Enterprise Application Integration

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Enterprise Application Integration

(EAI) The use of middleware to integrate the application programs, databases, and legacy systems involved in an organisation's critical business processes.

This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

application integration

(1) Translating data and commands from the format of one application into the format of another. It is essentially data and command conversion on an ongoing basis between two or more incompatible systems.

Implementing application integration has traditionally been done by tedious programming, or occasionally one package might support the interfaces of one or two other packages. However, the trend today is to use message brokers, applications servers and other specialized integration products that provide a common connecting point. Since the advent of the Web, these pre-packaged "middleware" solutions have become widely used to Web enable the enterprise. See messaging middleware, middleware, application server, integration server and application adapter.

(2) Redesigning disparate information systems into one system that uses a common set of data structures and rules.


(Enterprise Application Integration) The various techniques used to make information systems work together in the large enterprise. For example, when companies acquire other companies, disparate systems have to be integrated. Within a company, newly developed systems must work with legacy systems, and separate systems developed independently in the past must often be tied together to provide required information and services. When information systems are integrated, business intelligence can be gleaned across the entire enterprise.

EAI software may function as a central distribution hub, providing data and command conversions where necessary between applications. It is also a major component of a business process management suite (see BPM). See middleware and application integration.

EAI often entails conversion from one format to another and differs from EII (enterprise information integration), which aggregates current information from disparate sources. EAI also differs from ETL (extract, transform, load), which migrates data from one database into another. See EII and ETL.
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