Application integration use cases have increased dramatically since the emergence of new, Internet-centric enterprise application environments such as SaaS and hybrid cloud, said Steve Millidge, consultant for C2B2 Consulting in this video taken at JavaOne 2014. Fortunately, existing enterprise application integration (EAI) tools are up to the challenge of connecting far-flung applications.
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Enterprise architects have less control when their organizations’ apps are in public clouds, and they face a scenario with more variety, complexity and data types than ever before, Millidge said.
Also known as EAI frameworks, the application integration middleware stack used to handle only application-to-application integration within an organization's internal data center. Today, EAI tools must address cloud, mobile, Internet of Things, on-premise integrations and more, Millidge said. New requirements include data synchronization between SaaS and on-premise apps, cloud service integration, support for deploying an app on many platforms and more.
Millidge advises developers to examine the technologies involved in an integration project before making API and other choices. How would REST or SOAP or any technology fit into the current infrastructure, and which ones are familiar to the team, requiring less training? Also, consider that many products have different adapters and plug-ins that integrate best in specific environments, while some suites, like SAP or Oracle, work out of the box.
Of changes coming to EAI, Millidge said that micro-services may create the most vexing manageability problems. More businesses will be building and using micro-services, which are loosely coupled, small- scale services that can be scaled out rapidly. Don't jump in without planning a management approach, and watch out for scalability and dependency issues, he said.
- For more advice about micro-services, check out Java Champion Jeff Genender's video interview from Java One 2014.
- Check out the pros and cons of REST and SOAP.
- In this tip, Citicorp CEO Tom Noelle discusses strategies for integrating applications across cloud boundaries.
- Find out about EAI tools and how they’re used from veteran software consultant Dave Lithium.