November 08, 2023

Vision33 The Saltbox Platform: Managing Accela Integrations With a Cloud Platform

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Blog > Vision33 The Saltbox Platform: Managing Accela Integrations With a Cloud Platform

The Saltbox Platform from Vision33

Local government is changing. If you work for a city, county, or even a state or province, you’ve probably seen the transformation. It started when you began adopting online customer interactions and moved away from paper forms and in-office visits.

Your destination may look like this: Customers use a single portal to pull permits and pay fees, plan reviews are automatically routed among your departments, and it’s easy to extract business intelligence from your data. You’ll see turnaround times for permits and reviews drop—a lot.

That all sounds great. But how do you get there?

By integrating your applications with cloud-based solutions. When you integrate your systems, you say goodbye to data duplication and hello to improved data quality and useful analytics; you also escape the dreaded upgrade cycle. The roadblocks preventing your vision disappear, and your digital transformation journey is complete.

However, integrating is difficult and expensive, with technical and budget limitations that can block your way—which sounds like a whole lot of no fun.

Fortunately, Vision33 has a product called The Saltbox Platform, an integration platform as a service (iPaaS) solution that makes your life easier! With Saltbox, there’s no more complexity, technical limitations, or high costs.

Here’s how.


Suppose you have an application in these common categories of local government software: Permitting and licensing, plan review, GIS, calendaring, payment providers, financial systems, document management, asset management, markup, state licensing, and 311/service request—and you want to integrate them all. That’s 55 connections. (Thank you, math!)

But with Saltbox, each system communicates with just Saltbox, so you need only 11 connections. That’s a whole lot simpler.

Technical Limitations

There are many ways your integrations can be blocked. Here are two real-world examples of problems Saltbox helped governments overcome:

Allocating payments to accounts

With the default payment message from Accela, payment processors can’t determine where to deposit your fee payments. The building department? Planning?

After being notified by Accela that a user wants to make a payment, Saltbox reaches back into Accela via the Construct API to retrieve more information about that payment, then completes the action by contacting the payment provider.

Digital certificates

When one Vision33 client tried to integrate Accela with ClientSavvy, a user email survey system, they got nothing but errors when trying to connect with its REST API. The API was digitally signed with a certificate from a legitimate Certificate Authority (CA), but that CA wasn’t on the list of CAs Accela trusted.

Fortunately, Saltbox’s certificate was signed by a CA Accela trusted, and Saltbox had a ClientSavvy connector. Communication among the systems flowed smoothly with Saltbox in the mix.


Building an integration from scratch is expensive. To get the functional requirements of a complex, multi-point integration between two systems, plus robustness, security, ease of use and management, and monitoring capabilities, requires considerable development effort. A large integration could easily require more than a thousand hours of effort. That’s a big commitment from your internal staff—or a lot of money spent on an expensive professional services engagement.

With Saltbox’s off-the-shelf connectors, you don’t need to write the same code every other person who has ever written that integration has written, just as you wouldn’t write a word processor or spreadsheet from scratch. It’s a ‘solved’ problem. Subscribe to Saltbox’s cloud offering and get the connector, monitoring, free upgrades, and, best of all, support.

Saltbox: The iPaaS Solution

We’ve discussed The Saltbox Platform’s benefits and how it can solve your integration problems and help you complete your digital transformation journey.

But exactly what is an iPaaS solution? And what is Saltbox?

Five features define an iPaaS solution, and Saltbox is no exception:

  1. It’s deployed to an ‘elastic’ cloud infrastructure so it can scale automatically as your jurisdiction grows or adds new software.
  2. It’s deployed and managed by the vendor, not your IT team.
  3. You can log in to the iPaaS solution to monitor the daily workings of your integration.
  4. It’s sold as a subscription service with low up-front costs.
  5. You (or your vendor) can build new integrations in the iPaaS solution using ‘no-code/low-code’ tools.

Saltbox comes with a prebuilt connector library, including connectors to products commonly used by governments. Saltbox also has a significant footprint in the private sector, with connectors to SAP, Shopify, and Salesforce, among others.

If you need a connection to a technology such as FTP, email, or a database, Saltbox has you covered; Saltbox can also talk to any REST API. And, if a connector doesn’t exist, Vision33 can build it for you. You can then use Saltbox’s workflow features to create the business logic for how your software will interact—or Vision33 can help with that, too.

Contact us to get started on the last steps of your digital transformation journey and harness the power of Saltbox for your integrations!

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earlEarl Woodman, Delivery Manager, has been creating software and leading development teams for over 20 years. Earl leads the delivery of multiple ongoing customization projects for permitting and licensing software clients in the eGovernment space.