Home > Articles > Information Technology

  • Print
  • + Share This
Like this article? We recommend

Types of B2B Application Integration

When contemplating B2B application integration for your organization, you must first understand the sum and content of the business processes and data in your organization. IT also needs to understand how these business processes are automated (or not automated, as the case may be) and realize the importance of all business processes. Depending on your enterprise, this may demand a significant amount of time and energy. Many organizations seek new methodologies to assist them in this process and use the opportunity to examine the best practices.

In brief, organizations must understand both business processes and data. They must then use this understanding to determine which processes and data elements require integration. This process can take on several dimensions, including these:

  • Data-oriented

  • Application interface-oriented

  • Method-oriented

  • Portal-oriented

  • Process integration-oriented

Data-oriented B2B application integration is the process—and the techniques and technology—of extracting information from one database, perhaps processing that information as needed, and updating it in another database within another organization. Although this process may sound simple and straightforward, in a typical B2B application integration-enabled enterprise, it might mean drawing from as many as 100 databases and several thousands of tables. It may also include the transformation and application of business logic to the data that is being extracted and loaded.

Cost is the primary advantage of data-oriented B2B application integration. For the most part, leaving the application alone and not changing code, so we don't need to incur the expense of changing, testing, and deploying the application. What's more, the technology that provides mechanisms to move data between databases, as well as reformats that information, is relatively inexpensive when compared to other B2B application integration levels and their applicable enabling technology.

Application interface-oriented B2B application integration refers to the leveraging of interfaces exposed by custom or packaged applications. Developers leverage these interfaces to access both business processes and simple information. Using these interfaces, developers can bundle any number of applications, allowing them to share business logic and information. The only limitations to this strategy rest with the specific features and functions of the application interfaces.

Application interface-oriented B2B application integration is most applicable to packaged applications, such as SAP, PeopleSoft, and Baan. These applications expose interfaces into their processes and data, but they do so in very different ways. To integrate those systems with others in the enterprise, we must use these interfaces to access both processes and data, extract the information, place it in a format understandable by the target application, and transmit the information. While a number of different technologies can do this, message brokers seem to be the preferred solution.

Method-oriented B2B application integration is the sharing of the business logic that exists within the enterprise. For example, the method for updating a customer record may be accessed from any number of applications, within or between organizations. These applications may access each other's methods without having to rewrite each method within the respective application.

Numerous mechanisms exist for sharing methods among applications. These include distributed objects, application servers, Transaction Processing (TP) monitors, frameworks, and a new application that combines two or more applications.

There are two basic approaches to combining applications:

    1. Create a shared set of application servers that exist on a shared physical server, such as an application server

    2. Share methods already existing inside of applications using distributed method-sharing technology, such as distributed objects

Method-oriented B2B application integration is something that we've been practicing for years as we sought to reuse application development efforts within the enterprises. We've not been largely successful due to both human and technological issues. Perhaps with B2B application integration, we may get it right.

Portal-oriented B2B application integration is very popular today, thanks to the mushrooming use of the Internet. Using this approach, application architects can integrate applications by presenting information from several local or partner applications within the same user interface.

Those of us who use Web portals such as www.excite.com, www.yahoo.com, or www.snap.com daily are already familiar with this concept. Information from many places, such as other sites or applications, is presented within the same user interface, typically a Web browser. Enterprises are avoiding the complexity and expense of traditional back-end integration by leveraging this integration approach as a means of integrating enterprise systems (such as inventory, SAP, and sales automation systems from the previous example) at the user interfaces.

Process integration-oriented B2B application integration, at its core, is a sophisticated management system that places an abstract business-oriented layer on top of more traditional B2B information movement mechanisms. Process integration-oriented e-business provides those who are supporting B2B application integration with a business-oriented and process automation-like view of how business information flows between trading partners. Collaboration-level B2B application integration does not typically deal with physical integration flows and physical systems, but it deals instead with abstract and shared processes such as people, invoices, orders, companies, and merchandise. An example of process integration-oriented B2B application integration is integration that provides a common abstract process between trading partners to support the development, construction, and delivery of a durable good, such as an automobile.

Process integration-oriented B2B application integration is at the top of the food chain in the world of B2B application integration, leveraging other types of B2B application integration, including data level, method level, and application interface level. This is an emerging concept, but one that's going to ultimately drive most B2B application integration activity going forward after the physical integration problems are solved.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020