Enterprise Application Integration (EAI)
Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) is the use of software and computer systems architectural principles to integrate a set of enterprise computer applications. In today’s business environment, applications such as Supply Chain Management, Customer Relationship Management and Business Intelligence, an Integrated Collaboration environment has become imperative for organizations that need to maintain their competitive advantage. Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) is the process of linking these applications and others that work in isolation and islands of automation, in order to realize financial and operational competitive advantages. If integration is applied without following a structured EAI approach, point-to-point connections grow across an organization. Dependencies are added on an impromptu basis, resulting in a tangled mess that is difficult to maintain.
StaffIT engages in EAI for different purposes:
- Data (information) integration: ensuring that information in multiple systems is kept consistent. This is also known as EII (Enterprise Information Integration).
- Process integration: linking business processes across applications.
- Vendor independence: extracting business policies or rules from applications and implementing them in the EAI system, so that even if one of the business applications is replaced with a different vendor's application, the business rules do not have to be re-implemented.
- Common facade: An EAI system could front-end a cluster of applications, providing a single consistent access interface to these applications and shielding users from having to learn to interact with different applications.
StaffIT’s Enterprise Application Integration practice is related to middleware technologies such as message-oriented middleware (MOM) (such as MQ Series, TIBCO/Rendezvous, e-Biz Integrators), and data representation technologies such as XML. Other EAI technologies that STAFFIT gets involved in are using web services as part of service-oriented architecture as a means of integration. Enterprise Application Integration tends to be data centric. In the near future, it will come to include content integration and business processes. Integration modules could be implemented in different ways: on Java-based EAI systems, these could be web applications, or CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) or COM/DCOM or o DQBroker or EJBs or even POJOs (Plain Old Java Objects) that conform to the EAI system's specifications.