One of the most common dilemmas a company faces today centers around how to deal with legacy applications. Many existing companies had their IT systems set up using legacy applications that have become obsolete in the wake of technological development. In light of a changing business atmosphere that incorporates technology into nearly almost every process, companies are beginning to face up to the fact that an upgrade might be a necessity as opposed to a luxury. Upgrading legacy applications however is neither a simple nor a cheap process.
The main problem is the fact that the structure of legacy systems does not integrate well with existing technology platforms. While a complete system overhaul is a possibility it remains an unrealistic one. The fact is that legacy systems integration, though outdated, are very stable platforms that support most of a company’s business processes. This is why most companies have opted for a solution which involves applications integration.
Enterprise applications integration has proven to be the most advantageous legacy integration method for commercial businesses. This is because business enterprise systems are made up of a host of different system applications that work in tandem to perform various processes. An entire system would for instance consist of applications fro supply chain management, customer relationship management software, payroll software and of course legacy applications based business logic software. For these systems to work in tandem applications integration is a necessity.
The main benefits of applications integration are:
- Data integration – In a system that is as varied as a business enterprise system, it is important that data flows freely between all involved applications. Furthermore this data flow must be consistent. Applications integration ensures that this happens without the risk of loss of sensitive information or external malicious attack.
- Interoperability – Enterprise systems are typically built from commercial off the shelf software as well as custom designed software. One of the issues that arise when it comes to using these software packages together is that of operability. For instance in the case of legacy applications; they were designed using outdates language on platforms that do not integrate well with their modern counterparts. However, enterprise applications integration solves this problem.
- Strength and scalability – Enterprise applications integration is usually referred to as the glue that keeps the system together. Without it there isn’t much value for the underlying applications. One of the benefits of applications integration is that it lends its strength, robustness and scalability to the entire system.
How it works:
Every application has its own unique point of access. Integrating a number of applications can thus be quite daunting as each application would have to be connected individually to another’s point of access. However enterprise applications integration software has made this process simpler by treating the integration process as a systems process. This process brings together adapters, data transformers and integration engines in a manner that allows for a more flexible architecture.