What is Application Integration?
Application integration is the process of enabling independently designed applications to work together. Commonly required capabilities include: ... Providing access to data and functionality from independently designed applications through what appears to be a single user interface or application service. Replacing, migrating and integrating legacy or bespoke systems with COTS products.
From cutting-edge mobile apps to hoary old legacy systems, your business likely depends upon a mixed bag of individual applications that need to communicate smoothly—and often don’t. Application integration is the process of connecting discrete enterprise applications in order to cut overhead costs—especially in information technology (IT)—while boosting both scalability and organization-wide productivity and efficiency.
Application integration is the process of enabling independently designed applications to work together. Commonly required capabilities include:
Presentation-Level Integration ties together a mishmash of different applications into a single application. This type of application integration is one of the oldest, and is also known as “screen scraping” for the practice of using transitional software (aka middleware technologies) to collect and organize information. By creating a virtual middleman to collect the data and distribute it to each of the separate applications, presentation-level integration provides an improvised but suboptimal method for data integration and access.
Business Process Integration connects essential business processes to local and cloud servers. It leverages the power of automation and artificial intelligence to connect individual applications, organize and prioritize workflows, and improve efficiency while reducing errors and eliminating roadblocks.
Data Integration is the full and transparent sharing of relevant information between applications. Without it, integration isn’t complete, and efficiency, accuracy, and efficacy all suffer. Most application integration solutions rely on either specialized code written to ensure all applications can “speak” to each other in mutually intelligible language, or, more commonly, by using a translation method to convert each application’s output to a data format readily accessible to the others. These concepts—often referred to as data transformation—provide the core of any successful enterprise application integration solution.
Communications-Level Integration is the specific method used to achieve data integration and business process integration. If data integration is basic human communication, then communications-level integration is choosing whether to write, speak, sing, or dance. Special protocols known as Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are used to create these go-betweens, and ensure every application is receiving information it can understand while transmitting information that’s useful and clear to the others.