EII — Enterprise Information Integration

EII Defined

Whereas ETL has to do with transferring batches of information from one system to another, EII strives to provide real-time views across multiple sources of data within one or across multiple organizations.

An EII Example

To show how the Stylus Studio® XML Pipeline designer can be used to build EII applications, let consider the following use-case. A company wants to create an internal phone directory combining information from its employees and the summer interns.

  • The employee database is part of a third-party closed application. It contains the list of employees, but since it has no place to store the pager numbers, someone maintains this list in a simple comma-separated-value file.
  • The interns are kept in an html file.
EII XML Pipeline Sample (Click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

EII Components

To combine this information, we're going to use:

Most of the items on this list were created just by dragging and dropping. The final report was creating using the XML Report tool. And all of these pieces are combined together by dragging from the File Explorer pane onto the XML Pipeline pane, and connecting the dots.

EII Tools Yield EII Modules

The advantage to the XML Pipeline is that each step may be developed and tested in isolation. This gives you access to the full power of the development tool suite for each technology. You can use either the tool that is best for each job, or the tool you are more comfortable with. And the modular approach means that changes will impact only a small portion of the overall flow.

EII Debugger

Stylus Studio® introduces a new concept: the XML Pipeline Debugger.

Just as you can step from XSLT or XQuery right into embedded Java extension functions, you can set breakpoints at nodes in the pipeline and examine the values coming in, and then step right in to the underlying code. Engine-agnostic, multi-lingual, cross-technology debugging is now at your fingertips.

EII Service Generator

Once you've built your EII XML pipeline, you need to deploy it. You have the option of generating code that can then be deployed as a REST service, as the examples included with the evaluation copy demonstrate.

Executing our EII XML Pipeline

Enough talk, time to see it in action.

The report itself was very simple; although it's discussed elsewhere, here's a quick sneak-peek at the definition (and notice the little tweak that gets even/odd row coloring).

Sample XML Report showing alternating colors for rows (Click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

And this is the resulting log information when run in the pipeline simulator:

XML Pipeline execution started
Executing block 'eii-interns.xquery'...done.
Executing block 'eii-employees.xquery'...done.
Executing block 'eii-pager.xsl'...done.
Executing block 'eii-merge.xsl'...done.
Executing block 'eii-phone-listing.xslt'...done.
Executing block 'Pipeline Output'...done.
XML Pipeline execution ended

Resulting in this for our final EII phone listing application:

Buchanan, Steven
Callahan, Laura
Davolio, Nancy
Dodsworth, Anne
Fuller, Andrew
Hermann, Hayley
King, Robert
Leverling, Janet
Peacock, Margaret
Shah, Paige
Sutter, Henry
Suyama, Michael

XML Pipelines Rule in the EII World

Just with a few short pieces of code, we've been able to assemble very different data sources into a coherent picture. We can filter, sort, perform conditional processing, validate, import, export, and of course transform, using a variety of adapters and languages. And we simulate and debug and then deploy.


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Interested in learning more about EII and XML? Bookmark the Stylus Studio EII Blog — a free source of EII and XML development news.

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