The decision to implement an integration solution usually leads to more requirements, more questions and more complexity. Overall, implementing an integration solution, large or small, can be a daunting task. Many factors must be considered, such as: Continue reading
When I think about integration, the first thing that comes to mind is application to application integration (A2A). Gartner states that application integration aims to make independently designed application systems work together. Their definition applies to my interpretation of A2A integration, which is the connection of disparate applications both inside and outside the firewall, regardless of location (including the Cloud). This interpretation includes integration between a few or many applications and encompasses all integration aspects such as, communications and messaging, translation and transformation, routing, process automation, data access and even extends to application access. This can apply to scenarios such as transaction replication or process activation across applications, providing web access to legacy applications and publishing information to mobile devices. Most of the integrations between these disparate applications used to occur by means of proprietary APIs, messaging or a combination of both. This can still be the case, but a larger percentage of integration today is mediated by integration middleware or via web services. Continue reading
Recently, I was having dinner with some old friends and the conversation centered on our respective fields that we work in. When the conversation turned to me, I chatted up how I worked in commercial software, particularly the Integration space. I received some curious looks, like my friends were trying to get a grasp on what I was talking about. Then it hit me….What does Integration mean to someone unfamiliar with the discipline? Why does it matter? What are the benefits, and the risks? How much of a problem is this? So, I decided to write a blog, from my perspective, on why Integration is important.
First, let’s think about the meta-types of challenges that businesses face today. Two flavors emerge quickly; problems of the moment (tactical) and visions of where they want to go (strategic). Continue reading
Enterprise Service Busses (ESBs) offer an interesting communications layer that enables an enterprise to expose data to interested parties (i.e. applications, data-feeds, etc.) with a Publish/Subscribe model. The Pub/Sub model originated in the printed media world, utilized as a distribution model for newspapers and magazines. It has evolved with modern times into the electronic age in the form of email-subscribed newsletters, and more recently, RSS feeds such as blogs.
In the enterprise, there is a growing need to share data among systems, both internally (A2A) and externally (B2B). However, as new demands for sharing data surface, we need a way to “bolt in” the new requestors without impacting our current implementations.
ESBs commonly implement a variant of the GoF Observer Pattern. This exposes a Publication/Subscription model allowing information sources (publisher) to expose data (message) on a queue. One or more interested parties (subscriber) consume the data. The key benefit of loose coupling in a Publication/Subscription model is that the Publisher does not need to know, or care, about “who” is subscribing. The data is published and downstream subscribers use the data as they see fit.