Advanced Enterprise Integration: Technology and Applications
Course Composition and Objectives
- Assess a complex integration environment
- Explain the business imperative for enterprise integration.
- Explain business drivers for enterprise integration.
- Identify integration failures and myths.
- Describe the importance of an enterprise integration strategy.
- Evaluate/Recommend/Choose different technologies, tools, and techniques for performing EAI
- Compare and contrast various technologies and tools (e.g., remote procedure calls (RPCs), message-oriented middleware (MOM), distributed objects, database-oriented middleware, transactional middleware, integration servers, and portals)).
- Explain the role and function of XML
- List benefits of XML for enterprise integration.
- Explain ebXML and implications for enterprise integration.
- Explain the function and components of web services.
- Explain service oriented architecture (SOA) and what it can bring to an organization.
- Explain the business case and drivers for SOA.
- Identify governance and other mechanisms needed for successful SOA.
- Explain the importance of understanding where to start with SOA projects in an organization and how to develop an evolutional enterprise plan for SOA.
- Discuss major enterprise applications and trends
- Explain the following enterprise applications:
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Supply chain management
- Explain contemporary enterprise systems architectural approaches such as:
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Cloud computing
- Service-Oriented Architecture
- Compare and contrast operational examples of enterprise systems integration implementations
- Predict future trends in enterprise systems integration
- Compare current modeling standards and approaches
- Apply business process management and modeling.
- Explain Business Process Management Initiative and its relationship to and implications for SOA.
- Apply the following major modeling standards and languages
- Business Process Modeling Language (BPML) and its relationship to UML
- Business Process Execution Language (BPEL)
- 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.
In IST 420, students gained a solid understanding of systems analysis and design techniques and issues and explored the concept that Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) is often thought of as the “core” of enterprise integration. Additionally, IST 420 students came away with basic understanding of the EA process.
With this foundation, students in IST 421 are expected to move forward and apply this knowledge to real world problems. In the real world, application of enterprise integration is never simple or easy. It requires knowledge of different technologies and techniques used to integrate enterprise applications and systems. A working knowledge of the major types of enterprise applications is also needed. Students will be placed into situations where they will be required to “learn how to learn” and get themselves up-to-speed on new projects and associated technologies. They will be expected to identify and acquire resources that they may need to complete projects. Additionally, they will need to learn how analyze a complex integration related problem situation, investigate and evaluate potential solutions, recommend and justify a solution, and prototype the recommended solution. Dealing with complex problem situations builds skills and knowledge in the enterprise application integration arena.
Ideally, a learning experience will be implemented throughout the course that ties the course concepts together and allows students to experience practical application of enterprise application integration. One such experience could be the completion of an approved integration project whereby students would complete the following tasks:
- Develop a project plan
- Demonstrate understanding of requirements
- Create a high-level design documents using a modeling language, such as UML
- Create a detailed design document
- Recommend specific techniques and technologies
- Justify recommendations
- Discuss provide pros and cons of recommendations
- Explain a plan for mitigation of the recommendation’s cons
- Create a complete prototype (may be functional or representative)