Organizations growing in size and expanding their enterprise architectures consisting of various applications or services to conduct day-to-day business will encounter certain issues during their growth process. In the end, this leads to a significant problem regarding enterprise applications and information silos because some applications are not designed to interact with each other in any way.
The solution to this lack of communication between the organization applications is Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). This solution can establish a middleware framework where enterprise applications can 'talk' freely between each other even though the technology stack is different without significant changes to the applications themselves, also increasing the data availability and the scalability.
Data Integration: Make sure that data sent from one application is available and synchronized throughout the entire organization in each database or application that is 'interested' in those information pieces.
Vendor Independence: By moving the business rules and policies customization from the enterprise application to the middleware framework, the dependence on individual software vendors can be minimized and increase the scalability and Integration of new vendors/enterprise applications.
Common Interfacing: Have a single/central graphical user interface that can connect and gather pieces of information from different enterprise applications and databases instead of having one GUI per application. This helps to have a better overview of the whole process/implementation.
Point-to-Point Integration: this is the initial application integration consisting in extracting data from one application, applying business rules, changing the format if needed, and posting it to another application. This can be used when a small number of applications need to be integrated into each other. As this number increases, it becomes difficult and less efficient to be implemented.
Hub-and-Spoke Integration: it is using a centralized hub that captures the messages coming from applications, applies data logic, and decides where it should be sent further, eliminating the need for individual implementation between each pair of applications, but human intervention is still needed in routing the messages to the correct application
Bus Integration: it is based on hub-and-spoke Integration, but the strength is that it runs without human interference based on a set of defined rules which allows any application to send and receive data by applying the business rules and policies on flowing the data between applications.
Middleware: depending on the organization's need, there might be database middleware, application server middleware, message-oriented middleware, or other types. This topology is used to facilitate communication and data transfer through a distributed group of applications, simplifying the synchronization of messages across different platforms.
Microservices: This is the most recent architecture used for cloud-based applications, which ensures data availability, scalability, and integrity to various destinations via APIs.
The first thing that may come to everyone's mind taking into consideration this kind of architecture using a central engine is the fact that there is a single point of failure, as all the messages between the applications are passing through it.
In addition to this, being the central engine, it can become a bottleneck for messages due to multiple applications passing the messages to the same point, each consuming a certain amount of resources. So there is also a need for specific resources on the system where the Integration stands.
Also, there might be the case that various systems that should be linked together reside on different operating systems, involving other technologies from different vendors, or even legacy systems that might be outdated and no longer supported.
With the growth of your organization, having an Enterprise Application Integration platform is indicated and should be taken into consideration.
It changes the organization's way of doing business, which is why advantages and disadvantages should be analyzed very well. Still, the outcome is a simpler and more organized topology that can be scaled more efficiently. Also, it fits more in large organizations with multiple different technologies and systems that need to be interconnected.
If you're interested in finding out what mindit.io can do for you and your business, drop us a line right here.