The dangers of taking your eye off integration...
Poor alignment of project deliverables and milestones is an outcome of integration lagging behind
Published 16:05, 11 October 12
- Poor alignment of project deliverables and milestones is an outcome of integration lagging behind. To combat this you need to be dynamic in your software development approach to integration, in between each point, and have the time of day of any change to an application process recorded to an overall schedule.
- Integration is a mix of application deployment and software development tools examples such as WebSphere, Tibco and WebMethods have the basic building blocks for integration, however to make integration work one still needs custom development. To make best use of this mix you need really good patterns and standards of integration to be able to make all components work well.
- There is always a trade off between architectural re-use and project delivery. Planning and realising re-use typically takes more time, therefore be pragmatic enough to focus on today’s problem but be savy enough not to close off extension and enhancements for future re-use. Design and build discrete chunks of functionality so that you can separate out business rules, technical procedure and operations giving you flexibility when you need to change them.
- End to end process definition needs cross-functional teams. There is often a dominant application that stores redundant data in any application chain. By understanding the whole process and solution for the entire end-to-end set of business need, you can deliver simpler, cleaner quicker interfaces.
- Ownership of EI work-streams can often be confused with no single person owning integration. You need an integration owner who is responsible for the whole process through every transactional spot.
- The support model needs to reflect the end-to-end process and include the integration layer. If there is no correlation between what came in and what went out you will not be supporting the business transactions. Orders, receipts and trades can get lost in the process steps between applications involved in that business process. Integration helps you make sure what comes in gets processed at every step.