IT chiefs agree on the benefits of enterprise application integration


IT chiefs agree on the benefits of enterprise application integration

In the current climate of consolidation, one area producing results is enterprise application integration. Senior users from Times 200 organisations attending a workshop on EAI organised by the Corporate IT Forum in September all agreed that it has real value, and none had been disappointed by it.

EAI, which enables users to make interfacing interdependent applications more manageable, reduces future development costs, removes complexity and decouples applications, making them easier to change independently, users have found.

However, there are some challenges to overcome on the road to successful EAI. For example, suppliers often do not take account of how their product will integrate with other suppliers' products, and there is no "great wisdom" in how to approach integration.

Among the nuggets of peer-to-peer advice for successful EAI were the following:

  • Incorporate re-usability into your design

  • Have named individuals in project teams responsible for integration

  • Write your own adaptors wherever you can, except in a few special cases. Always use supplier's adaptors for databases, messaging middleware and e-mail.

  • XML deals effectively with platform and coding difference and reduces integration complexity with partners

  • Get EAI recognised as a corporate programme of work, rather than handling it on a project-by-project basis.

The workshop was one of a series organised for the Corporate IT Forum membership and guests this autumn. Forthcoming subject areas include RFID, mobile workforce policy, Lotus Notes, Documentum, deploying security policies, and software licence management.

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This was first published in October 2003


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