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How does traditional EAI compare to building integration capabilities into new applications?

What is the difference between traditional EAI and building integration capabilities into new applications?
The traditional middleware approach to integration (as demonstrated by existing EAI solutions from vendors like Tibco, WebMethods, Vitria and others) is focused around integration of existing assets. This approach normally requires specialized skills to accomplish integration tasks with consultants using a vertically integrated suite of the EAI vendor's tools and methodologies. Traditional EAI is characterized by long, costly, complex and difficult to maintain implementations.

In contrast, building integration capabilities into new applications takes a broader view aimed at drastically reducing the cost and complexity associated with integration by making it part of mainstream application development. With this approach, business integration tasks are not left for expensive consultants but are carried out by the developers themselves, leveraging their existing skills.

Enabling developers to become responsible for integrating existing functionality into their applications empowers business analysts to craft application models for business processes and facilitates working in tandem with developers. From a solution perspective, traditional EAI features such as workflow and event management will be provided as infrastructure facilities that are readily available to developers who build integration as part of their applications.

Web services orchestration, leveraging the emerging standards BPEL4WS and WS-T, includes such infrastructure facilities which allow mainstream developers to build integration capabilities into their applications. In contrast to traditional EAI, orchestration plugs seamlessly into the enterprise application architecture (whether J2EE or .NET) and ensures a smooth migration to the new paradigm within the context of mainstream application development.
This was last published in December 2002

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