Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) is the unrestricted sharing of data and business processes throughout the networked applications or data sources in an organization since early software programs in areas such as inventory control, human resources, sales automation, and database management were designed to run independently, with no interaction between the systems.

Categories of Enterprise Application Integration

There are four major categories of EAI

  1. database linking- databases share information and duplicate information as needed;
  2. application linking– the enterprise shares business processes and data between two or more applications;
  3. data warehousing– data is extracted from a variety of data sources and channeled into a specific database for analysis; and
  4. common virtual system – the pinnacle of EAI; all aspects of enterprise computing are tied together so that they appear as a unified application.

Objectives of EAI

  • Vendor independence:  Rules of specific business applications or business policies need not to be re-implemented even if one of the business application 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

Get more definitions about enterprise application integration (EAI) and other ERP related terms here.


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