One of the latest trends in the world of enterprise technology is integrating of enterprise apps. Also known as Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), this trend enables exchanging data between the components of computer software, which are meant to commune with each other. It aims at eliminating the communication barriers amongst the different software components of the same enterprise. With such integration, a business enjoys the benefit of decreased overhead triggered by the repeated entering of information as well as duplication of processes between systems. Integration of enterprise applications further ensures efficient use of resources such as storage as well as tightly coupled business processes.
What Triggers the Need of Enterprise Application Integration?
It is basically the extremely high cost of maintenance coupled with increased overhead expenses for deploying a separate enterprise app, which have given rise to the idea of integration. Without integration, there exists a high risk of duplication that is simply an indicator of time, money, and efforts; which no business can afford. All these three investments are actually far greater than their required amounts for deploying an enterprise application integration policy.
What are the Uses of Enterprise Application Integration?
There are various purposes for which EAI is preferred: Data integration, common interface, process consistency, and vendor independence. In case of data integration, the systems are linked for ensuring that uniform information is stored across the different systems. When it comes to process integration, EAI helps in linking the business practices as well as rules across all apps of that enterprise. Further, when EAI is used for vendor independence, it facilitates using business rules from the running apps so that they become a part of the entire system for saving time from reimplementation. Similarly, the enterprise application integration system helps in packing a set of apps such that only one interface is created for access rather than switching among multiple packages.
With so many uses, application integration of an enterprise eliminates the barriers for ideal supply chain management, business intelligence apps, and relationship management. As all these apps combine to form a centralized but a heterogeneous system, all the business departments, right from accounts to public relations, enjoy comprehensive benefits.
What are the Styles of Application Integration?
There are two integration styles for enterprise application integration, federation wherein actions are committed on the users’ behalf and mediation wherein the integration acts as ‘go-between’ varying apps. Usually, an integration system functions with asynchronous ease of access in mediation, while in case of federation, it works with synchronous access. Irrespective of the pattern implemented for the integration, the entire process can run the range of timing, whether temporary or permanent, according to the number of apps to be accessed as well as human interaction. Obviously, there are more factors affecting the same.
However, there are some challenges or obstacles such as integrating systems running on different operating systems, integrating old models consistently, and using different group of database. This discrepancy makes integration a labor intensive process due to which the help of experts is indispensable.
Bio: Debarthy Sean is a software developer in one of the leading IT firms in New York. She is currently involved in a project that focuses on the integration of enterprise applications for her own firm. Debarthy is into this field of enterprise applications since six years and hopes to complete this project quite proficiently in next five months. She strongly believes that integration of apps is one of the most essential IT strategies for any business to conduct itself smoothly and compliantly. For proper execution of this project, she has already started conducting research on enterprise application integration online and has also shortlisted some experts for consultation.