Today’s IT organizations grapple with a world of discrete, heterogeneous systems that need to integrate with each other in order to accomplish significant business tasks. Over the years, companies have pursued a wide variety of integration approaches aimed at solving the underlying requirements for connecting these disparate systems. Yet, the problems with integration are still troubling companies, even though these solutions have been around for a generation or more.
The result of all these attempts to solve the problems of integration is a mix-and-match set of approaches and technologies that are ill-suited to the fundamental requirement of seamlessly connecting disparate systems in the enterprise. The “problem” of heterogeneity isn’t a problem that will go away, however. Heterogeneity simply is a fact of life and a part of the core of most business’ IT infrastructures. How can companies solve their short-term integration challenges without limiting their future agility?
Clearly, what is needed is not just a new set of integration technologies, but rather a fundamental change in the way companies architect systems and processes to handle integration requirements. Service-Oriented Integration (SOI) is a new approach to integration that combines XML, Service-Oriented Architectures, and Web Services. While an SOI solution can address short-term integration needs, it also creates an architectural approach for continuous IT value. Such an architecture helps companies get more value out of existing resources, by componentizing legacy applications, enabling system migration, application reuse, and consolidation of application functionality.