Integration is key to success in heterogeneous system landscapes - irrespective of whether they evolved historically or are constructed modularly by design. Thus, the ability to engage and dissolve connections between systems or applications fast, flexibly and efficiently is going to play a decisive role in the future.
In the light of these challenges as well as the new technological possibilities to connect people, Systems, applications and processes an architect must be familiar with the wide range of existing integration techniques and needs do know exactly which one he should apply when.
The traditional solutions for integration requirements were point-to-point connections between the systems which can be integrated:
The advantages of such direct connections is that these can be provided simply and fast if necessary.
Your decisive disadvantages: you do not scale. The complexity of the overall system increases with point-to-point connections with each further single connection exponentially (Spaghetti-Integration-Dilemma).
This represents therefore a fast solution in individual cases, becomes as strategic beginning with growth case of complexity. Companies following such an integration concept are thwarted instead of beginning spurred on. And because of more IT investments they become less flexible instead of being more efficient.
It had been hoped to find a solution for the above-mentioned Spaghetti-Integration-Dilemma by the emergency of EAI-Hub reduces the complexity of integration a Hub-and-Spoke-Scenario from n x to n connections.
Frequently the result of the EAI projects was due to a wrong and underlying architecture but however the same as with the point-to-point-connections (maybe worse): the single connections only with one additional and an interposed server (Point-to-Hub-to-Spoke-Integration architecture).
This also applies to the EAI-platforms: Not the tool, but its use is crucial. The chosen architecture within the EAI platform determines the efficiency of connections to be realized.
The consistent use of the principles service of oriented architectures in the are of the integration can remedy this easily. The main idea of SOA is:
If you apply this approach to the conception of an integration platform, it becomes a layer in which applications, systems and processes
There is no specific technology like WebServices, XML etc. hiding behind it. Rather, there is a pattern for the creation of a much better integration solutions and for evaluating the quality of integration architectures:
The arrangement of the integration solutions as an abstraction layer is initially offering great advantages:
This advantages must be weighed out in individual cases against the associated disadvantages:
Only of the basis of this consideration in individual cases for the one and against the other architectural patterns can be made the right decision.
Hence, the hybrid architectures which also offers the suitable, different variations for different cases of need have proven themselves in practice. Most of the connections can be handled in the standard view of the abstraction. thereby, in special cases are further dedicated connections over the central EAI-Hub possible.
An experienced architect, who is specialized in integration solutions, can express the correct recommendation for the concrete requirements.