Types of EAI
The following are the types of Enterprise Application Integration.
- Data Level Integration
- Application Level Integration
- Method Level Integration
What is Data Level Integration?
Data oriented Integration is primarily used when source applications don’t provide or support any API(Application Programming Interface) to retrieve the data.
When do we use Data Level Integration?
When the source application and target application run on different platform and written in different languages, the best way to use tools such as ETL to retrieve the data from the source system and place them in staging environment and then move the data from staging database to target application data base.
Example of Data Level Integration
Assume a currency trading company uses legacy system such as custom application written in Fox-pro, c ad C++ applications, now company wants to build a warehouse to generate the reports out of legacy systems used in currency trading.We can go for data integration using ETL tools to bring in all necessary data from legacy system to data warehouse system and then use Business intelligence to generate reports.
When legecy system are migrated to the product based system, the following process is used
1.All the legacy applications data is extracted from the source system.
2.The extracted the data is then pushed to the staging environment. This is the environment where one or more applications data is stored as intermediate.
3.The transformation logic is then applied on the data in staging environment and the data is pushed/loaded to target environment
Advantage of Data Level Integration
- As the integration is done on the database level, the source application behavior doesn’t have any impact. Because only the data is pulled and pushed to target application.
- There won’t be any requirement to develop API to pull and push the data.
- Data can be easily cleansed and the data can be profiled precisely.
- Data can be very well transformed and pushed as per target system need.
Disadvantage of Data Level Integration
- As the data integration is done on the database level, the data that is pushed into target system may not compatible with application user interface.
- Application data is not integrated in real-time as the integration is done on the database level
- It needs end to end understanding of the application as the application doesn’t provide any user interface.
- Application business logic is not executed in order to process the business activities such as notifying via email.
- The state of the business activity can’t be maintained.
- Business processed can’t be executed.
What is Application Level Integration?
In this approach, different applications are integrated through application programming interface(API) in order to provide access to the business logic, business process and data of the application.This integration provides a way for applications to be able to communicate each other to exchange the business data.
The application programming interface is provided by out-of-box systems by the product vendor such as People-soft, SAP in order to communicate with other systems in real-time.
When do we use Application Level Integration?
In today’s world, companies use various applications running on different platform to achieve business needs. in order to be able to improve the business productivity the applications should be integrated to access the business process, business logic and data.
Advantage of ApplicationLevel Integration
- Provides real-time access to business process, business logic and business data
- Increased productivity
- No manual interaction and highly automated business process
- Data is compatible with application user interface as API is used to push the data to target system.
Dis-advantage of Application Level Integration
- Time consuming process as the business logic and business processes are executed while doing application integration.
- Need to develop custom tool/ client to invoke source application programming interface and integrate data with target system.
Example of Applications Level integrations
Assume an IT company uses People-soft to create and maintain employees data and also company uses some third party applications to maintain employees current assignment and working time.
In order to communicate between these applications, the application specific API is used to integrate applications running on different platform, written in different language and hardware to be able to exchange the information between applications in real time.
Method Level Integration
Method level integration is a type of integration which exposes common business logic as web API in enterprise level for an application to access the business logic and process the business transactions.
This method level integration allows enterprise to share common business logic and also provides real-time integration between applications for B2B (Business to Business) systems , B2C(Business to Customer) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems which can be interacted with customer, vendor, supplier and manufacture to process business transactions.
Example of method level integration
The common business logic such as creating customer account could be made as a web services that can be accessed via web APi by another application to create customer account.
There are two types of method level integration
What is Web API?
Web API is a software methodology to access an application specific business logic over the network to process business transactions.
How is Web API developed?
Web APIs are called web services which are used to expose application specific methods to consumer over the network by a framework.
for more information and examples on Web API, refer to
What is Distributed Object?
Distributed Objects are server side applications with common business logic that are hosted on one or more centralized server to share the business logic with other applications.