We are at a golden age for business applications. New business softwares and IT solutions have been popping up at an increasing rate in an effort to outdo other solutions that are available on the market. The result is that businesses have multiple applications or softwares that do not cooperate with each other.This has led to another solution - application integration, which bring many advantages. However, as Extra's manager for Integration, Stefano Marfella explains, it is not always easy. After recounting his experience, he shares some tips for implementing application integration.
"Integrating applications using ESB or Enterprise Service Bus can be challenging because you have two different applications there were developed with a different programming language by different developers for different purposes.
Making them do something that it was not intended for is one of the things that makes integration challenging," said Stefano who draws from his experience with the Red Hat JBoss Fuse platform. Despite these challenges in application integration, the demand for application integration continues to rise.
Today, it doesn't matter who has the most applications. What really matters now is how well do your applications work for your business. Do they work together in a way that reflects the interconnected nature of your business processes?
Integrating with old and the new technologies
Stefano continued, "Another method of integration that we are commonly asked to do is integrating old technologies like IBM mainframe with something newer, like a mobile app. They come from completely different worlds so these are very complex integration projects."
"Difficulties in integration are not just from a technical standpoint but also from a functional perspective. When you are faced with all the applications created 10 years ago, you don't have enough information on how the developed the application and why did they do it in that way," he explained.
Stefano said that the key is to ask the right questions. This is what makes preliminary interviews with clients that want integration so important.
At the end of the day, he said that implementing application integration is challenging and it is important to get the right system integration solution provider.
Extensive integration experience is not the only thing you need to look for but also familiarity with at least the most common business applications. If they have in-house developers for other business applications then they will be more familiar with them.
Interested in learning more? Then download our System Integration Knowledge Pack now to get a deeper look at topics such as Enterprise Integration Patterns, Business Process Management and IT Architecture Design Best Practices.