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Enterprise Application Integration

August 3, 2009

It is defined as software and Computer System Architecture principles to integrate set of Enterprise Computer Applications.

Many medium-size and large corporations use a variety of computer applications for managing data, including supply chain management applications (for managing inventory and shipping), customer relationship management applications (for managing current and potential customers), business intelligence applications (for managing internal operations), and other types of applications (for managing data such as human resources data, internal communications, etc).

Unfortunately, such applications cannot communicate with one another in order to share data or business rules for this reason such applications are sometimes referred to as islands of automation.

This lack of communication leads to inefficiency, in the form of the same data having to
be stored in multiple locations, or straightforward processes that are unable to be automated.

EAI is process of integrating such applications into a single organization to simplify and automated business process to the greatest extent one, while at the same time to avoid large changes in existing application or data structures.

One of the large challenge is connected different OS, different applications, different db and some cases Legacy system that are no longer supported by the vendor who originally created them

Enterprise Application Integration is related to middleware technologies such as message-oriented middleware (MOM), and data representation technologies such as XML. Other EAI technologies involve 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.
Purposes of EAI
EAI can be used 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.

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