Current Trends in Enterprise Application Integration
10 May. 2013 Software Development
Enterprise Application Integration or EAI is an important part of streamlining business processes and data today. The purpose of enterprise application integration is to connect multiple applications so that they can work together seamlessly. Here we will discuss the latest trends in integration of enterprise application in detail and also the various types of integration.
What is Enterprise Application Integration:
EAI is a middleware framework that enables the organization a smooth communication between different systems and applications, and provides a platform for integration. EAI is collection of technologies and services, which acts like an intermediate application or platform for integration of various business applications.
In the past, applications were developed independently as and when businesses needed them. But over time, the need to share data across applications to take better business decisions has become more important. Enterprise Application Integration helps in doing this. It supports the integration and inter-operability between multiple business applications and systems in an enterprise for the following needs:
- Consistent data (Information) across multiple systems.
- Integrate Business Processes across multiple business applications.
- Single and consistent platform & interface to access multiple business applications.
So rather than creating multiple stand-alone applications, EAI helps enterprises function more efficiently by integrating multiple applications.
Types of Integration
There are two methods of integration, namely point-to-point integration and middleware-based integration.
- Point-to-point integration works in an environment where only a few applications need to be integrated together.
- Middleware-based integration works well when you have to integrate many internal or external applications. This integration system acts as a mediator for all types of applications no matter how different they are from each other.
Types of Architecture
EAI solution works at both data level and business process level. It assists in sharing data across different applications. So even before deciding the type of integration method, one needs to determine the type of architecture in the organization. A large organization where numerous applications are used and new ones are introduced as the technology changes, it is advisable to use an architecture that would accommodate the current and future needs of the organization. This architecture should support middleware-based integration, which allows organizations to save money and time when new applications are introduced to the system in the future.
Types of Solutions
There are two types of integration solutions available. The first solution is application-to-application and B2B integration, which involves implementing an EAI infrastructure and integrates applications the organization is currently using. The other is total business integration, which allows third party integration through portals. It could help connect business application with customers, partners, sales associates or employees.
What is the future of EAI?
The initial focus of EAI was at the data-level which involved moving and replicating data in different databases, but it is evolving into business process automation. The present EAI technology focuses on integrating enterprise applications and not data or assortment of different application types. It also focuses on integration of heterogeneous platforms.
The current trend in Enterprise Application Integration is to provide for an infrastructure that allows for futuristic conversion for total integration. It not only allows the linking of applications and systems in a uniform manner but also supports an integration program.
Progressive companies have found many benefits with EAI such as scalability of business applications, improved productivity, faster growth and turnaround rate and better resource planning. These companies have become trendsetters of sorts and other companies are following suit.
Another trend set by EAI is to shorten the time lag between the introduction of new products and services through integration of various platforms with business applications. All in all the future of EAI looks bright and new trends are expected to emerge as more and more people work towards better integration of resources in their organizations.
Enterprise Application Integration can help improve efficiencies across all the business functions of your enterprise.