Quick & Lean Integration

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The field of Integration is constantly evolving. …

The field of Integration is constantly evolving.

At one end comprehensive Integration/SOA suites are being released by big vendors such as IBM, Oracle, SoftwareAG.

But these Integration/SOA Suites (most of them comprising of 10 different components - each catering to a specific Integration/SOA need) are beyond the reach of many mid-sized businesses.

Thats where two new integration methodologies seem to have emerged in the past one year or so.

I have tried to capture this development in the attached presentation.

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  • 1. Oct 2010 Satish Dadha Quick & Lean Integration – For Mid-Sized Organizations
  • 2. Agenda
    • Growing Need for Integration
    • Ways to fulfill Integration Needs
    • Integration Needs of Mid-sized Organization
    • Game Changers:
      • Integration using XML Appliances
      • IaaS
    • Conclusion
  • 3. Need for Integration
    • Applications today rarely live in Isolation
    • Users expect instant access to all business functions an enterprise can offer regardless of which system the functionality may reside in
    • Enterprises today have multiple systems with their own varying data and transport protocols – All these need to interface with each other to deliver business functionality
    CRM Order Mgmt Inventory Mgmt Payroll Billing ERP I N T E G R A T I O N
  • 4. Endless Appetite for Connections
    • $10 Billion Integration Market - Gartner
    • Costs of procuring and installing integration products from leading vendors too high for mid-sized firms
    • Consequently $8 Billion in hand coded throw away integration modules are being built
    20 % - Packaged Software 80 % Hand Code
  • 5. Application Integration – Choices
    • Integration mechanisms have evolved over time
    Message Oriented Middleware Enterprise Application Integration Suite Enterprise Service Bus Websphere MQ, JMS Q – Applications connect to common messaging system and exchange data and invoke behavior via messages Middleware to enable integration of systems and applications across the enterprise. ESB = EAI Capabilities + Conformance to SOA & Web Service standards + Value adds like Business Activity Monitoring, Rules Engine Point 2 Point Connectivity File Transfer, Shared DB, Remote Procedure Invocation
  • 6. Application Integration – Choices
    • EAI & ESB Tools have wide ranging built in capabilities
    • They are designed to integrate dozens to hundreds of applications
    • They take care of requirements like:
      • Reliable Messaging
      • Centralized Policy Management
      • Business Activity Monitoring
    • Of course all these features come at a premium – Software License costs, Specialist Resources etc
  • 7. Do Mid-sized Firms need all of this?
    • According to Gartner only 10% of enterprises need all the features of an EAI Solution
    • Most mid-sized businesses need to integrate fewer than 10 applications
    • Most of all smaller firms need quicker ROI – They cannot afford the overhead and time required for EAI Solutions
    • !!!!! Using Vendor EAI solutions for Mid-sized firms may be akin to using Chainsaw to open a letter !!!!!
  • 8. So what's the solution?
    • Most of the mid-sized firms resort to custom coding to fulfill their integration needs
    • Custom coding however has 5 serious shortcomings:
      • Monopolizes specialist skills
      • Custom code may not be always reusable
      • Does not provide visibility into Integration transactions
      • Rarely scalable and flexible – Its Brittle
      • Finally custom coding turns out to be expensive in the long-run
  • 9. Game Changers ?
    • As we have seen with the evolution of integration products the needs drive the solution
    • Two major developments are taking place to potentially cater to the integration needs of smaller firms:
      • Integration as a Service
      • Hardware XML Appliances
    • These solutions cater to “on-premise”, “cloud to cloud” & “on-premise to cloud (hybrid)” Integration requirements
  • 10. Integration as a Service
    • IaaS is a concept similar to any other cloud offering
    • The vendor here will offer the integration functionality on a subscription basis and the user is relieved of most of the hassles associated with building a conventional integration setup
    • This is a concept that has just begun to be recognized as one of the solutions
    • It is capable of taking care of Transformation and simple BPM requirements
    • It brings along all the advantages of a cloud offering
  • 11. Hardware XML Appliances
    • XML Appliances primarily marketed as B2B Web Services Gateway
    • These are purpose built hardware appliances capable of processing XML at wire speed
    • Currently they are also being referred to Hardware ESB/SOA Gateway
    • Some prominent products in this space are:
      • IBM DataPower
      • Cast Iron Systems (Acquired by IBM Recently)
      • Forum Sentry
  • 12. Hardware XML Appliances
    • An illustration of IBM DataPower, being used as an SOA Gateway
    • Since these products also support – “Any to Any Transformation”, “Content Based Routing” & “Protocol Mediation (to a certain extent” they can be considered to be used for Integration requirements as well
  • 13. Hardware XML Appliances
    • Pros
      • Integrate in days rather than months or years – Very limited coding required (XSL Transformation)
      • Very limited specialist programming skills reuqired
      • Reduced cost for initial procurement & maintenance as physical servers are not needed
      • Some of the vendors also provide “pre-built” integration templates
      • Console based setup for operations management
      • Very efficient in processing XML including encryption & decryption
    • Cons
      • Does not cover the entire gamut of integration requirements (Limited Protocol mediation support)
      • Limited/No BAM functionality
  • 14. Conclusion
    • If the integration requirements of a client are fairly straightforward and cost is a major factor for them then we should explore these two new approaches that have emerged
    • Cognizant can play a role in meeting customer objectives in a cost efficient manner