The Rigidity of Conventional Integration Approaches

Most integration solutions are still developed using traditional tools and designs, in which all intelligence (data and logic) is held within the applications that participate in the integration; the middleware in a conventional integration network simply moves data between applications and people but is otherwise "dumb". Changes to business processes typically require recoding of one or more end-point application systems/adapters, inhibiting agility and slowing down the process of implementing new processes or updating existing processes.

Figure 1 : Traditional Integration uses a variety of Point-to-Point Communication Mechanisms

The focus of integration design is around whatever new application is required to enable a business process, while connections between the applications are based on a variety of lower-level protocols such as FTP, JDBC/ODBC, TCP/IP Sockets, COM/CORBA/RMI/RPC/HTTP, or a Message Oriented Middleware (MOM) protocol such as JMS, MSMQ or MQSeries. Even when relatively high-level MOM protocols are used, significant technical resources are required for implementation and the resulting processes are typically very hard for business-analysts to modify without help from technical experts, resulting in decreased business agility.

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