1.7 How This Book Will Help
This book will guide business managers and IT professionals through the complex decisions surrounding enterprise integration. The ultimate goal is to select the right solution to solve the business problem at hand while increasing business agility. This book is not a rigid methodology. Instead, it is intended to provide guidelines based on best practices for implementing successful integration solutions. We have included templates that we have found to be useful for designing and documenting the integration solution.
The book is designed to be flexible, so it can be adapted based on your project needs. Although the authors truly believe that an enterprise integration strategy and architecture ultimately produces the most agile infrastructure (see Chapter 3), we recognize that tight IT budgets require focus on tactical solutions. Therefore, we offer you guidelines for making tactical decisions while maximizing long-term agility.
Figure 1-1 is a road map to this book. It is our sincere intent and hope that it is a helpful guide on your next integration project.
Figure 1-1 Integration Road Map
As the map shows, the first step in the process is to define business drivers and requirements (Chapter 2). This needs to be done regardless of the integration project at hand. This step will determine the scope of your integration initiative, after which you will have some choices of what to do next. However, even if you are implementing a tactical solution, it is important to have an enterprise road map to avoid costly mistakes down the line. Therefore, we strongly recommend that everyone read Chapter 3 on creating an integration strategy, and Chapter 4 through Chapter 9 on defining an integration architecture.
For project work, readers can use the chapters and templates that are most relevant to the solution being implemented.