EAI - Enterprise Application Integration

Two lonely EII legacy data silos

EAI Defined

Even in our enlightened times, great amounts enterprise data lies locked away in monolithic applications. Whether they be purchased, home-grown, or a combination, the realities of business demand that the information contained in those vertical 'silos' be used in ways that the original architects never intended.

Enterprise Application Integration, or EAI, encompases the following areas:

  1. Opening up ways for the information to flow from one application to another,
  2. Letting applications to reach other sources of data outside themselves, and
  3. Allowing other programs to peer into the innards of formerly closed programs.
  4. Sharing data between divisions or even between separate corporations

Examples of enterprise programs that can benefit from EAI include

  • Enterprise Resource Planning
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Human Resources Management

EAI Tools

Each of these component tools can be bundled together into pipelines which are collections of EAI components to perform some set of tasks. Pipelines are modular constructs - they can call other pipelines - which lets you design and implement your integration project either in top-down or bottom-up fashion.

EAI Mappers

Stylus Studio® contains many tools which can be used to build these pipes between silos, so that information can flow. Some of the most valuable include the XQuery Mapper which can build XQuery integration programs by dragging and dropping, and its companion XSLT Mapper used for designing XSLT transformations.

EAI Debugger

It's one thing to debug the component, but we all know that when things are plugged in together, they don't always fit. Stylus Studio® includes the next evolutionary step in debuggers - the Pipeline Debugger. This lets you set breakpoints at points in the pipeline, and see what data is flowing between operations. And if you don't like what you see, you can then step into the XQuery or XSLT, or even into the Java, to determine why your program is doing what it is doing.

The XML Pipeline Simulator showing EAI (Click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

EAI Simulator

The host to the pipeline is the Pipeline Simulator. This lets you design and debug in a graphical environment, prior to deploying your application. When you're ready, we'll build all of the source code for you to use.

EAI Engines

Under the hood Stylus Studio® supports a variety of engines, geared toward the profile of your data. For solid design, the Saxon SA (Schema-Aware) engine is included for both XSLT and XQuery support. If you are accessing relational data sources, such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB/2, or other databases, the highly-optimized DataDirect XQuery engine is available with bundled JDBC drivers.

EAI Converters

Including are a variety of converters which let Stylus Studio® speak your language. Whether you are talking HL7, EDIFACT, EANCOM, IATA, X12, or some other variant of EDI, or you speak in dBase or plain old text, XML or HTML, we can read and write your format.

Data Validators

It would be nice to defeat the old GIGO paradigm ("garbage in, garbage out" is not one of the design patterns we want to follow!). We supply a bevy of validators for you to use in your application to ensure that the data coming in is what you expect, and the data going out is what you plan.

Application silos connected

EAI Solutions

Connecting applications takes more than dotted lines on a chart. It takes an understanding of the business needs and the right tools to accomplish those tasks. You wouldn't have gotten this far if you didn't have the former, let Stylus Studio® supply the latter.

For more details on enterprise integration, see the pages on ETL and EII.


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