Datmobil, the cause

The need to integrate systems began when the second computer arrived at the firm. Integration allows a manager to save time, manage costs and reduce complexity by bringing disparate systems together. Aligning multiple separated platforms into a cohesive unit help improve the quality of decision-making within an enterprise.

Benefits include legacy hardware and its endemic software being kept in service longer; unification of incongruous software packages, reducing the need for entire new 'software suites' and across-the-board integration bridging the geographical separations between divisions of larger companies.

Thus the case is made for the necessity of integration, however the problem is how to get this integration at reasonable cost while achieving improved business results faster, cost effectively.

the business problem

BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS [B2B]: The B2B model of integration focuses almost exclusively on managing information exchange between enterprises, or managing the relationships between two companies.   The B2B model eases, automates and mechanizes the traditional paper-and-fax information management and exchange between businesses and trading partners. The B2B model can be viewed as having distinct, incremental conceptual layers which match software architecture paradigms to the hardware capabilities within a particular business or enterprise. There are three broad layers: 1) Web Forms and Portals; 2) Hub & Spoke Automated Data Distribution; and 3) Services, i.e. EDI or Web Services (SOAP, UDDI, XLANG/XAML, XKMS). These layers all have one common, underlying thread: the use of the Internet as the communications channel to bridge Intranets or to provide a consistent access to an enterprise's Intranet.
ENTERPRISE APPLICATION INTEGRATION [EAI]: EAI is a term that encompasses a broad range of methods, tools and practices, all of which are usually directed at modernizing or enhancing an enterprise's information management.   More often than not, EAI involves assessing the current information systems inventory with regard to hardware, software and network infrastructure. This inventory is then used as a baseline for determining the extent of alterations to the inventory, the possibility and practicality of engineering 'middleware,' and the need for new or newer IT resources. If the assessment and inventory process determines that changes are needed, the enterprise then begins the process of garnering the middleware and any additional IT resources deemed necessary. The enterprise then deploys and implements the new resources and begins maintenance of the new infrastructure.

COMMON PROBLEMS FACED BY BUSINESS

TIME

Time is the enemy of progress. To be competitive in today’s business environment, companies must reduce the time spent on any given process, such as product lead times or order turnaround.   Time spent on system integration can quickly balloon out of control, reducing time available to focus strategy, core competences and innovation. Making effective use of time during the process of integration should be of paramount importance to any firm.

COST

Keeping costs down is fundamental to the success of any business and integrating disparate systems can be extremely costly, often without predictable returns   Any system integration will begin with an inventory process. The inventory will reveal what resources are needed to perform the integration. The total cost of the solution will consist of: the cost for the acquisition of new hardware, plus the cost of writing new custom “middleware” to bridge gaps between dissimilar enterprise applications and hardware, plus the cost of transitioning the company to the new hardware. While off-the-shelf solutions exist, there are often hidden fees associated with these, such as: consulting fees, maintenance contracts and long-term support agreements.

COMPLEXITY

As the information systems develop, so does the complexity of the environment into which they are applied.   When the business environment is viewed as whole - hardware, software, business processes and personnel have all refused to remain static. They are not simply managed entities that blend seamlessly. A business enterprise is often faced with a mixture of legacy architectures, systems and workforces, which in and of themselves contain a blend of hardware, ensconced personnel and transitional employees. These blends weave themselves into complex fabric, like a patchwork quilt. The diversity of systems, standards, qualities and solutions contribute to inefficiency and complexity. Reducing this complexity is the “holy grail” of enterprises everywhere

the solution

Thus the case is made for the necessity of integration, but the problem is how to get this integration at reasonable cost while achieving improved business results. It is how businesses integrate these trends into a coherent solution that will determine the level of their success.    Business Application Integration presents the case for successfully integrating business processes: B2B (Business-to-Business) [networks consist of: conformity to partners organization, consistent business process structures & multiple communications channels] + EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) [networks consist of: conformity to business processes, transaction focused, guaranteed transaction commitment] = BAI (Business Application Integration) [centralized configuration tool, Web-based realtime monitoring, statistical reporting tools, centralized data process monitor]

REDUCED COMPLEXITY

BAI’s focus on file management, as opposed to message-brokering or transaction management, simplifies implementation and deployment. This file focus also relieves the complexity issues of sorting through a menagerie of assorted application program interfaces (APIs) and hardware platforms.    The Hub-and-Spoke method from B2B and the Store-and-Forward method from EAI (and MOM) were selected as best-of-breed methods to implement the BAI architecture. They are both abstractions that are very close to both the physical hardware and the flow of data within, and external to an enterprise’s existing IT structure. These abstractions also provide a flexible architectural framework, which efficiently manages the file transport mechanism.

REDUCED TIME TO MARKET

BAI’s methodology also mitigates the traditional time constraints associated with the discovery periods of EAI and training periods associated with monolithic B2B software platforms.    It is no longer necessary to spend vast amounts of time scrutinizing legacy APIs, developing interface frameworks or training a specialized staff to manage and maintain an entire platform. BAI’s commitment to a single, persistent model frees an enterprise to concentrate on data content as opposed to engineering data adapters. Avoiding reliance on frozen, untested, or non-ubiquitous standards also allows a staff to focus on content management vs. trying to keep abreast of leadingedge standards and endless reading of specifications.

COST SAVINGS

The savings in time and reduction of complexity offered by BAI directly result in a lower implementation cost. BAI does not need intense discovery periods, has no adapters to engineer and relies on no nebulous, specialized standards.    The consulting fees that would normally accrue in the course of auditing their infrastructure, engineering software, analyzing APIs and becoming or staying compliant with standards, are neatly sidestepped. The simplicity, elegance and flexibility inherent to the methodology make tools and solutions developed from it extremely inexpensive to develop, and thus result in these savings being passed on to the end user

About

DatMobil provides a simple, secure and reliable solution to bring together various business processes. As it is a platform-independent, Web-based technology, no complex implementation necessary, making it a cost-effective alternative to expensive data integration and messaging solutions currently available on the market.

"Our technology solutions are "enablers" that have been crafted, compiled and built over a long period of time and the result of thousands of hours of effort by our functional and technology professionals. These enablers help us to quickly and effectively deploy customized quality solutions and services to our clients to optimally and quickly accomplish their respective business objectives."
-- Sherley Issac (President), Synerjix - Crafters of DatMobil

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