Tag Archives: provisioning

Managing Compliance Risks in B2B Integration Through Service Level Agreements (SLAs), Part 4

This blog post is the fourth in a series highlighting how to manage compliance risks for service level agreements for B2B integration.

How to Manage SLA Compliance when Facing Provisioning and Change

Like other topics discussed in this blog series on service level agreements (SLAs), we will look into another piece that should be considered for B2B integration: provisioning management and change control risks. Even once your business has implemented SLAs, check for updates and improvements to remain up-to-date.

As a condition for new business, trading partners frequently impose deadlines for delivering integration processes and changes. These provisioning activities include initial partner onboarding, new transaction enablement, and implementation of several ongoing changes. These include communications, data formats, validation rules and other integration details. Even when onboarding and maintenance agreements are verbal, missing deadlines can lead to partner dissatisfaction and sometimes lost business.

Overcome Provisioning Delays with Reuse

A reliance on low-level tools and skills will often result in provisioning delays. Programming and other forms of ground-up, manual specification are the least productive methods available for B2B onboarding and provisioning – and the most error-prone.

You can reduce delays by reusing and modifying previously created B2B processes, maps, interfaces and other deliverables. Even this kind of object-level reuse can be slow and prone to errors. Depending on the complexity of the B2B processes needed, dozens or hundreds of maps, business processes, adapters and other objects require skills that might not be available at reuse time.Managing Provisioning and Change Control Risks

The most effective remedy is to apply reuse at the project level, as depicted in the image above. Project-level reuse is superior to object-level reuse because it utilizes working projects that retain their original object connections. A design-time process that “understands” what must change manages the configuration process. By replacing manual configuration with automation, you reduce the opportunities for new errors that extend testing time.

Continue reading

Small- versus Large-Scale Provisioning

As applied to business integration, the term “provisioning” has many meanings, but overall, it refers to the process of defining integration endpoints and establishing connections and integration processes between them.   If an integration service that connects a pair of endpoints is simple and tightly constrained – for example, a data syndication service with a fixed process model and limited output options – provisioning can be as simple as selecting from a fixed list of connection and data format delivery options, and specifying the delivery endpoint’s address.

In most cases, however, business integration provisioning involves more steps, because the business problem to be solved requires tailored integration between some set of sources and targets, e.g., integration of an XML transaction set with a Warehouse Management System.  Those steps might include definition or specification of endpoints, communication and interface connections, documents / messages and envelopes, data routing, business processes, and data transformations.  By combining building blocks that implement such object types, you can solve most kinds of business-to-business, application, and data integration problems. Continue reading