Nowadays customers have a wide range of computer tools. This great variety of systems, enhanced by the continuous development of increasingly innovative software, makes the process of data synchronization, among different applications, extremely difficult.
Given this variety it is absolutely advisable to work on system integration.
System integration is the process by which various IT systems and software applications function as a unified, coordinated and cooperating system.
The advantages of this kind of integration are multiple, both for the customer and for the company: an improved information flow, an increase in the product quality and on overall company performances. Together those benefits also allow to reduce costs and improve business efficiency.
The first phase of integration evolution, in chronological order, coincides with the model known as point-to-point.
It is an integration that involves only two systems. Since this is a rather subtle integration, some theorists disagree with considering it as system because it lacks the typical complexity of systems. The point-to-point model is a rather simple integration that involves connecting only two systems. It is through this model that much more complex systems are built of off.
Since the Star integration adopts the structure of the point-to-point model, it also inherits all of its flaws. For example with the increase of the elements involved, it tends to become more and more chaotic. For this reason, this type of integration is also called “spaghetti integration“.
The model that partially solves the problems of the two previous integrations is vertical integration: here systems are put into communication according to their functionalities, creating functional entities called silos. If a new functionality has to be added, it is necessary to create a new silo. This strategy can be suitable for companies with complex vertical infrastructures.
ENTERPRISE SERVICE BUS (ESB)
The integration that best expresses the concept of System integration is the horizontal integration in which a layer is used as a common interface between all the components. This layer is nothing more than an ESB architecture. The term Enterprise Service Bus was coined by Gartner in 2002.
In every company there are a plurality of systems and services, each with its usefulness. But if each service were to be integrated from time to time with all the new services used in the company, how many additions should we create? And would its cost be sustainable by the company?
An ESB software offers the huge advantage to provide a unique integration for each system. ESB is capable of integrating disparate systems, connecting heterogeneous technologies and consistently providing coordination services, access security, messaging, intelligent routing, acting as a computer backbone through which all the software services and application components can travel.
ESB’s INSTALLATION MANNERS
ESB is installable through three different ways:
The on-premise solution guarantees exclusive control over systems, data, internal management of sensitive and core data. It is a solution to be preferred in case direct data management is fundamental for business policies and in case it is necessary for the organization to be geographically localized.
The cloud solution ensures scalability, reliability and, above all, a quick service delivery. In fact with mobile access you can connect to data at any time, through any device.
As regards the safety of the system, data and networks are protected with always backup services as well as specific security protocols to protect the integrity and confidentiality of data.
However, the storage of sensitive cloud data is often a cause of concern for companies. An excellent solution to these difficulties is offered by hybrid integration; sensitive data remain at headquarters, while non-sensitive data can remain in the cloud, offering companies the opportunity to segregate and track movements. Companies therefore decide which data to store in the cloud and which in the local.
ESB: AN OLD NEW INTEGRATION
Despite this distinction, it is necessary to specify that originally the ESB was only applied locally. The natural consequence, enhanced by the urgent need to integrate applications and on-premise data with cloud applications and data, was the identification of the ESB as a passed software that should leave the step to iPaaS solutions (integration platform as a service). However, a good software is programmed to respond to the need for updating and renewal and so we have come to the development of software, such as the GreenVulcano open source ESB, extremely lightweight that supports the APIs and integration platforms that connect to the systems legacy.
The development of software that cross the traditional approach of the SOA architecture, interpreting in an innovative way the integration of business applications (EAI), has given new life to a software wrongly defined obsolete.
ESB (2.0) is able to meet today’s needs of high flexibility, maintaining the reliability of traditional systems. In this perspective, the future of ESB seems to be positively comforting.