Developing UML Architecture for EAI Products
- Developing UML Architecture for EAI Products
- Process for Building an Architecture
- Addressing Architecture Issues Specific to EAI Products
- Example Solutions to EAI Issues
EAI expert Laura Brown discusses how (and why) to design your EAI product architecture using the Unified Modeling Language.
By Laura Brown
The EAI marketplace offers an attractive opportunity for software vendors bringing together the best features from data integration, middleware, and application integration approaches. From screen-scraping to dynamic database calls, today's products are converging into the fast-paced Internet market, with EAI and Internet technologies providing the much-needed unified interface to legacy systems.
To help customers understand how their software really works, EAI product vendors can utilize the Unified Modeling Language (UML). Designing technical architecture for EAI products in UML delivers the following benefits:
- Clarifies product architecture so customers understand how your products are configured and how they will be installed in the customer's organization. This approach can allay customer concerns about allowing EAI products to interface directly with sensitive legacy systems.
- Provides system context for all project participants. Context-oriented models support integration efforts and help to avoid problems with local optimization of system substructures resulting in suboptimal conditions for the whole system.
- Supports sales and service by including user-friendly UML use case and collaboration diagrams in sales collateral and customer training materials.
- Enables tailoring of a dynamic model for presentation to multiple groups that participate in the contract and development process (client project managers, vendor technical team, management of both vendor and client).
- Captures specific, detailed information for RFP/RFI and purchasing contract negotiations.
- Provides a key step toward achieving CMM and other quality certifications for both the product vendor and the purchasing company. (CMM certification results from passing an evaluation based on the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model.)
- Supports allocation of work resources. UML architecture modeling helps partition both the technical functionality and the development resource for building system components.