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Get your applications (Cloud & Premise) communicating using EAI (Enterprise Application Integration)

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EAI, Enterprise application integration

When attempting to represent data interchange between applications within an information system architecture (EAI for Enterprise Application Integration), any diagram, even for a well-ordered and structured organisation, will ultimately tend to resemble a plate of spaghetti! Over the years, point-to-point interfaces have been built, connecting individual applications in the IS for data interchange purposes, both internally and with partners external to the business.

This entails many pitfalls, and it is essential to identify the risks and limitations of using Excel as the core element of such processes :

  • No control over or ability to anticipate any side effects caused by changing a given interface
  • A vicious circle is formed, whereby rather than running the risk of changing an existing interface, a new one is built, consequently adding yet more “spaghetti”.

The IT Department headache of data integration between applications

These data interchanges are increasingly business-critical, and IT teams are often forced to make a huge effort to attain the quality of service levels stipulated in SLAs, and that are required by functional management and by customers. Moreover, the widespread use of applications provided in SaaS mode in businesses also makes data integration architecture more complicated for IT Departments, who now are increasingly called upon to manage interchanges with the outside world while simultaneously increasing their information system’s security.

Each time a new application is introduced into the company, the information system architecture becomes a little more complex. The need to make disparate applications communicate with each other while securely managing the data traffic between them can become a real headache.

What is EAI (Enterprise Application Integration)?

It is an approach, software architecture or platform that will ensure communication and inter-application exchanges. It is one of the concepts at the heart of Information System urbanisation.

It generally uses middleware or microservices architecture to act as a layer of intermediation between the various software applications, and to “translate” and route the data so that it can be understood by each component of the Information System.

What is the difference between the concepts of Enterprise Application Integration and Enterprise Service Bus?

EAI focuses on the connection and orchestration of applications within a company to facilitate the sharing of data and information. It is primarily a centralised integration model designed to unify exchanges between heterogeneous systems.

The ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) offers a more flexible and decentralised architecture, acting as a bus or channel that enables applications to communicate via web services modules.

In short, the two concepts are similar: EAI focuses more on application integration (“integration hub”) and ESB on more dynamic and modular inter-application communication (“exchange hub”).

esb-bpm white paper

How process (BPM) and data (ESB) integration can create value for IT and business departments ?

EAI tools to improve data integration between applications and keep it secure

In response to these integration issues, Blueway’s Phoenix data platform makes it possible to industrialise the flows exchanged between several applications, within the Information System and also with your partners, using a number of fully integrated tools:

Managing exchange scenarios

An inter-application data interchange scenario management design workshop, using a simple, pragmatic and effective web-only graphical interface.

Testing tools

Unit and integration test kits, enabling full test sets to be run.

Technical connectors

Technical connectors to the main SQL and NoSQL databases, flat files and XML, email, FTP, sFTP, EDI, LDAP, Web services, etc.

Application bus

The native integration of an application bus that provides structured and secure management of interchanges between applications and eliminates the “interface spaghetti” effect.

Impact analysis and refactoring

Impact analysis and refactoring tools to realign data interchange between applications to meet requests from functional departments (changes to or development in component applications, legal or production constraints, and so on).

Application connectors

Standardised application connectors to the main applications on the market (CRM Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, AX and CRM, Cegid, Movex, Oracle Applications, Pivotal, SAP, Selligent, Siebel and Sage X3, JDEdwards, Baan, SugarCRM, etc.).

Supervision of exchanges

A fully-integrated data interchange supervision platform delivering a 360° view of how data traffic is running.

The success of interoperability lies precisely in the fact that it is not an issue in the lives of users! To succeed, you need a solution AND the ability to stand back: this means taking a step back from your information system and seeing all the flows that are in circulation.

Edouard Cante, Deputy Managing Director of Products at Blueway
expert view ESB vs ETL

ESB vs ETL ? The distinction between is no longer relevant relative to today’s business requirements.

Here are a few examples of where Enterprise Application Integration platforms can be put to good use:

Blueway’s Phoenix platform EAI solution to meet the challenges of business agility and interoperability

The many facets of inter-application solutions

Our Phoenix data platform greatly simplifies data handling. You manage data integration between your various applications and those of your partners, customers and suppliers using standardised ETL (Extract Transform Load), ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) and EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) tools.

With more than 160 customers using Blueway’s Phoenix platform, some 1,500,000 data flows are processed, transported and integrated every day.

The users of our platform for integrating their data operate in sectors as varied as industry, healthcare, services, local authorities, pharmaceutical laboratories, the agri-food industry, and so on.

The solution has to combine human and technological roles, position itself at organisational level to provide a response tailored to business needs, and ensure that processes adhere to the information system.

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Auteur
Edouard Cante
Executive Vice President Product Technical and functional expert, Edouard has specialized in IS urbanization and data governance for nearly 20 years. A man of the field, he and his teams support customers in their projects, and don’t hesitate to use this feedback to shape the product roadmap and gain in agility.
Dans la catégorie Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), Interoperability