In the competitive business era, every organization strives to stay ahead of the curve. That is why they make use of various applications to manage different operations. Some of the most commonly used applications include enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, customer relationship management, and more.
However, managing so many applications simultaneously isn’t easy. It comes with challenges like the inability to share and communicate data effectively. That is where enterprise application integration proves to be an ideal solution.
More and more businesses are realizing the need and benefits of integrating their application. Therefore, the global enterprise application integration market is evaluated to be USD 13.21 billion in 2023. Moreover, it is all set to reach USD 27.33 billion by the end of 2028.
Are you still relying on multiple systems for your business operations? If yes, it is time to integrate them and optimize operations for greater efficiency and cost reduction.
In this post, you will delve deeper into enterprise application integration. Let’s dive in!
What is enterprise application integration?
Enterprise application integration (EAI) refers to an ongoing process of implementing technologies and tools to allow all business applications to efficiently share workflows and data. In other words, it is a middleware framework enabling seamless communication and data flow between applications without any drastic change to the already existing configurations.
It helps maintain the consistency of data across the organizations. As a result, making informed business decisions becomes simple and easy. Moreover, it helps save a great deal of time for the enterprises.
Enterprise application integration allows businesses to
- Combine services of multiple enterprises
- Find valuable data and services
- Monitor the life cycles of applications
Also, it enables you to access application functions through the APIs.
Need for Enterprise Application Integration
In today’s era, companies depend on multiple software products. Each of the applications has unique uses, operational methods, and data. So, data silos and duplication of data are quite common.
Moreover, any changes made to data in one application may not be reflected in the other. As a result, it gives rise to data inconsistency and may lead to confusion in the organization. Enterprise application integration offers a quick solution to such issues.
Ultimately, it allows the organizations to operate efficiently and lower the chances of errors. It can enable you to stand out in the competitive era and boost the success of your business.
Enterprise Application Integration: The Key Benefits
Before you get to know the benefits of leveraging enterprise application integration, you must have an idea of its core goals. Well, the key goals include:
Several tasks require the team members of different departments to work together. In such a situation, enterprise application integration comes in handy.
It allows the team members to make use of different tools and work in a collaborative manner. As a result, it ensures data consistency and increases the productivity level of the employees.
Data is at the core of every organization. However, duplication of data is a common problem that often hampers the workflow of companies and results in errors.
However, with enterprise application integration, overcoming this issue is possible. As all the data of different applications are stored in one place, you can expect greater accuracy and consistency. Moreover, you can easily gain access to comprehensive data and streamline business processes.
Enterprise application integration also allows the integration of the interfaces of all the applications. That means the components of the applications will present the same interface to the users, irrespective of the location.
Now that you know the goals of integrating the applications, it is time to explore its benefits. The most significant benefits are outlined below.
Simplifies Business Processes
Enterprise application integration enables enterprises to combine all the processes and develop a unified system. It streamlines the IT processes and simplifies the workflow. Moreover, it can significantly lower the waste of time and effort.
The integration allows making data readily accessible and facilitates better collaboration among the employees. With simplified business processes, serving your customers and enhancing their satisfaction becomes easy.
Ensures Better Decision Making
Every organization have to make several decisions throughout their lifecycle. While it may seem to be easy, it actually isn’t. For effective decision making, companies rely on data and information.
What if the data isn’t accurate? It can lead to wrong decisions and affect the overall functioning and revenues of the business.
An ideal way to avoid such a situation is to implement enterprise application integration. It unifies all data across different departments of the organization and serves as the single point of truth.
It enables business leaders to easily gain access to up-to-date and accurate data for well-informed decision-making. The integration allows identifying business opportunities and preparing better for the unforeseen future.
Eliminates Data Silos
When organizations use several applications, data silos are common. However, enterprise application integration allows eliminating data silos.
It makes all the data available in one place. As a result, the users can access all data in real time. So, accessing and sharing data among employees becomes simple and easy.
Better Cost Savings
Every business tries to lower their costs in all possible ways. EAI can eliminate the need for manual data entry and promote greater savings. Moreover, you do not have to replace the entire system owing to incompatibility issues.
With a well-integrated system, businesses can quickly respond to the changes in the market. Companies will be able to deliver comprehensive solutions to the customers and gain a competitive edge.
Enhances Data Security and Compliance
Enterprise application integration allows the centralization of data. By integrating the systems, it allows businesses to comply with the necessary regulations and standards.
Moreover, as all data is present in one place, performing accurate analytics and generating comprehensive reports is easy. It enables enterprises to make fast and correct decisions for the optimum success of their businesses.
Allows Legacy System Integration
Many organizations have older systems in place. However, these legacy systems may hinder the efficient workflow of businesses.
However, enterprise application integration helps increase the lifespan of these systems. Wondering how? Well, it integrates modern systems with the already existing ones to create a flexible and cohesive IT environment.
The alignment of the technology systems allows the organizations to achieve their business goals efficiently. It also helps them remain competitive in the market.
When you juggle between a number of applications, it can consume a lot of time and affect the productivity of your team. To overcome this problem, having a single interface is the key.
Enterprise application integration combines all the applications used by the business and makes data available in one place. So, your team members can access and share data more efficiently. It not only saves their valuable time but also boosts their overall productivity levels.
Enterprise Application Integration: The Potential Challenges
No doubt, enterprise application integration offers several benefits to organizations. However, there are certain challenges too. Read on to explore the key challenges.
It is no surprise that software applications get outdated over time. Such software may give rise to integration issues. It is mainly because they may have several bugs and often crash too soon.
Complexity of Integration
Businesses may have various applications that are complex and diverse. Each system comes with unique architectures, protocols, and data formats. Integrating such software can be really tough.
All the systems are developed by different vendors with the use of different programming languages. So, integrating them can be a complex task.
Lack of Appropriate Skill
In order to integrate the enterprise application, specialized skills are vital. However, finding such skilled experts is challenging for organizations. The lack of experience may lead to compromise of data quality, suboptimal performances, delays, and increase in costs.
Data Security Risks
Enterprise application integration allows the sharing of data across different departments in a seamless manner. However, it can give rise to security risks. It is especially high when sharing sensitive data between systems.
Therefore, organizations need to take appropriate steps to secure the data during the integration process. It can avoid data leakage and prevent the misuse of data effectively.
Inadequate integration of applications can have a direct impact on customer interactions. It may affect the response time and result in poor customer experience.
Examples Of Enterprise Application Integration
Different software integration methods leverage different infrastructures to cater to the unique demands of organizations. Therefore, choosing the right one for your business can be a little confusing. To simplify your task, take a look at the common application integrations listed below.
Application-to-application integration allows different programs to collaborate and communicate separately. It provides comprehensive visibility to businesses and ensures effective end-to-end processing. Moreover, it also paves the way for automation of tasks and boosts productivity.
On-premise applications require organizations to purchase a copy or license of the software. Owing to the licensing of the software, it resides within the premises of the enterprise. As a result, you can expect greater protection and security in comparison to the cloud infrastructure.
There are several traditional techniques available for the integration of the internal applications. However, the enterprise service bus (ESB) proves to be the best option.
ESB is basically a middleware platform that leverages a rules engine for the conversion and routing of messages. It ultimately facilitates smooth communication across different applications.
The use of SaaS among enterprises has become more common than ever before. The SaaS app integration allows you to integrate the SaaS application with on-premise or cloud-based solutions.
It enables organizations to transfer critical data seamlessly. Moreover, team members can gain access to the required data anytime and anywhere.
Also Read: SaaS Product Development
Levels of Enterprise Application Integration
When it comes to the levels of enterprise application integration, there are basically four levels. In this section, you will explore each of the levels in greater detail. Let’s get started!
1. Business Process Integration
The very first level of enterprise application integration is the business process integration. In this integration, businesses make strategies to automate their processes, achieve the set goals, and enhance overall performance.
To integrate business processes, there are three ways. It includes:
The data is transferred from the business process management software to a different system. An example of this integration is the transfer of the data of a successful candidate to the HRM.
In this integration, the data is transferred from a system to a business process management software.
An event taking place in a particular system may trigger a process in the business process management software of the enterprise. On the basis of an event, the process triggering may automate the process execution.
2. Data Integration
The next level of enterprise application integration is data integration. In this integration, the users can easily share information between applications and maintain complete transparency.
In order to convert the output of applications to data, most application integration relies on specialized codes. These concepts form the backbone of all enterprise application integration solutions.
3. Communications-Level Integration
This integration is an approach leveraged by organizations to achieve business process and data integration. It allows the applications to effectively and efficiently communicate with each other.
The communications-level integration helps in specifying how exactly the communication takes place. To accomplish the tasks, APIs are usually used.
4. Presentation-Level Integration
Presentation-level integration combines a number of applications into a single one and ensures a standard interface. In order to achieve this integration, companies can make use of middleware technology and solutions.
Moreover, this integration also creates a virtual intermediary and facilitates the easy collection of data. Then the data is distributed across different applications. The presentation-level integration is considered to be a suboptimal way of integrating and accessing data.
Models of Enterprise Application Integration
There are various models of enterprise application integration available. So, based on the unique objectives and requirements of your business, you can make the right choice. Each model comes with a distinct framework and methodology for the improvement of communication and data management.
Let’s explore the top 5 models of enterprise application integration.
1. Hub-and-Spoke Model
The Hub-and-Spoke model comes with a central component that facilitates the integration of different features. It allows for connecting every single element effectively.
This model serves as a central hub, responsible for sending, receiving, and reformatting data across different destinations.
2. Point-to-Point Model
In this model, the developers build unique connector programs for individual integration. Every connection needs a distinct script to send, process, and translate the data.
The point-to-point model is an ideal option for enterprises having minimal services. It provides greater flexibility to the users by enabling them to easily add an abstraction level.
This model is both reliable and fast. Moreover, it is also inexpensive. So, implementing the model can help you save more in the long run.
Middleware is a model that acts as a connective tissue between users, data, and applications. It enables the developers to effectively build and deploy applications.
The best thing about middleware is that it provides you with a lot of options to choose from. The most common types include transaction processing monitors, message brokers, application-server middleware, message-oriented middleware, and more. The middleware helps in the creation of a connection pool and allows users to access backend data faster.
4. Enterprise Service Bus
The enterprise service bus model makes use of a service-oriented architecture. It provides excellent interconnectivity and allows smooth communication between different network applications. It develops an indirect connection between systems and facilitates the development of simple applications.
This model is suitable for implementing complex and large systems. It helps you get rid of the potential bottlenecks of a single hub.
A major benefit of leveraging this framework is that it is highly scalable. That means you can easily add or remove applications as per your requirements with minimal changes. Moreover, the enterprise service bus model does not require the constant attention of the developers.
Microservices basically refer to an architectural design approach used by developers to build applications. In this approach, the developers have the flexibility to break down the extensive program into different independent and smaller components. Each of the components comes with unique responsibilities.
As a result, when some services fail or require modifications, all the other services remain undisturbed and functional. Moreover, upsizing or downsizing applications across different devices and platforms is simple and easy.
6. Enterprise Integration Tools
Have you decided to opt for enterprise application integration? In that case, you must be wondering which tools to use. Some of the top tools you can leverage are listed below.
When it comes to enterprise application integration tools, Oracle Fusion tops the list. It allows the exchange of information between different stakeholders through the right channels. The tool ensures that data reaches the right people, irrespective of their location around the globe.
Moreover, with Oracle Fusion, you can monitor, improve, and build system processes in a hassle-free manner. Being a modular tool, it is easy to install, use, and configure.
Tibco is another popular enterprise application integration tool that is loaded with several tech-savvy features. It is a cost-effective tool that allows users to select the appropriate message delivery service levels for effective utilization of resources.
SnapLogic is a tool based on predictive machine learning. It makes it easier for the developers to identify the snap that is to be used next.
Dell Boomi is basically a drag-and-drop user interface. It comes with various modules such as EDI Management, API Management, and Master Data Hub.
EAI vs. ESB vs. SOA
By now you must have a basic idea about enterprise application integration and its relevance among modern organizations. Next, let’s explore the top app integration approaches.
Enterprise service bus or ESB refers to an integration model. It allows developing services and improving their interactivity through the use of an API. ESB serves as a messaging backbone, responsible for message format transformation, delivery of messages, and routing.
Service-oriented architecture or SOA is an approach in which the software resources of an enterprise become discoverable on different services and networks. Each of the services is designed to achieve a specific objective and perform different work units. They operate within a distributed systems architecture.
EAI, SOA, and ESB, all focus on integrating enterprise applications. However, their underlying architecture differs. While SOA promotes the use of reusable services, EAI is ideal for point-to-point integration. On the other hand, ESB is the perfect choice for creating a messaging infrastructure that connects loosely decoupled services.
By now, you must have a complete idea about the enterprise application integration. Its demand is likely to increase even more in the near future. EAI helps connect all the applications of the organizations and allows streamlining their operations.
Are you planning to implement enterprise application integration for your organization? If yes, hire proficient experts and get started.
Why Choose eSparkBiz?
eSparkBiz is a web development company in India helping businesses across the globe with its exceptional enterprise application integration services. With a team of over 300 seasoned and skilled developers, the company strives to offer the best services at competitive prices.
We have been in the industry for more than 12 years and possess rich experience in the domain. Our expert professionals have successfully helped hundreds of reputed enterprises to digitize their legacy enterprise applications.
The satisfied clients of eSparkBiz have given a 4.9 rating on Clutch and a 5 rating on HubSpot. We take pride in delivering timely and top-notch solutions to clients in more than 20 countries across the globe. Our client retention rate is 95%.
So, if you are in search of an experienced team for your enterprise application integration, partner with eSparkBiz and boost the efficiency of your business.