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E-Business Integration Patterns

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Learn the concept of integration patters in this sample chapter by Andre Yee. He provides an integration pattern taxonomy for both EAI and B2Bi, and covers the details behind seven primary integration patterns that are commonly applied today.
This chapter is excerpted from Integrating Your e-Business Enterprise.
"Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."
—Oscar Wilde

In This Chapter

  • What Are Integration Patterns?

  • Database Replication

  • Single-Step Application Integration

  • Multi-Step Application Integration

  • Brokering Application

  • Application-to-Application B2Bi

  • Data Exchange B2Bi

  • B2B Process Integration

e-Business Integration occurs in as many forms as there are e-Businesses. At first glance, integration problems and the corresponding solutions are seldom identical. Yet, upon closer examination, you discover that integration solutions can actually be classified into common categories. Each of these categories describes both a "type" of integration problem as well as a solution method. These categories are called integration patterns. Integration patterns help you understand the different methods available to you for a given type of integration problem. They allow you to take a step back and understand the differences in the various scenarios and appreciate the different approaches to integration. Finally, they allow you to view "integration in the big picture." You can learn to break down what may be a complex integration into conceptual categories and understand which technologies to apply.

What Are Integration Patterns?

A pattern is commonly defined as a reliable sample of traits, acts, tendencies, or other observable characteristics. In software development, you may be familiar with the idea of design patterns or process patterns. Design patterns systematically describe object designs that can be employed for a common set of problems. Similarly, process patterns describe proven methods and processes used in software development. In practice, patterns are simply a logical classification of commonly recurring actions, techniques, designs, or organizations.

What are integration patterns? Integration patterns emerge from classification of standard solutions for integration scenarios. They are not patterns of design or code. Nor are they patterns of operational processes for an integration project. Instead, each integration pattern defines a type of integration problem, a solution technique, as well as parameters applied for e-Business Integration.

I have identified seven common e-Business Integration patterns. They are not meant to be comprehensive, but they cover most of the common integration scenarios implemented today. They encompass both EAI scenarios as well as B2Bi scenarios:

EAI (intra-enterprise) Patterns

  • Database Replication

  • Single-Step Application Integration

  • Multi-Step Application Integration

  • Brokering Application

B2Bi (inter-enterprise) Patterns

  • Application-to-Application B2Bi

  • Data Exchange B2Bi

  • B2B Process Integration

The EAI Patterns represent patterns commonly applied within a corporate enterprise, whereas the B2Bi Patterns represent the different methods in conducting integrated B2B transactions. The following sections provide a closer look at each of these patterns and discuss some of the details.

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