Four ways to integrate
- By Ed McKenna
- Dec 02, 2001
Enterprise application integration is not a one-dimensional concept but
involves a number of different approaches. In his analysis of EAI, Mike
Gilpin, vice president and research leader with Giga Information Group,
identified four levels of integration:
* Data integration includes several options. Different applications
could share access to a single database or maintain separate databases with
connections among them. The derived database or data warehouse allows for
periodic data access and analysis. Finally, there is the virtual database
in which an application is written to access a program that can retrieve
information from where it physically resides and aggregate it in the end
user's system memory.
* Business logic integration links programs together with interfaces
or adapters that can send or receive messages upon an end user's request.
* Interaction level integration ties together user interfaces, such
as desktop computers, Web portals or call centers.
* Business process integration codifies a procedure that would occur
under specific circumstances across different systems. For example, if someone's
visa expires, there could be a procedure in place in which the Immigration
and Naturalization Service automatically informs FBI officials, who may
also contact the CIA.