The demand for enterprise application integration by industry and government is growing rapidly. International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that the market for EAI software reached $5 billion in 2000. IDC projections are that the market for EAI software will grow to over $54 billion by 2005, representing an average compound annual growth rate of 60%. These estimates for dramatic growth underscore the current and future demand for products and solutions targeted at implementing application integration in the enterprise.
Demand is strong for enterprise application integration because of the benefits to business that it promises: improved business performance and access to business information while reducing administrative and operational costs. The ambitious goal of EAI is to mold the software chaos that exists in most enterprises into the semblance of a single virtual application for users. This effort is still in its infancy, so there will be many lessons to learn. There will undoubtedly be many new products developed to target these challenges.
Illustrated in the following chapters are several common EAI scenarios likely to exist in many different companies and organizations. Each chapter is treated as a separate case study focused on using one of the EAI implementation strategiesdata sources, application interfaces (APIs), or shared business logic and methodsto solve the highlighted integration problems. Each chapter illustrates how several existing Microsoft products and technologies are used together to solve the EAI challenge.