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The day integrations stopped working: Tech apocalypse!

Written by
Saad Merchant
Published on
October 6, 2023

In an alternative reality, somewhere in the multi-verse, a world almost identical to our own experienced a unique global crisis that caused it to descend into chaos and anarchy. What was the cause of this social disintegration? A worldwide downtime in all software integrations! As a result - everything from online maps, Movie & TV streaming services, social media, and online shopping went haywire, completely ballistic, and arguably almost set Doomsday in motion… Turns out the unsung hero holding all these necessary everyday, modern-day technologies together were: hundreds of plain and complex integrations running in the background! What integrations?! You ask? Read this funny alternative history to explore the not-so-funny possibilities that could occur if integrations around the world stopped working all of a sudden…

Disclaimer: This a multiverse story. All names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this story bear no actual resemblance to their multiversal counterparts. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products (from this side of the multiverse) is intended or should be inferred. Any factual inaccuracies, dramatic exaggerations, and inconsistencies can also be conveniently blamed on the multiverse.

This story is dedicated to the unsung heroes of the digital world: integrations and integration platforms around the world…

What happened on the day all integrations stopped working?

Did the sun stop shining? Did the moon stop reflecting the sun’s light? Did the Earth decide to stop rotating around its own axis or stop revolving around the sun? Nope. Luckily, the force that governs and orchestrates the integration of the solar system’s planetary movements continued to maintain its impossible record of 100% uptime, for billions of years and counting.

However, back on Planet Earth 101 (in the multiverse), humans were about to witness a less cosmic-based and more data-based downtime. An unsuspecting international weather channel reported an oddly identical weather prediction for nearly all the different countries of the world that read: “Cloudy, With a Chance of Rain”… The weather channel first thought it was a software glitch, but before they could realize their cloud integrations were down, everybody had already turned the channel.

NEWS FLASH! The Great Global Integration Crash had occurred!

It turned out that freak road accidents were occurring across the world due to Google Maps malfunctioning, stock markets were crashing, social media was going haywire, public transport systems were breaking down, and a major global Cloud Service outage was being reported. And amidst all this, somewhere in the world, a deeply concerned mother - completely oblivious to all this - was desperately trying to get in touch with Netflix’s Customer Support.

She wanted to complain that the Parental Lock she set on Netflix wasn’t working anymore. As a result, it was recommending all sorts of adult films to her innocent, young unsuspecting teenager, instead of the animated movies it usually suggested. Little did this mother know that apart from teenagers being highly suspect, the customer support or recommendations feature of Netflix wasn’t working anymore. In fact, this was the case with nearly all other major world technologies that relied in some way or the other on application integrations. After all, it wasn’t just with Netflix, integrations all across the globe had stopped working, and it had set off what was looking to be the first-ever… Tech-Apocalypse!

No flicks and chill: What would happen to Netflix without integrations?

Netflix, the global streaming giant, relies on essential integrations such as its smart Netflix Recommendation Algorithm, powered by AI and ML to deliver personalized recommendations. Do you know what’s it like when you accidentally stumble on a sibling’s Netflix profile and are confronted with nothing but K-Drama suggestions? Without Netflix’s Recommendation Algorithm software integration, this could become an inescapable nightmare for profiles across the world. Then there’s the Netflix CDN (Content Delivery Network) integration that delivers its content to users around the world, the lack of which can turn it from a “Now Streaming” to a “Never-Really-Streaming” platform.

As mentioned, millions of Netflix users around the world couldn’t use the Netflix Customer Support system to complain about all this, since it wouldn’t entirely work without integrations. However, all this stopped bothering most Netflix viewers soon enough, who were now back to watching the regular news. They were after all witnessing the Tech-Apocalypse unfolding before them as a result of the Great Global Integration Crash, which was no less thrilling than a flick from Netflix.

Meanwhile, on another corner of the world and the world wide web…

An old uncle stumbled on a random old article on Facebook, which read “Netflix believes it could lose $1 billion or more every year from subscribers quitting its service if it didn’t use the Netflix Recommendation Engine”. He tried sharing the article from Facebook on WhatsApp with his nephew who spent a lot of time on Netflix, but without integrations - the social media share buttons didn’t work anymore! So, the Uncle called his nephew to ask him why this was. The nephew patiently explained to him the dire repercussions of all integrations across the world not working, which the uncle didn’t understand at all. Still, this resulted in them both having a nice heart-to-heart on the call instead.

Unfortunately, this was an isolated positive incident, as most other regular everyday social media users weren’t getting along so positively well….

Anti-social media: What would happen to social media without integrations?

When the worldwide Great Integration Crash occurred and set off the Tech-Apocalyse, millions of social media users felt it first - as they woke up to their morning ritual of checking their notifications. They jumped out of bed noticing that these mobile notifications were completely missing! Since, without integrations, there were no more real-time updates. So, instead of the regular morning shots of dopamine, they now enjoyed their coffee staring at phone screens which induced anxiety instead. Why wasn’t anybody sharing any relevant or even fake news articles about this global catastrophe? The answer - no more integrations!

Protest slogans on the streets: “UP with the integrations!” and “Integration Emancipation!”

Social users were frantically texting their tech buddies and trying to desperately add them to friend groups, in order to explain to them just who these alien “Integrations” were… But, more importantly, why on earth had these integrations stolen away their basic human right to express exaggerated and inaccurate emotion through GIFs or Memes on their chat apps? Not to mention, why were they also losing their solemn right to share videos across multiple social channels describing their plight… With many of their favorite filters missing?! Even hashtags weren’t working right anymore! Most importantly, why couldn’t they effectively share cat videos to get each other through these times of turmoil?

Without integrations, YouTube felt more like ‘Where-R-YouTube', Instagram like ‘Miss-the-Gram’, while Facebook felt more like… well, just Facebook. And TikTok had GenZ ticked off since the lack of integrations left the platform without essential video editing and musical content features. Also, as some LinkedIn Business features took their first-ever work leave of absence without integrations, this barely scratched the surface of the turmoil. Businesses across the world were plunged into without their social media integrations. And above all, e-commerce took a massive hit…

AMA-GONE: how would e-commerce be affected without integrations?

Without integrations, e-commerce and the seamless omnichannel integrations that popular brands had built were disintegrating rapidly. Product recommendations, customer reviews, and personalized shopping carts had checked out into oblivion. In the absence of payment gateway integrations, the good old COD feature would actually be a boon - but only if the deliveries even reached the recipient correctly.

Without integrations, millions of e-commerce deliveries across the world couldn't be tracked, failed to deliver, or were delivered to the wrong address, as integrations with WMS (Warehouse Management Systems), CRMs (Customer Relationship Management), and shipping apps were missing. At the same time, integrations with ERP systems and supply chain systems were crucial in managing stock levels, restocking, and synchronizing inventory across multiple sales channels, without which the order fulfillment process greatly suffered. The new trend of BOPIS (Buy Online Pay In Store) was all but hopeless, without integrations.

An integrated series of business crashes…

Apart from e-commerce, many other businesses suffered from the missing integrations in many other ways. Google Sheets that were integrated with CRM systems and other business apps had joined the rebellion too. Serious finance spreadsheets turned into abstract art with formulas dancing the tango and pie charts transforming into surrealistic masterpieces. The usually busy and buzzing Slack Channels were practically 404 pages. Yet, most business owners couldn’t really care, since they were more concerned that the stock market had decided to go sky-diving. The downtime in worldwide integrations led to a multitude of errors in algorithmic trading and severe outages on trading apps and platforms.

The average cost of downtime across all industries has historically been about $5,600 per minute, however, this global integration downtime lasted for an entire day… Luckily, it finally came to an end just before Doomsday was declared! All thanks to the timely arrival of the “integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS)”.

Integration platforms to the rescue: Ending the Tech-Apocalypse!

When all seemed lost and all global integrations seemed to have all but disintegrated, the iPaaS (integration Platform as a Service) solutions rode into the rescue. These knights in shining API armor started to re-integrate the world! Low-code and no-code integration solutions alike got together, collaborating across the cloud, and leveraging APIs to connect unlimited applications, SaaS, systems, and data sources without the hassles of custom code, and by enabling data synchronization.

These iPaaS solutions helped reestablish the critical flow of data and information across the cloud and allowed businesses to thrive once more. With global Cloud Services like AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Google Cloud back on track, iPaaS platforms across the world bridged the gaping chasms in the digital realm. They restored the smooth operation of e-commerce, social media, streaming services, and many other important software integrations across the world.

Future-proofing integrations with the iPaaS

By reconnecting payment gateways, order fulfillment systems, supply chains, and ERP systems, the iPaaS helped revitalize global commerce, ensuring customers received their purchases and transactions were secure. These iPaaS solutions offered reactivation procedures, data caching, and robust data security features that were all geared to minimize the possibilities of further downtime.

In this global digital revival, iPaaS platforms showcased their indispensability, emerging as the unsung heroes who saved the world from the brink of a technological collapse. Most importantly, with integrations up and running again, social media platforms and chat applications allowed users to once more share life-defining GIFs, MEME’ings, and MEOWING - cat videos. In fact, one of the popular memes that summarized the entire ordeal and were doing the rounds across the world was one that meme’d - “This too shall iPaaS”.

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