The integration and management of data is a central issue in today’s system landscapes of all companies. Business processes are not limited to the space within a system, but extend across any number of systems. Potential often remains untapped because processes cannot be modeled across systems – data simply does not flow across systems. This inhibits internal processes and thus ultimately works to the disadvantage of the customer.
Zapier vs. Marini Systems
Data integration is not an end in itself. It is merely a means to an end, but an essential and necessary one at that. There are numerous iPaaS solutions on the rather non-transparent market. Which one is the right one for one’s own purposes is usually difficult to identify. Therefore, we compare the integration platform from Zapier with the Enterprise Data Integration platform from Marini Systems, consisting of the HubEngine and DataEngine components.
What do the integration platforms offer?
The Enterprise Data Integration Platform consists of two basic components: the HubEngine and the DataEngine. While the HubEngine specializes in data exchange between APIs and thus enables synchronization between systems, the DataEngine is designed for data management and ETL. Both cloud and on-premises integrations are supported. The platform follows a consistent and user-friendly no-coding principle. All common systems are available to be linked. Applications, microservices or databases can be linked without any problems. If a system is not available for selection, we will develop the appropriate connector for you.
Ease of use
HubEngine is specially designed to provide a simple user interface and intuitive operation. It can be operated even without technical knowledge. Therefore, HubEngine can be used as a self-service product, but usually our integration experts do the setup for you. Systems are synchronized within a few hours, including planning, tuning and testing.
ETL for each case
As soon as an integration becomes more complex, i.e. data is to be transformed (aggregated, disaggregated, enriched, consolidated, translated, etc.) before synchronization, the DataEngine comes into play. In addition, the DataEngine still has a user interface and thus provides a view of your data and visualizes it. Theoretically, reports, diagrams and charts are possible. The DataEngine – as a data layer – offers all possibilities to perform simple as well as complex data transformations. These can of course be done in the user interface – without writing a line of code.
Zapier’s web-based service allows users to integrate applications via workflows. Users define triggers that trigger the respective workflows. Workflows are quickly assembled with just a few clicks and are referred to as “Zaps”. In total, there are over 750 predefined zaps to choose from (equivalent to connectors). Zapier offers additional “built-in” functions such as e-mail and SMS dispatch, RSS, calendar, translator or developer tools such as code or webhooks. On-premises services, on the other hand, are not supported by Zapier.
Ease of use
Zapier’s service is based on a no-coding approach, is easy to understand and quick to use. Pure synchronization integrations are possible in principle, but must be mapped via numerous triggers and actions. Therefore, bidirectional synchronizations quickly become a complex matter. Separate workflows must be created for each case (update, create, delete).
Simple process control, but complicated synchronization
If data is to go through an ETL process, this must be regulated by individual programming using code. However, this option is limited because the data from the systems cannot be cached. Furthermore, the workflows are not designed for processing large amounts of data, since they are record-level workflows. As a result, performance limits can quickly be reached.
At a glance
|Facts||Enterprise Data Integration Platform||Zapier|
|Costs||Low-cost entry possible||From $240 per year ($20 per month)|
|Fares||Fares depending on processing volume
||Different tariffs depending on usage
|Usability||Simple to medium||Very simple|
|Setup||Self-service or setup by us||Self-Service|
|Extension||Self-service or set-up by us (e.g. project contract)||Self-Service|
|ETL-Layer||Yes||Yes, but limited|
|Hosting||100% Germany||US Server (as of 21-21)|
|Modeling APIs||Not included||Yes, modelable|
|Connection of applicatons||Check availability (List is constantly being expanded)||Check availability|
|Scalability||Automatic scaling||Yes, but expensive|
|Runtime||Min. 1 year||Cancellable monthly|
Data security and GDPR
The Enterprise Data Integration Platform is robust and secure. We work according to the principle of “Security by Design”. All components are 100% GDPR compliant. Of course, all services are hosted exclusively in Germany. If you want to learn more, you can find more information in our Trust Center.
Zapier provides a detailed description of its security and compliance measures here. These include user account security, change management, monitoring and vulnerability management. Zapier can be used in a DSGVO-compliant manner (source). Hosting in Europe or Germany is currently not yet available (as of 12-21).
The Enterprise Data Integration Platform prices the HubEngine and DataEngine components individually, as they can also be booked independently of each other. The rates and options are transparent and primarily based on the usage of the individual components. We offer low entry prices per component per month. Thus, even simple integrations can be realized at a reasonable price. For an estimation of your costs you can ask here.
Compared to Zapier, we don’t primarily charge for the tasks (compare with API calls with us), but for the number of records in your systems that are kept in sync.
For a comparable setup with us you pay between 500 € and 850 € per month.
The cost of Zapier varies greatly depending on the use of the integrations. The basis for the price is the number of workflows (zaps) and number of executions (tasks). The cheapest and probably most sensible option for most companies is the Professional Package, which costs about $600 per year.
Here the zaps are unlimited, but the tasks are limited to 2,000 per month. These can be increased (e.g. 50,000 tasks for approx. 250 $/month). In the Company tariff with all functions, for example, you pay at least $1,380/month for 500,000 tasks.
HubEngine allows you to view all relevant statistics of your plans in real time. The statistics and visualizations include logs, API calls, relations and plan executions. In addition to the live view, the historical view is also available. In the DataEngine, you can build custom reports, charts, and dashboards across all data. This way you always have an overview of movement and master data.
The dashboards allow users to create, manage and organize zaps. A task history (executions of the zaps) is also available. The history is available for 7 or more days, allowing users to monitor activities and failures. There is no native Insights or Analytics data.
Automation of processes can also be realized via our platform. With the DataEngine as ETL layer, the possibilities of process control are almost unlimited. Data can be validated, transformed (e.g. translated), enriched, merged or entities can be resolved. So, depending on the process, you can shape your data accordingly. The implementation time and difficulty is somewhat higher, but the possibilities are much more diverse.
This is where Zapier comes into its own. Already defined processes can be automated simply and quickly. For example: A lead is entered into Marketing Automation and is to be transferred to the CRM system. Such processes are quickly set up with Zapier and the partial integration is completed. However, as soon as the process requires certain ETL steps, Zapier reaches its limits. For this, it needs an additional and suitable system.
In the decentralized platform, all your systems are networked and your data is constantly kept synchronized and consistent. Here, synchronization is usually independent of processes, but reacts to changes in the data in the systems. You can virtually plug the systems together and keep them synchronized without having to worry about specific cases of data change.
Zapier can be used as a decentralized platform. However, because the integration is process-oriented, it can quickly become complex and confusing. With many systems in use and complex entanglements of data, many different cases may need to be considered: What happens where when data is deleted, changed, or created?
With the Marini Systems Enterprise Data Integration Platform we offer you an actual CDP. You can merge all data, whether master data or any transaction data in the platform using HubEngine. In the DataEngine – as data layer – the data is stored. Here you have the central view of the customer. We offer you an actual system for logging in, not a platform that just moves data around. If you don’t need the data layer, the DataEngine operates in the dark, with the option to display the data visually at any time via a user interface – you just have to log in.
To our knowledge, Zapier does not offer CDP. To get a centralized view of the customer (dashboards, tables) it needs another system such as a CRM system (which may not be designed to act as a CDP). Zapier can be used to route the data there.
The Enterprise Data Integration Platform from Marini Systems is endpoint independent. Using the HubEngine, you can synchronize and link all systems. If you want to transform, enrich, control or view your data, you can interpose the DataEngine – as a data layer. This allows you to model each of your processes individually, regardless of the system or department. We offer you all the associated professional services – from planning to setup.
Zapier’s service is primarily aimed at companies that manage small amounts of data and where simple and easy to describe processes exist. Zapier is well suited for sole proprietors, micro-entrepreneurs, and individuals. The operation and setup of Zapier is simple and easy to understand.