Information as a Service: Service-Oriented Information Integration
As organizations grow organically, they often implement multiple systems that contain information that is redundant, conflicting, or distributed across their organization. As such, the seemingly simple task of trying to gain a single view of the information contained in the enterprise is a significant challenge. The requirement for single view, aggregated views, or shared information cuts cross the value chain from sales leads, orders, to products, inventory — including e-government initiatives in public safety, health and defense. While many application integration approaches attempt to solve this disparate information challenge by removing the barriers to accessing information, the challenge still remains of how to gain intelligence from the disparate data in the enterprise.
Previous approaches to information integration have fallen short. Tightly coupled data or application integration approaches that mandate point-to-point connections between systems are too brittle to handle continuously changing business requirements. Message buses and business process management approaches offer some relief for integration challenges, but only solve parts of the overall information integration challenge and leave the task of aggregating disparate views of data to the user. Finally, model-driven approaches to information integration work well when a company has visibility into their data formats and schema, but present challenges in an organization with limited information visibility.
To address these challenges, this paper introduces the notion of Service-Oriented Information Integration (SOII), which approaches information integration in a loosely-coupled, coarse-grained, asynchronous manner that seeks to avoid the requirements of comprehensive data modeling prior to integrating with them. This paper also presents XAware’s compelling SOII solution for meeting evolving information integration challenges. Their approach provides enterprises with an XML based abstraction layer that provides aggregated, virtual access to all of a company’s existing information assets