Five Integration-Related Reasons to be Thankful

Loraine Lawson

At our CTO Edge site, Mike Vizard published a clever holiday-inspired post "Ten Technologies to be Thankful for." I thought it was such a clever idea, I decided to steal the idea for today's Thanksgiving post.


Since those in the United States are either stuffed to the gills with turkey and pie or about to be, myself included, I've decided to trim the list down to five integration reasons to be thankful this year:


  1. Open source MDM. Far be it from me to promote open source over proprietary solutions, but in this case, organizations of all shapes and sizes should be grateful to Talend for offering an open source master data management solution. For small- and mid-sized companies, Talend's solution will provide a more affordable option. But even enterprise-class organizations may benefit if they can use Talend's open source solution to leverage lower prices from proprietary MDM vendors.
  2. Web services. While all the hype focus was on SOA, Web services quietly slipped into numerous applications, becoming the "remarkable, nearly invisible magic in current integration scenarios," says Hugh Taylor, author and a marketing director of an LA enterprise software company. Web services have simplified integration between enterprise applications.
  3. Semantic integration. It's hard to be grateful for something you may not have, but semantic integration will be a game changer for enterprise information. It could even eliminate the need for data integration as we know it. I'm not actually holding my breath on that one, of course, but the possibility is enticing. For now, let's just be grateful that it gives us something to look forward to and something to talk about other than SOA. On a side note, I am also grateful to Cutter Consortium for giving ITBE readers free access to the September Cutter IT Journal, "The Rise of the Semantic Enterprise."
  4. Mashups. They're hip, they're simple, they're business-friendly. More importantly, mashups are a quick and easy way to get rid of a lot of little integration headaches. Mashups tools can also allow you to offload some of the integration work for business intelligence metrics, all while giving business users more control to create the information they need. Mashup tools are still finding their place in the enterprise, but no matter how they're used, they seem to mean less work for IT and happier business users. Now that's something to be thankful for!
  5. Less custom code. Analysts have told me over and over that custom code costs more to maintain and is less documented and efficient than using ETL tools. The good news: In many situations, you can eliminate custom integration code. In fact, here's a list of four places where custom integration code can be replaced by a tool, thus saving you money and maintenance time. Again, less work, cutting costs equals Thanksgiving.


Now, log off as soon as you've tweeted about this and enjoy the holiday.

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