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Enterprise Application Integration (EAI)

Distribution instead of Integration

Typical Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) projects use so-called Brokers and Adapters to support Integration.
Adapters allow flexible connection to relational databases and flat files for example. If the interface is more complicated, specific code, e.g. Java has to be written. The retrieved data is transferred in a standard format, e.g. XML to the Information Broker. The Broker can be configured to support routing rules. Certain information depending on its source, content or other constraints is forwarded to a list of destination systems. To allow those systems to receive the data again an adapter has to exist. These Information Brokers are historically used for massive data transfer. The data transformation and related business logic is implemented in each individual, distributed adaptor.

These approaches can face the following problems:

  • There is no persistent Repository to support naming convention mapping between various systems.
  • Technically, transaction handling and state is hardly available. The data is read from the source system and its extraction is "committed". In a second step it is transferred to the destination systems and eventually another message is sent back to the source system. This is often omitted.
  • Normally the destination system has to accept the message to not loose content. If the user is currently analysing a certain scenario based on an actual consistent state of his information, he might want to finish his work before receiving additional data. Consequently, additional development on each system is required to allow intelligent buffering. This is usually not even possible.
  • Real time data from Process Historians cannot be distributed within this concept because the amount of data exceeds the process able amount.
  • The typical result of this type of EAI solution is a network of data streams. During the lifetime of your enterprise solution the code to be maintained would probably increase to an unmanageable amount. Even worse, the solution could start mixing data transfer and business workflow management.
  • How can data aggregation be achieved?
    Some available data needs to be condensed or aggregated before it can be sent to other applications. Real-time process data, available on a minute basis needs to be aggregated to hourly or daily totals or averages before it can be used in an accounting application.
    This aggregation can also be structural, being hierarchical and even dynamic.
  • Some systems contain a complex data model (e.g. simulation, optimisation or process models). The difficulty of the information transfer is not moving the resulting data of for example a simulation run, but providing the internal relationship of the result, which most of the time results in the necessity to also transfer the model structure.
    Central meta-data solution
    BeauTec follows a different approach. Taking into account that each enterprise is continuously changing and has to change to be successful, we are following an object and service oriented approach (SOA) and provide a persistent meta-data repository (Object Warehouse) to support the aggregation of data (even non linear) and mapping of various naming conventions (even histories) without duplicating the data.

Our solution provides:

  • Bi-directional connectors to required systems and open architecture to add or enhance the system.
  • Central hierarchical meta-data repository to provide graphical modelling of data structures, aggregation and mappings.
  • Support for long-term storage of all types of data if required.
  • A rigid class and object model to build a solution that best suits your current and future requirements.
  • Real transaction handling including rollback and commitment, based on standard industry proven technology.
  • Storage of intermediate results including automatic forward or pooling of information for destination systems. Allow the destination systems to poll for available information.
  • Caching information for performance boost.
  • Notification of systems if new information is available even without sending the data directly.
  • Visualization of all information available in the repository to any point in time.
  • Standard backup and restore features.
  • Documented API for additional add-ons, source code is available.
  • Maintenance can be done without taking the system out of service. Even changes to the data models or interfaces are mostly possible at run time.
  • Existing adapters to real-time databases e.g. PI, PHD, and IPx support even online instant access.
  • The central Information Platform decreases the number of required interfaces to a single one per system and configuration can be done remotely.
  • Referential integration exists, even historized.
    Consequently for example, the replacement of an existing system by a new one is made simple. Both systems can deliver their information simultaneously and within the Integration Platform, the decision is made, when to switch from one system to the other. This is transparent for the end users.
  • Aggregation of information, time wise and hierarchical is of course possible, even non-linear (e.g. blending laws).
  • Support of transfer of data and structures. Structural changes in the source system are automatically updated in the repository. Different rules exist to handle exceptions. No additional maintenance is required.
  • An abstract meta-data model can be constructed to represent the overall envisaged enterprise model by references, formulae and aggregations to the individual models of the external systems. Complex calculations can either be done on the fly or pre-calculated and re-triggered on data changes.
  • Based on this integrated business vision, enterprise-wide Key Performance Indicators (KPI) can be defined and monitored.

BeauTec CMDB

A new version of BeauTec CMDB is available since march 2011.

Business Pilot

A new version of BeauTec Business Pilot is available since January 2011.