Integration Options

Introduction

We provide a number of different facilities for integrating with Fourth systems:

  • A comprehensive set of APIs that move data in and out of Fourth systems – you can connect to these directly to build your own integrations and applications.
  • If you do not want to build your own integrations then our Fourth Connect platform can be used to integrate external systems and data with Fourth APIs.
  • Fourth offer an entire application ecosystem based on our Engage platform which you can use to integrate your own applications.
  • We can integrate seamlessly with your own authentication systems, streamlining the on-boarding and management of staff.
  • Our Analytics platform can augment any Fourth-hosted data with information from your own systems and external data feeds.

Fourth APIs

Fourth has a variety of APIs for delivering and retrieving data. Each of these address a particular use case, so there is some variation in their style and format. In general, they integrate Fourth data with other back office systems via a combination of REST and SOAP.

You can find our core set of APIs on this website; however, if your use case is not addressed by these, then get in contact with us. Our Fourth Implementation Consultants can advise you on other integration solutions and can help with development requests.

API access is granted only to Fourth Accounts specifically provisioned for each API. Authenticating with our REST APIs is through either OAuth 2.0 or Basic authentication, while our SOAP APIs use custom security tokens generated by each individual API.

Fourth Connect

If you are not able to integrate directly with our APIs, then we can connect your data using our Fourth Connect integration platform. Fourth Connect leverages Informatica Cloud to connect dozens of different formats, protocols and systems with Fourth’s own APIs including:

  • ERP platforms such as Workday, Salesforce, Dynamics and SAP
  • Fixed file formats such as CSV, XML and JSON
  • Any public APIs, including REST and SOAP
  • Data in public clouds such as Amazon, Azure and Google.
  • Numerous database formats, including SQL, DB2, Hadoop and Oracle
  • Social providers such as Twitter, Chatter, Facebook and LinkedIn

Fourth Connect supports two distinct deployment models:

  • A cloud-hosted model where Fourth configure and run every aspect of the integration for you, including the design, scheduling, running and support of any jobs.
  • An on-premise approach where we can install the processing components on your own infrastructure, giving you complete control and the ability to develop your own integrations.

Engage

Engage is our collaborative platform for connecting with staff and integrating your platforms, data and people.

The central part of this platform is a mobile application that serves as the entry point for all Fourth applications. Employees can use it to access their payslips, swap shifts or even carry out a stock count, all from a single mobile application.

You can integrate your own applications with the Engage platform by configuring them as connected apps. These applications appear as options in the main menu.

The Engage application also provides a news feed tailored for each employee. You can use Fourth APIs to publish news to this feed and send individual notifications that appear on the feed, as mobile text messages or emails. The feed can also help manage workflows for processes such as approving orders, swapping shifts and creating holiday requests.

Fourth Accounts

Whether it's your management team viewing Analytics, or your casual staff checking payslips through Engage, a Fourth Account is required for each user accessing Fourth. You can create Fourth Accounts through our applications, by importing data into one of our APIs or by integrating your own identity store with Fourth. Regardless of which Fourth modules your business uses, each user needs just the one set of account credentials, with strict access control applied.  

Integrating with your authentication provider

We can integrate Fourth Accounts with your authentication provider, allowing you direct control over who can access Fourth-hosted products and services.

This Federated Authentication allows your authentication provider to determine who can access Fourth applications. It does this by sending us XML documents based on the SAML 2.0 protocol that contain the details of these authenticated users. We can match these details with a Fourth Account.

Fourth Accounts can be created in one of three ways:

  • Manually through a Fourth application
  • Passing a feed of employee information to a Fourth API
  • Using “just in time provisioning” where a Fourth Account is created directly from a SAML token.

Inbound federation requires specific configuration and we implement it in consultation with your internal IT teams.

Access control for external applications

Many of our customers find it difficult to on-board seasonal or temporary staff into their internal IT systems. We can help to support this process by configuring Fourth Accounts to provide access to your systems. This Outbound Federation allows you to augment your internal identity and authentication systems with Fourth Accounts, making it easier to manage access control for all your employees.

This means that if you will only need to enter a new employee’s details once to set them up as users across your entire enterprise. You can register your own internal applications so users with Fourth Accounts have access to them without requiring a separate login.

Analytics

Our analytics platform allows you to build dashboards and reports based on a combination of Fourth data and information from virtually any other source, including partner platforms or your own internal systems.

  • We can accommodate your preferred method of data transfer as we support a wide range of integration protocols and formats, including FTP, HTTP, CSV and cloud providers such as Amazon, Azure and Google
  • We can import data weekly, daily, hourly or even more frequently, as well as to custom schedules
  • Data can be consumed in to the analytics platform using either our generic or bespoke data schema (depending on the complexity of the data feed), to ensure seamless integration with existing data in the platform.