Application integration is the process of helping a series of applications communicate better with one another. For example, you may have one application that requires data from another, but neither application understands the other. For this process to work you may require a third application sitting in the middle (Middleware) that can talk with both programs.
What It Involves
Before design can take place of the integration environment, it is important to understand the business in logical terms. At this stage the importance of what technologies to use for integration is irrelevant. It is purely to outline the processes used to complete a specified activity.
Once the business processes have been identified they can then be modelled, these are typically flowcharts, an example model is shown below.
Once the required processes are known, the application design can begin.
What Is Produced
- Business Processes Document
- Process Models
- Application Design Document
Why It Is Done
A common problem for a company when they purchase new software is the additional man power required to keep both applications in sync with one another. By using application integration a company can hope to improve the efficiency of using their software and reduce costs.