources are scarce, speed is crucial, and information does not need to flow from one request to another (statelessness).

For example, JSON-based REST integrations make communication less complex and more resource-efficient through an easy-to-read format that restricts the content to text and numbers.

REST supports all standard HTTP methods, with JSON, XML, or binary message payloads.

REST handles requests and responses in a two-way data exchange between Pega Platform and an external system. If a Pega application requires information from an external application to process a request, the system invokes a connector rule. If an external application requires information from a Pega application, the system invokes a service rule to manage that request. The following figure shows the difference between a REST service and a REST connector:

Services and connectors compared
A diagram that shows Pega Platform requesting information from an external source (connector) and an external source requesting information from Pega Platform (service).

For more information, see Service REST rules and Creating a REST integration by using the Create REST integration wizard.

SOAP

Integrating Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) with your application takes advantage of the protocol's built-in security features, support for data privacy and integrity, and a default messaging system for handling communication failures. Compared to REST, SOAP is best suited for situations where resources are not a constraint, security and standardization is important, and information needs to be kept and flow from one request to another (statefulness).

Pega Platform is the single point of entry for configuring the following SOAP integration details:

  • Determining your data model based on WSDL and XML mapping rules
  • Testing your configuration
  • Creating data sources that are required for SOAP operations in your application

The following figure shows a sample integration in which a Pega application requests a policy from an external system, based on customer and policy in the SOAP request:

Obtaining information from external systems through a SOAP integration
A diagram showing a common use case for SOAP integration in Pega.
For more information, see Creating a SOAP integration.

File processing

With data at the center of your application, you often need to process files from external directories that constitute the data in your business process. At the most basic level, Pega Platform provides you with the necessary tools to receive incoming files, and then service them accordingly.

For example, a file listener can monitor a target directory for files that match a specific pattern and type. The file listener then fetches matching files from the source location and hands them off to the service method to parse and process the incoming records.

In addition to file processing, you can make use of Pega Platform's features to store and source case data in various storage types, or interact with other repositories by using a set of repository APIs.

The following figure illustrates how Pega processes files that are stored on an external system:

Processing files from an external system
Diagram that shows how file listener fetches files from an external repository for processing in Pega application
For more information, see Integrating with file and content management systems.

Data transformation

Data transformation simplifies integration with various types of external systems by ensuring that the data that your application ingests or distributes is converted into the required format, adequately structured, and well organized.

Pega Platform specifies how to manipulate data to suit different contexts by using data transforms. A data transform is comprised of steps that apply various types of operations on data in the clipboard, in a specific order, for example:

  • Convert data from one format into another
  • Set property values
  • Reorganize data before populating a data page
  • Map properties and their values between data pages
The following figure demonstrates the use of data transforms to map request and response data while communicating with an external system through a connector:
Data transforms in data integration
A diagram showing an integration with an external system by using a connector and data transforms to map response and request data.
For more information, see Data transforms.

Discover more about Data management and integration in the following articles:

  • Data modeling

    A data model visually organizes the data in your application and displays the relationships among various data elements in a digestible way. The visual representation helps you understand data dependencies and make informed decisions as you expand your application's capabilities.

  • Managing data and integrations with the Integration Designer

    To take informed actions on your application data, analyze your data resources by using the Integration Designer. From the Integration Designer, you can access a comprehensive view of all business data objects in your application, display the systems of record from which you source the data objects, and check how data objects are used in the application.

  • Importing external data

    To add data from an external source to your application, import a CSV or XLSX file. You can efficiently import data that is stored in your organization's spreadsheets by using the Data Import wizard.

  • Data pages overview

    Use data pages to bridge the connection between your application and the integration and to give your application the data the way the application expects to receive it.

  • Data extraction

    Create a broad view of your business by integrating Pega Platform data with data from other systems of record using Business Intelligence Exchange (BIX). BIX extracts transactional data from the Pega database into formats suitable for exporting to a reporting data warehouse, operational data store (ODS), or other downstream process. The BIX extraction process extracts data into .xml, .csv, and database schema formats.

  • Integrating with APIs and services

    You can use the Pega APIs to power client and mobile apps by using built-in Pega REST/JSON services. Pega APIs provide an extensive set of APIs to manage and interact with all aspects of your application, such as cases, assignments, and so on. The APIs are secured by user credentials and TLS/SSL. You must switch from App Studio to Dev Studio to configure security for the Pega API, which is the api service package.

  • Integrating with file and content management systems

    File storage and knowledge management repositories store assets and provide versioning and metadata support. Pega Platform can communicate with common repository technologies and can also act as a binary repository.

  • Pega Open Robotics integration

    With Pega Open Robotics, you can integrate your existing robotic process automation implementation with your Pega Platform application. By reusing your existing robotic process automations, you save time, reduce implementation costs, and improve the overall user experience by providing end to end processes. Pega Open Robotics supports integration with UiPath and Blue Prism.

  • Integrating DocuSign with Pega Platform

    Integrate DocuSign digital signature capabilities with your application to significantly reduce operational costs and provide your customers with a faster and more convenient way of signing and sending transactional documents.

  • Integrating SharePoint Online with Pega Platform

    When you integrate the SharePoint Online (SPO) component with your Pega Platform application, you can perform various actions on your SharePoint entities directly from your application.

  • Managing integrations

    Learn how to effectively manage your integrations in Pega Platform. For example, you can categorize your application settings to make them easier to search for and to better understand their purpose.

  • Automations

    Automations are Pega-supplied rules that you can use in Case Designer, flows, and activities to perform specific tasks, for example, to move a case to the next stage. You can view an automation rule to understand its inputs, outputs, and implementation, and create new automation rules.

  • Integrating your application with an email provider

    Create an email integration to manage incoming and outgoing email directly in your Pega Platform application. An email integration consists of an email account, email listener, email service rule, and service activity.

  • Messaging service overview

    You can integrate a Java Messaging Service (JMS) with Pega Platform to communicate with other applications, or have other applications communicate with Pega Platform, without requiring a direct synchronous integration between systems.

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