In a small number of cases we provide ‘application-to-application’ (sometimes also known as ‘point-to-point’ integration) integration that involves moving data from one application and placing it in the second to enhance the data already resident within the latter application. However, such an approach is often ineffective when three or more applications require integration. In such a scenario we tend to adopt a different approach based on developing a middle-layer that receives data from the diverse systems and presenting this data in consolidated information.
The middle-layer approach (sometimes also referred to as ‘event management’, ‘session management’, ‘object management’ or outright ‘data translation’) is based upon the development of an application layer that pulls received data from diverse sources and matches one data entity with the corresponding component from two or more other applications. Existing applications remain unchanged but are programmed to ‘push’ data towards an independent middle-layer that does all the necessary processing.
In this way, system integration can be carried out and tested across a single application which could include monitoring dashboards that describe the processes being carried out within the middle-layer.