Enterprise Application Integration and Business Intelligence

Table of Contents (Jump to)

Abstract

Enterprise Application Integration

Enterprise Application Integration requirements

EAI integration Architecture

EAI using XML interface

Case study on Business Intelligence

Steps converting file onto open source XML

EAI moving forward

Advantages and disadvantages of Enterprise Application Integration

Conclusion

References

List of Figures

Need for Enterprise Application Integration

Abstract

Business Intelligence helps in strategic alignment of businesses. By performing visualization and applying several Business Intelligence tools; company can understand in better way how the people, processes, income and technology can be used together at an Enterprise level. Enterprise Application Integration is an informal process which has been carried out with integration of various applications. With this research paper we can clearly understand EAI approach to integration, different level of interfaces and EAI with XML, also we can describe the advantages of Enterprise Application Integration at enterprise level. We will also study the case study on how different file formats gets converting with the help of Open source XML tool.

Key Words: Enterprise Application Integration, Open Source XML, Metadata, Online Analytical Processing Engine (OLAP), Interface.

Enterprise Application Integration

Enterprise Application Integration is the combination of informal processes were all applications are integrated together to share information and processes freely. EAI helps in rethinking of technology which helps in making decisions in shorter duration with less cost. In today’s world vast majority of firms are depending on newer applications and hence integration of new applications at an enterprise level not only saves millions of dollars for different corporations who share application information inside the organization or with other multinational firm. Figure below gives the clear idea how the applications are integrated and the need EAI. (Linthicum, 1999)

Need of Enterprise Application Integration

Enterprise Application Integration and Business Intelligence

Enterprise Application Integration requirements

Business Process Integration: Most important thing for any organization is to check the process at which the integration and exchange of information takes place. Business Process Integration involves the management process, modeling and work flow. This helps in reducing the cost and satisfies the customers’ needs.

Application Integration: Real time integration needs to be done by bringing data form one application to different application. In order to integrate successfully, backend application needs to be supported by Customer Relationship (CRM) Model and Business to Business integration model. CRM with backend application will help in building good systems for different businesses.

Data Integration: Data needs to be integrated for successful Business Process and Application processes. Metadata must be constructed, location for that data needs to identify and recorded. By this way data can be shared with various database systems, available in XML, COBRA, EDI, COM+DCOM.

Platform Integration: Platform Integration provides the tool that helps in communicating the systems optimally and securely. And data can be transferred to different applications.

All these are needed requirements for Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) for eliminating different errors in integration. ( Fenner, n.d.)

EAI Integration Architecture

EAI consist of two types of Architectures, Direct point to point and Middleware based.

Point to point architecture: If there are less systems to integrate this type of architecture is most valuable, easy to understand and helps newer websites to integrate with current sales order system. The disadvantage with this approach is that it will not provide integration with multiple systems. Also the coupling, dependencies and multiple integration points are its drawbacks. And hence we need to provide intermediate level for this integration points.

Middleware architecture: A better way to integrate the organizations is to mediate with different applications. Generic interfaces can be provided and passed to different applications and each interface defines the process. With the help of middleware architecture routing, separating, aggregating is done on data; in this way applications can be modified, added or removed. ( Fenner, n.d.)

EAI and different level of Interface

We can understand EAI at an application level interface, data level interface and user level interface.

Application level interface: This type of interface is most common interfaces which gives developers customized interconnection at various level of interface. With the help of Application Interface the developers can access to business processes and perform encapsulation of data without entering the database. Other advantage at Application Interface is to provide the mechanism which helps in sharing of data. Application level interface uses application programming which is used to connect servers, databases and middleware layers. Let us consider two systems one is the older system which is COBOL and other is the latest application interface system EAI, in order to have successful communication we use programming languages like C,C++ and java. To get the information of customer or to have product quantity we can write

GetCustomerInformation (“cust_no”)

Quantityavalilable (“product_no”)

Data Level Interface: It involves the process of business flow directly with public interface with different applications. This level of interface is very much important as it customers data stored at various databases of an organizations. Several data centric flow tools are emerging in the market for e business, customer relationship management and business intelligence. Let us consider Data level EAI by taking an example were the needs to be moved from Oracle database to Informix, here a developer needs to understand metadata for each database. After this the second step is to find duration and frequency at which the transformed. There are various tools such as message brokers, database replication software, custom build utilities, etc.

User Level Interface: This is widely used interface level with a mechanism for accessing logic and data. It has a mechanism of screen scraping in which the information present on the screen is accessed through programming language. It also uses middle ware drivers for processing and data transmission. (Linthicum, 1999).

EAI using XML Interface

In order to access the database using XML interface organizations needs to purchase custom “connector” application that helps in converting different formats in to XML form. XML messaging is used between an application and a portal server which helps in retrieving the native data through a portal. XML has various features like BizzTalk routing details, portal instructions that help in messaging, sending and receiving to applications. All depends on XML schema which is like a pattern, having information regarding message. It also uses to update, delete or modify the documents as well as update the metadata for specific documents. The sample below gives the XML file which provides one way and bi directional channel between portal and external source. (Hameed, 2004).

BizTalk Routing Details

filetype=”txt” mode=”1″>

12300

Steve

Steve

7432 Silver

Columbia

21045

2345678

4320659

01/06/1999