15 July 2021
Organisations are typically comprised of thousands of applications that are custom-built or acquired from a third party. With the rapid increase of new trends such as SaaS applications, IoT, B2B e-commerce supply chains, mobile applications, edge and quantum computing, it has certainly expanded the spectrum of complexity, particularly in integration. It is not uncommon to find an enterprise that has countless departmental solutions scattered across on-premise and the cloud.
Enterprise Integration Scenarios
With that in mind, enterprise integration is not a smooth mission. Enterprise integration must cope with multiple applications running on multiple platforms in different locations. Software vendors offer EAI suites that provide cross-platform and cross-language integration. They also provide the ability to interface with many popular packaged business applications.
This blog illustrates the most common enterprise integration scenarios that can solve a variety of integration problems. They can serve as guides to map solutions to recurring problems and can fill the gap between the concept of integration and implementation.
Cloud to Cloud
With Digital Transformation being the main driver in new trends, more enterprises are moving towards SaaS applications. There are custom applications that are developed on new cloud architectures and they require integration between the applications.
For these types of new integration scenarios, it makes sense to use the newer capabilities of IPaas solutions as opposed to traditional ESBs. ESBs hosted in the cloud are capable of cloud-to-cloud integration. However, IPaas would provide benefits that come with the newer technologies such as improved administration, monitoring, tooling and scalability.
Figure 1 below illustrates the possible variations an enterprise would approach integrating applications hosted on the cloud (public or private):
Many of the IPaas solutions in the market offer a range of components that support the various integration design patterns. The first flow illustrates integration through the iPaas Provider. Many of the providers have data centres across the world and can provide assistance to multiple regions. This will allow integrations to take place close to the applications for better performance.
The next flow in Figure 1 shows an integration where the ESB is installed on the cloud through a PaaS provider. The ESB would then facilitate the integrations on the cloud. Even though this flow is possible, the first flow can provide modern solutions to the ESB.
On-premise to on-premise
Enterprises predominantly use ESBs for Application to Application integration, mediating and mapping between different application data structures and integration protocols. ESBs commonly couple systems using messaging (publish/subscribe), and encourage service orientation and canonical messaging patterns.
Many systems, especially legacy systems, don’t have integration mechanisms or API’s. ESBs would typically connect to those systems or their database’s in order to facilitate the integration.
In addition, figure 2 below illustrates the possible variations an enterprise would approach integrating applications hosted on-premise:
For large enterprises that have presences in multiple geographical regions, site ESBs could be deployed in an effort to limit traffic between site-to-site applications. This could also potentially limit disruptions and failures between application interfacing due to a bad network. Subsequently, the flow in Figure 2 illustrates how this takes place. By linking the main ESB to the site ESBs, site applications can integrate with main applications through the main ESB. The main EBS typically has more features and functionalities than a site ESB would have.
Cloud to on-premise
ESBs on-premise can be used for on-premise to cloud and cloud to cloud integration scenarios. It is also possible to use IPaas for on-premise to on-premise integration, by installing connectors and gateways on-premise. However, it is also possible to use both IPaas and an ESB to handle the integration scenario.
Similarly, figure 3 below illustrates the possible variations an enterprise would approach integrating applications cloud to on-premise:
The flows depict integrations through the iPaaS provider, cloud-hosted ESBs and direct access onto on-premise applications. Access to the on-premise applications can be through the ESB or connectors as mentioned above to have a uniform integration platform.
With the growth of Data Analytics Centric Applications, enterprises might want to consider integrating site applications to the cloud in order to get better insights into their operations and make informed real-time decisions based on the information derived from the data. Clear patterns and approaches would need to be defined to facilitate this type of integration. However, the common considerations should include:
- Deploying ESB to site to facilitate the integration,
- Use Integration runtimes and/or iPaas connector components on-site to tap into the applications on site.
The approach would depend on whether the integration is transactional or read-only bulk extraction/ingestion and feasibility by the enterprise.
There are many more permutations to take into consideration when listing the possible integration scenarios which will vary from enterprise to enterprise. Even though integration is a broad and difficult topic, over the years we have learned and solved enough integration problems that we can compare new problems to prior problems we have solved.
Here at Integrove we understand the different problems and associated solutions and can enable you to get the foundation right on your road to digital transformation. Integrove can help you plan, design, implement and sustain your integration strategy with our integration specialists.