Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) is the unrestricted sharing of data and business processes throughout an organization’s networked applications or data sources.
It’s more than just putting two applications together to share data – it’s about integrating business processes and systems to eliminate redundancies, increase efficiency, and provide better customer service.
It is most needed where inventory control, human resources, sales automation, and database management were designed to run independently, without interaction between the systems.
This blog post will explore details on this topic. Stay tuned!
What is EAI?
Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) is the process of integrating software applications to achieve a unified solution. EAI eliminates redundant data entry, reduces errors, and promotes seamless communication between systems.
The integration of one system with another can be achieved through many different methods, including messaging protocols, middleware, or database replication. Data may also be shared using databases that store data in multiple locations, requiring synchronization techniques when changes are made to the same record at each location.
Categories of Enterprise Application Integration
There are four major categories of EAI.
- database linking- databases share information and duplicate information as needed;
- application linking– the enterprise shares business processes and data between two or more applications;
- data warehousing– data is extracted from a variety of data sources and channeled into a specific database for analysis; and
- common virtual system – the pinnacle of EAI; all aspects of enterprise computing are tied together so that they appear as a unified application.
Why does Enterprise Application Integration important?
We know that large companies use a lot of different apps. For example, one app manages the supply chain and another for human resources. But, of course, different businesses have other apps too.
It is good to divide the enormous responsibility into small modules. It benefits the organization also. It also helps the people who handle the individual modules to focus on growth and stability.
But the problem is there will be no connectivity between these applications. Hence sharing critical information across the organization will not happen.
Enterprise application integration helps solve this problem by integrating applications and sharing the data across the organization.
Objectives of EAI
- Vendor independence: Rules of specific business applications or business policies need not be re-implemented even if one of the business applications is replaced with a different vendor’s application
- Data integration: Ensures consistent information in multiple systems
- Common facade: Users need not learn different software applications because it provides a consistent software application access interface
Benefits of Enterprise Application Integration
- It increases the speed of communication between Enterprise apps.
- The organization on-premise can host it with its data center, or it can be hosted in a private cloud server.
- EAI allows the information to flow between the different software programs within a company. Thus it integrates data and avoids the repetition of collecting and storing data.
- It helps to take less time to search for complete, up-to-date information.
- It allows individuals and departments to collaborate effectively.
- EAI helps to automate the process. For example, the information in the CRM can be integrated with the E-mail management to send messages to the customer based on the demand.
- It enables new applications to work effectively with already existing applications.
- It enables the organization to identify and react quickly to opportunities.
Drawbacks of Enterprise Application Integration(EAI)
- It fails when the person who manages the implementation of EAI is not dynamic.
- It needs more technical and skilled persons.
- It is not a tool, it is a system, and it should be implemented as a tool.
- There will be a chance of losing details.
- Because of a lack of consent on interface design, you need to put extra effort into mapping between systems data requirements.
- It is necessary to have clear accountability because all departments have different requirements.
What is application integration?
Application integration is the process of linking together two or more software applications to share data and work together. This can be done in many ways, such as through APIs, web services, or file transfers.
Application integration can be a challenge because it requires careful planning and execution to ensure that the various applications work together as seamlessly as possible. However, application integration can provide several benefits when done correctly, such as increased efficiency and productivity, reduced costs, and improved customer satisfaction.
Application Integration tools
Many application integration tools are available in the market. Some important tools are
- Tibco software
- Dell Bhoomi
- Cloud Elements
What are things to consider when choosing an EAI tool?
When choosing an EAI tool, you should consider the following factors:
The size of your company – If you are a small or medium-sized company, you will likely need a more affordable and user-friendly tool.
Your budget – It is important to find a tool that fits within your budget.
The features you need – Make sure the tool has all the features you need, including communication tools, project management tools, and task management tools.
Ease of use – Make sure the tool is easy to use so that you can get up and running quickly.
Customer support – Make sure the tool has good customer support if you have any questions or problems.
What are the types of EAI?
EAI can be classified into the following three categories:
1. Message-oriented middleware (MOM): MOM is a type of software that helps integrate two or more applications by handling the communication between them in messages. In MOM, each application is represented by a process that sends and receives messages.
2. Data-level integration: This integration involves moving data between different applications and databases. It can populate a database with data from another source or consolidate data from multiple sources into a single database.
3. Application-level integration: This type of integration uses software to combine the functionality of two or more applications into one system.
What are Enterprise Applications?
An enterprise application is a type of software that businesses use to help them run their operations. They typically include payroll, accounting, inventory management, and customer relations management (CRM).
Typical enterprise applications are Microsoft Office 365, SAP ERP, and Oracle Database. Many businesses find that using enterprise applications helps them become more efficient and productive.
The most common types of enterprise applications are as follows.
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
- Enterprise Messaging System
- Payment Processing
- Email marketing platform
- Service desk applications
- Customer relationship management (CRM) tools
- Content management system
- Business continuity planning
- Business analytics and intelligence platform
- Accounting system
- Automated billing system
Components of Enterprise Application Integration System
Many components have merged to initiate communication between enterprise applications. Hence there are no standardized components for enterprise application integration. However, it has some methodologies to transfer data and facilitate communication between software programs.
- With the small number of applications, point-to-point integration is effective. But when the number of applications increases, it is difficult to program and maintain the protectorate to integrate the system thoroughly.
- All the enterprise applications and captures are connected to a central hub in a hub and spoke model. It re-formats and decides where that data should be distributed.
- To run away from the problems caused by the hub and spoke approach, a new model evolved. That is bus architecture. It runs without workforce interference.
- Middleware is a tool that sits between the operating system and the application user interface.
- Microservice is the latest and standard EAI that deployed in the cloud.
The future of EAI
The future of EAI is rapidly evolving and growing as the need for companies to connect their backend systems becomes more prevalent. In addition, with the advent of big data, SOA, and cloud-based solutions, EAI is becoming more critical than ever before.
The EAI future looks promising. Here are three reasons why:
First, the explosive growth of big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) is driving the need for enhanced integration capabilities. Organizations need to quickly and easily integrate data from a growing number of sources to make timely and informed decisions.
Second, EAI platforms are becoming more agile and easier to use. This makes them more accessible to a wider range of users, including business analysts who might not have had coding experience in the past.
Third, as companies move towards cloud-based solutions, they are increasingly looking for EAI platforms to accommodate hybrid environments.
Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) merges applications to create a more efficient system.
It can be used for anything from synchronizing data between systems to integrating enterprise-level software like ERP and CRM with other business applications, such as Salesforce or Marketo.
The goal of EAI is not just integration but also coordination so that all parts work together seamlessly.