2.1 The need for a unifying technique

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2.1 The need for a unifying technique

There are many existing techniques and disciplines for integration. These are currently fragmented into stovepipes. Therefore, there are problems identifying the best techniques to use and problems in using different techniques together. In particular, terminology is a problem. Each of these disciplines often uses overloaded or ambiguous terminology that inhibits cross-discipline dialog. Use of similar terms in different domains may also mask incompatibilities that only become apparent at lower levels of design. EAI and B2B provide a good example: they have traditionally been seen as very different, whereas a simple diagram shows that they are solving some very similar problems.

Table 2-1 provides an example of terminology overload for "synchronous verses asynchronous.

Table 2-1: Synchronous verses asynchronous terminology overload




Used to differentiate protocols that can detect transmission errors via acknowledgement messages

Application programming

Used to indicate whether the caller waits (blocks) until the operation completes


Used to differentiate services that can store and forward messages (avoiding the need for all linked services to be available)

These inconsistencies significantly complicate the Process Integration efforts by impeding communication between different groups of skill sets needed to implement the end-to-end integration solution.

2.1.1 Similarities between intra- and inter-enterprise integration

As shown in Figure 2-1 and Figure 2-2, intra-enterprise integration and inter-enterprise integration are both concerned with integrating source and target applications.

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Figure 2-1: Intra-enterprise integration

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Figure 2-2: Inter-enterprise integration

Hence, the lessons learnt from traditional Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) solutions can be applied to business-to-business (also known as Extended Enterprise or inter-enterprise) integration. It is important to note, however, that there would be differences in Quality of Service (QoS) concerns and commercial considerations that are of particular significance to inter-enterprise integration.

For example, core concerns for inter-enterprise integration include security, interoperability, and governance (defining the responsibilities of each party). Nevertheless, we should expect that inter-enterprise solutions can leverage the majority of the intra-enterprise concepts.

2.1.2 Summary

As integration technologies have evolved, many similarities between the intra-enterprise and inter-enterprise integration approaches have become apparent. It should be possible to describe a set of underlying concepts that apply to both the areas.

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Patterns Direct Connections for Intra- And Inter-Enterprise. Direct Connections for Intra- And Inter-Enterprise (IBM Redbook) (Paperback)
Patterns Direct Connections for Intra- And Inter-Enterprise. Direct Connections for Intra- And Inter-Enterprise (IBM Redbook) (Paperback)
Year: 2003
Pages: 139

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