Solve Integration Problems

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From the customer’s perspective, it is a single business transaction.

In order to support common business processes and data sharing across applications, these applications need to be integrated.

They execute business functions, regardless of the how many internal systems the business function cuts across.

For example, a customer may call to change his or her address and see whether the last payment was received.

By definition, enterprise integration has to deal with multiple applications running on multiple platforms in different locations, making the term ‘simple integration’ pretty much an oxymoron.

Software vendors offer EAI suites that provide cross-platform, cross-language integration as well as the ability to interface with many popular packaged business applications.However, this technical infrastructure presents only a small portion of the integration complexities.The true challenges of integration span far across business and technical issues. There are no simple answers for enterprise integration.Enterprises are typically comprised of hundreds if not thousands of applications that are custom-built, acquired from a third-party, part of a legacy system, or a combination thereof, operating in multiple tiers of different operating system platforms.It is not uncommon to find an enterprise that has 30 different Websites, three instances of SAP and countless departmental solutions.We may be tempted to ask: How do businesses allow themselves to get into such a mess?Shouldn’t any CIO of such an enterprise spaghetti architecture be fired?The business needs to validate the customer ID, verify the customer’s good standing, check inventory, fulfill the order, get a shipping quote, compute sales tax, send a bill, etc.This process can easily span across five or six different systems.Anyone who has been through an EAI deployment can attest to the fact that EAI solutions are a critical component of today’s enterprise strategies, but make IT life harder, not easier. In our opinion, anyone who claims that integration is easy must be either incredibly smart (or at least a good bit smarter than the rest of us), incredibly ignorant (OK, let’s say optimistic), or they have a financial interest in making you believe that integration is easy.It’s a long way between the high-level vision of the integrated enterprise (defined by terms such as “Straight-Through-Processing”, “T 1”, “Agile Enterprise”) and the nuts-and-bolts implementations (what parameters did System. Even though integration is a broad and difficult topic, we can always observer some people who are much better at it than others. Since there is no such thing as “Teach Yourself Integration in 21 Days” (this book sure ain't!

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