5 Things to know about Integration Patterns
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Integration is an important part of most projects. Whether it is integration of transactions, data, or processes, each has challenges and associated patterns and antipatterns. In an age of mobile devices, social networks, cloud services, and big data analytics, integration is more important than ever. The scope of the challenge for IT projects is changing. Partner APIs, social networks, physical sensors and devices, are all important sources of capability or insight. It is no longer sufficient to integrate resources under control of the enterprise, because many important resources are in the ecosystem beyond enterprise boundaries.
Here are 5 things to know about the most common integration patterns:
1) The Enterprise Application Integration pattern integrates specific applications
The Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) pattern is associated with the inner most zone of the topology of the enterprise, which is the zone of the back-end applications.
This pattern is used when there are no requirements on operational insight or policy-based operational control, and when the applications that are being integrated are known in advance and rarely change. The pattern is useful for integrating different applications that are running within the same back-end environment, but can be used across a more complex topology if that topology is static.
2) The Service Integration pattern allows multiple consumers to use services offered by a provider
The Service Integration pattern is associated with service-oriented architecture, where consumer applications and provider applications are decoupled. It is based on a set of architectural principles, patterns, and criteria that address characteristics such as modularity, encapsulation, loose coupling, separation of concerns, reuse, and composability. The Service Integration pattern is centered on integrating resources within a zone of control where advanced security and traffic controls that connect consumers and providers are not required.
3) The Gateway pattern allows passage between zones inside and outside the enterprise
The Gateway pattern is useful whenever and wherever you have a boundary that requires security or traffic control. Certainly, security and traffic control are required at the boundary between the enterprise and the open Internet, or even between the enterprise and trusted business partners. However, it may also be useful to institute some kind of traffic control between core systems of record and systems of engagement, both of which might be within the boundaries of the enterprise, to protect those systems of record from risky volumes of traffic. Because the Gateway pattern can be used to increase performance through caching, this pattern can be useful at many different kinds of boundaries, with or without a combination of security or control-related functions.
4) Mobile Integration pattern, one of the fastest channels to connect with enterprise back-end services
Mobile devices are one of the fastest channels to connect to businesses quickly. The Mobile Integration and Push Notification patterns are applicable when enterprises in retail, banking, transport, healthcare, travel, and so on need to connect the people through mobile interfaces. The mobile interface services are built by using these patterns, so they are fast and dynamic. These patterns can be used to integrate heterogeneous back-end environments of the enterprise with mobile applications. They help extend systems and applications that are running in the enterprise to the mobile user.
5) The API Management pattern integrates applications with enterprise systems and external cloud-based services
We live in a data-centric world of connected devices where we expect data to be readily available at our fingertips. These devices include smart phones, tablets, games consoles, and even cars and refrigerators. As the number of devices has increased, so has the complexity to manage and maintain the code for each of these devices. This is where an “API first” approach has gained traction. If the data is made available through a common API, this allows a single point of maintenance, security, versioning, and control. In this way, data can be available consistently, across multiple devices. By making APIs available and sharing them through social media, companies can outsource application development to third parties or business partners, which is becoming increasingly important as the number of devices increase. The API Management pattern uses APIs to integrate applications with enterprise systems and external cloud-based services.
To learn more about these Integration Patterns see the IBM Redb