PeopleSoft shows application integration suite

PeopleSoft has used its Connect 2002 user conference in New Orleans, USA, to take the wraps off a product suite designed to...

PeopleSoft has used its Connect 2002 user conference in New Orleans, USA, to take the wraps off a product suite designed to reduce the complexity and expense of integrating applications from multiple vendors.

AppConnect uses Web services to pre-integrate PeopleSoft's existing portal, application integration, and warehouse products. The AppConnect suite includes the company's Integration Broker and Enterprise Warehouse products. AppConnect will now be sold as an integration product suite, along the lines of a CRM or financial package, according to Peter Gassner, vice-president and general manager of PeopleSoft's Application Infrastructure group.

AppConnect seeks to solve the expensive and complex problem of tying together applications from multiple vendors, he said.

"If you [look] at how application integration is done today, it is very expensive because companies buy portal, EAI, and warehouse products and then the CIO has to integrate those integration products together," Gassner said.

PeopleSoft is well positioned to tackle the integration problem, according to Gassner, because it can dig into three distinct application layers.

"We are the first company to come at application integration on the portal level, [and] on the traditional EAI and warehouse levels. You need to connect applications at these three levels, for the people, the process, and the data," he said.

AppConnect products support J2EE and .net and communicate with each other using Web services standards. The Enterprise Portal and Enterprise Warehouse products include basic Web services support, while the Integration Broker product offers more sophisticated Web services capabilities such as transformation and routing. AppConnect runs on top of either BEA WebLogic or IBM WebSphere application servers.

In addition to creating links between the suite products, Web services technology also helps pave the way for integration with competing products from the likes of SAP and Oracle.

"That is the neutral way to communicate. There are a lot of standards and products are starting to use them. Going forward the need for these special connectors is going down because applications like PeopleSoft and SAP both talk Web services," Gassner said.

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