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Software project management is a difficult task in general, and is more complex and critical in the case of integration projects. By definition, there is more collaboration and planning required between development teams and project managers. You need to select development tools carefully to manage the complex adapter development projects. Understanding the differences between normal software development and adapter development mean that the end results (adapters) meet the business requirements, as well as handle complex technical infrastructures involved in the integration scenario.

Building close relationships with vendors of third-party packages is essential to knowing their product roadmap. Knowledge of what features and changes to expect in the near future, as well as what features will be deprecated, enables project managers to plan integration projects and requirements. Without a planned integration roadmap, it is difficult to upgrade third-party application packages without impacting any customization or integration between applications.

This chapter doesn't provide all the answers, but it helps identify some of the unique project management and development issues related to integration projects. Existing development methodologies may need some adjustments when applied to integration projects. As integration and adapter development become entrenched into mainstream development, the experience gained by the teams involved will influence future methodologies, techniques, and design patterns.

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