Fundamentals of Systems and Enterprise Integration
Course Composition and Objectives
- Analysis Modeling: Students will apply modeling concepts using the current industry modeling standard * to create a set of functional models that solve a complex organizational problem. (*As of 2011: UML and BPML)
- Define different types of models, including the different rules and style guidelines for creating them.
- Explain the process for creating various models.
- Create various models.
- Describe the relationships and differences between various models.
- Design Modeling: The student will create a collection of system specifications using the current industry modeling standard* that represents the requirements for a proposed system, with
- the intent that an integration team will use these specifications to develop and implement a solution to a complex EAI organizational problem. (*As of 2011: UML and BPML)
- Verify and validate the functional models to ensure they faithfully represent requirements determined during the analysis process.
- Determine an appropriate design strategy to follow.
- Create a design of the classes and methods .
- Create the database design
- Design the user interface, system inputs, and system outputs.
- Anticipate future system needs.
- Context for EAI & EAI Projects: The student will be able to identify the core concepts and skills of enterprise application integration (EAI) and EAI projects.
- Discuss common issues, current topics, and evolving modeling techniques and standards as they relate to EAI.
- Explain the system development life cycle (SDLC) and its four phases.
- Describe common integration issues.
- Compare/contrast the different SDLC methodologies.
- Summarize the Unified Process as it relates to communicating with others and working in teams.
- Describe relationships between systems and needs, information gathering, creation and support of requests, possible influences, feasibility, and project selection.
- Create requirements definition, system proposals.
- Develop a system request form that provides basic information about a proposed system, including goals and expectations.
- Data Representation and Exchange Knowledge: The student will be able to use and understand the fundamental constructs of the current industry standard language* for data
- representation and exchange knowledge. (*As of 2011: XML)
- Explain the goals of XML and reason for its creation.
- Identify various uses for XML.
- Apply the fundamentals of XML.
- Instructors Choice: Instructors may choose topics and learning objectives that meet the spirit of the course as defined here. Instructors may choose to devote more time to the learning objectives listed above or to add additional, complimentary objectives. Supplementary material and objectives should not overlap with the defined content of other courses in the curriculum
Enterprise integration focuses on system interconnection, data interchange, process modeling and reengineering, and distributed computing environments. The key goals of enterprise integration include:
- Identify the information needs: This requires a precise knowledge of the information needed and created by the different activities in the enterprise. To identify and anticipate information needs, we first begin with models of processes within the enterprise. These models address information flows, decision-making points, feedback loops, and actions that result from the processes. As part of the modeling effort, processes are often modified to improve the enterprise’s performance.
- Provide the right information at the right place: Once processes are modeled, information sharing systems and integration platforms capable of handling information transaction across heterogeneous environments must be established. The typical enterprise consists of heterogeneous hardware, different operating systems, and monolithic software applications (legacy systems). Enterprises often interact with one another on a day-to-day basis and their information systems often cross organizational boundaries to link the operations of different organizations briefly with short set-up times and limited time horizon (extended and virtual enterprises).
- Update information in real time to reflect the actual state of the enterprise operation: Decision-makers require current operational data (information created during the operation) to identify potential actions and their consequences for the enterprise. In addition to operational data, enterprises seek to capture information about changing environmental conditions that may originate from new customer demands, new technology, new legislation or new philosophies of society since these changes may require modification of the operational processes, the human organization or even the overall scope and goals of the enterprise.
- Organize and adapt the enterprise: To be successful, the enterprise must sense and respond to a wide variety of cues in its operating and external environments. Often this requires combining data from across the organization to uncover trends, and evaluating these trends with respect to internal and external environmental drivers of change.
To accomplish these goals, a solid understanding of systems analysis and design techniques and issues is needed. Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) is often thought of as the “core” of enterprise integration.
EAI is the process of linking together enterprise applications within a single organization (or across an extended enterprise of business partners) to simplify and automate business processes to the greatest extent possible, while at the same time avoiding having to make sweeping changes to the existing applications or data structures. EAI promotes data sharing between diverse applications of the enterprise and its partners.
Enterprise applications that are commonly in need of integration include:
- Supply chain management applications (for managing inventory and shipping)
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP) (for managing many of the major business functions of the organization)
- Customer relationship management applications (CRM) (for managing current and potential customers)
- Business intelligence applications (for finding patterns from existing data from operations)
- Other types of applications for managing data and information ( e.g., as human resources data, health care, internal communications, etc.) that typically cannot communicate with one another in order to share data or business processes. Such applications are sometimes referred to as islands of automation or information silos. This lack of communication leads to inefficiencies that can lead to critical competitive disadvantages.