Three points on a paper would only form a triangle if you join them. This might sound obvious to most people reading this. Then wouldn’t you feel that it would be obvious to join multiple facets of your company like Supply chain, Finance, HR, Operations, Sales, etc. to have connected planning?
It is from this connection, Anaplan aims to achieve powerful planning and modelling capabilities while maintaining robust security With Data, People, and Planning at its heart. It aims to evolve Business Planning which needs to keep up with changing demands, by being dynamic, collaborative, and implementing intelligent planning across all the areas of an organization.
Many of you might be aware of Anaplan’s capabilities for Connected Planning, Scenario Planning, and Forecasting techniques. But, today we won’t be discussing any of these. We will focus on one Key Area of Anaplan that will make its core ability- Connected Planning into fruition for many organizations.
Keep reading if you want to know more about Anaplan’s Extensibility and Integrations, their types, and how to implement them.
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A truly connected company
A truly connected company can only exist when it can integrate and exchange data with third-party sources and systems to help establish a single source of truth. In this aspect, Anaplan provides a lot of methods for integration, depending on the user requirements and the available data. In addition to manual integration, Anaplan’s three-pronged approach for Integration consists of:
- Connectors (Automated)
- API (Programmatic)
- Anaplan Hyper Connect
This is the most common way Anaplan is used now ( People are limiting its capabilities by using this in our opinion). This is as simple as it sounds, it is the process of Manually importing or exporting flat files to Anaplan UI. As easy as going to the Anaplan UI - Data > Import > Select Source Simple? Yes, it is but when you want to have updated information or want to connect to sources that don’t have flat file outputs this is not of that great use.
As the name suggests, this brings “automation” into the picture for connecting to both flat files and ETL Connectors. For connection to flat files, you can schedule and automate the import/export process by using Anaplan connect on an On-premise system. With ETL Connectors, custom integration to schedule, transfer, deliver data can be made possible. Major cloud-based ETL partners include Mule Soft, Informatic a, Snap Logic, Bonomi.
This is the next level of Integrations possible. Programmatic integration is possible with Rest APIs. With Anaplan APIs you can build your ETL connector, own an application, and execute a batch job to automate your business processes. You can use HTTPS commands for transport, which makes Anaplan APIs flexible and easy to scale.
Anaplan Hyper Connect
Not to be confused with Anaplan Connect, Anaplan Hyper Connect powered by Informatic a is a solution that leverages the technology of Informatic a Cloud to integrate both on-premises and cloud applications with Anaplan. This helps customers who already have an Informatic a Cloud license, as they don’t need a Hyper Connect license. With Informatic a, you can connect with the likes of SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, MySQL, LinkedIn, Twitter, and many more.
By now you must have understood, at least the basics of Integrations like Anaplan API and Anaplan Connectors. If you want to know more about them in detail for any specific connectors, you can surely contact us. But again, there are some more things we’d like to talk about as they are some of our most asked questions.
Like what the difference between Anaplan connect and Anaplan Hyper Connect is or How to choose between the multiple Anaplan Integration options or How do Anaplan APIs work? So, let’s start answering these questions.
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Frequently Asked Questions Answered
1. Anaplan Connect vs Anaplan Hyper Connect
Anaplan Connect is an on-premise Java utility integration tool that automates and runs integration scripts for imports and exports. To utilize this, you need to
- Install on a dedicated computer
- Create a data integration script (stored in a batch file) to call import/export actions
- Execute the script
- Option to use Public Key Certificate for authentication
The advantage of Anaplan Connect is that it is free to use and download in a zip file. No middleware licenses are required for its use. Whereas Hyper Connect is free for Informatic a users, with which it is easy to integrate Anaplan with SaaS applications, including Salesforce and Workday. Hyper Connect has access to multiple on-premise DB and ERP connectors. Informatic a Cloud platform has access to hundreds of connectors including the Informatic a Anaplan Connector.
In short, one is a tool you have to set up on-premise and is free and the other comes at a cost depending on whether you have an Informatic a license or not and has a lot of pre-built connectors.
2. Choosing an Integration Option
All organizations operate differently, and a one-size-fits-all approach is not the way to go for data integration. With Anaplan, teams can have flexible integration needs. But to decide on the type of integration you need to be able to answer some questions like:
- Will Business or IT own the integration?
- How much automation is required?
- Are our custom API integrations being used elsewhere in the organization?
- What is the existing format of integration in your organization?
- How many data sources and what are their types are being used?
After thinking about the questions above, you can look at the infographic below to get an idea about the kind of integration that you might use for
Again, it is important to emphasize the fact that the needs of every organization differ from each other and specific options can only be chosen based on some of the questions asked above and others regarding the capabilities and how you want the data utilized. If you’re interested in knowing more you can refer to our datasheet.
3. Anaplan Transactional FAQ
We have spoken a little about APIs in Programmatic Integration in case you missed it. So, Application Programming Interfaces or APIs, in short, is useful to extend the integration capabilities of Anaplan, by driving agile interactions.
- How do they work?
APIs enable two different software applications or intermediaries to speak to one another (in layman terms), which will be helpful in establishing new ways for working with models.
- Which APIs are used?
REST APIs are commonly used by Anaplan for its connectors.
- Who is it useful for?
Both Model Builders and Decision Makers can use Anaplan APIs. Model builders can seamlessly connect to the data from external sources and keep the models updated. And Decision Makers can directly access data into the models to gain insights into their data.
- What is the pricing for Anaplan APIs?
Anaplan APIs are free of charge
- Who has access to the APIs?
Most of the transactional APIs can be accessed by workspace administrators.
We think at least some of the doubts you might have had about the Anaplan APIs must have been resolved by now. You can have multiple APIs and connectors to integrate with a multitude of platforms like Anaplan Power BI APIs and connectors or with Tableau, Mule soft, Salesforce, etc., or even develop personalized integrations.
To leverage Anaplan to its fullest potential, Extensibility and its integrations come into the picture. With Anaplan and its multiple integration models, you can leverage the “Connected Planning” approach and stop only relying on Data only from the spreadsheets.
As a leading Anaplan partner and recognized as an RSI partner of the year 2021, we can help you with your end-to-end Anaplan needs, right from Planning, Implementation, to Integration needs. We can help you make your Anaplan Implementation truly connected by designing and implementing personalized connectors, APIs, and ETL tools for your day-to-day needs.
If you have any questions, queries, or doubts, feel free to drop an email to us and we will get back to you.