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This article is part of our Buyer's Guide: Application integration software: A buyer's guide

Application integration software continues to evolve

From the need for more data and faster response times, to the advent of mobile and cloud, application integration software and architecture has changed dramatically.

Application integration software and architecture has changed dramatically since the process first started. The routes and modes of transportation that information uses to travel across systems are incredibly complex, but it never used to be that way.

With every advance in technology, and every technology-driven business strategy, application integration software has had to evolve. App integration processes determine the particulars of how information flows: the routes, frequency and speed that data and functions use to travel. All three information transportation functions have required modernization as technology has moved from the mainframe era to the mobile and cloud age. One thing doesn't change, however. That is businesses' need to get the right data to the right place at the right moment in order for organizations and workers to succeed.

The visual below illustrates the journey of application integration, as it has changed throughout the years in response to ever-evolving computing trends and new business drivers. 

Application integration software and architecture has evolved to meet today’s data demands

Getting the right data at the right time has always been a sentiment directly tethered to app integration. In its early days, data and functions were moved through point-to-point app integration. It was a straightforward process through which data moved to an application, was reformatted and translated, and then moved on to the next application in the process. It worked for organizations and workers, because it matched the demand for data.

Hub-and-spoke app integration

As the need for faster and more data grew, point-to-point integration was no longer a viable option for organizations. Hub-and-spoke integration was able to format data faster, yet it still required manual direction from development teams. As the need for data became more and more rampant, hub-and-spoke application integration became obsolete as well.

Services and application integration

Of recent, data has become one of the biggest drivers for business success. Enter services. Within a service oriented architecture (SOA), service and message buses and middleware became the go-to application integration software. Both provide methods for data and functions to travel without human involvement. A set of defined standards automates the process and connects many, multilayered systems to each other.

Even buses can get jammed up, though. With middleware and service buses, any change one needed to make within the monolithic, SOA environment required a lot of invested time, and the flow of data would hit a roadblock. Now integration has taken to the sky with cloud computing, where microservices are the standard architecture. Microservices allow developers to build, test and fix software independently of each other, so that the traffic of data continues to move efficiently and smoothly, in the cloud and on premises.

Next Steps

IT automation can tame microservices.

Which type of cloud app integration is right for you?

Turn to application workflow for cloud management  

Data integration tools gain importance in the cloud

This was last published in April 2016

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