Developer Q&A: Updater and MRI Integration

We caught up with Leon Hall, Canadian native and one of Updater’s most tenured engineers. During our conversation, Leon explains his work on the software integration between Updater and property management software provider, MRI, as well as why he thinks property managers should care about it.

So Leon, could you start off by explaining why the integration with MRI was important for Updater?

Of course – many of our property management clients use MRI for documenting resident information, including which residents are moving in and moving out, as well as when they’re moving. By integrating with MRI, we are better able to seamlessly service these property management clients by providing each of their residents access – via a custom invitation – to our system to help them simplify the moving process.

That makes sense. Are there any unique features of the integration?

MRI was one of the more advanced systems we had the pleasure of integrating with. They are one of the few software providers we’ve come across that follows REST protocol – something that we adhere to on the engineering team here at Updater – which is pretty unique! 

What kind of maintenance is required for the integration?

Very little maintenance has been needed thus far. As our list of property management clients who use MRI grows, we sometimes come across scenarios in which a certain client might use MRI slightly differently than others, or perhaps have a larger data set with a use case we haven’t come across before. But, this is a good thing, as it allows us to tighten some edge cases in the code to make sure we are handling the data correctly.

That’s great to hear! Are there any upcoming improvements you can tell us about?

Things have been working pretty seamlessly. We don’t foresee any changes other than fine tuning and perhaps adjusting our algorithms if MRI makes any changes with their platform.

So what kind of technologies made all of this possible?

Our integration platform is written in Ruby and hosted on AWS. The integration itself simply uses Ruby on Rails and some open-source Gems.

What did you enjoy most about working on this integration?

I really enjoyed the fact that MRI uses REST. As I mentioned, it’s rare that we find other companies that adhere to the REST protocol as we do. We have written integrations with many different transaction management systems using several different technologies, from simple CSV, Excel, or XML exports to systems using SOAP and REST – but it’s always nice to work with a system that follows the same architecture and standards as our own.

Which of Updater’s clients were first to go live?

Peak Management LLC, Village Green, Kettler Management, The Franklin Johnston Group and GrayCo, just to name a few. 

And finally, why do you think property management companies should care about Updater’s integration with MRI?

For property management companies that use MRI, we can provide a ton of value to their residents with little to no extra work for them. Through the integration, their residents will be automatically invited to use Updater and enjoy a simplified moving experience, all thanks to them – which is pretty great!