Stopping the Silos Caused by Integration Projects

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Earlier this week, I shared a survey showing an Integration Competency Center could save you time and money. In that post, I quoted Rick Sherman, the founder of Athena IT Solutions, who contends developers often reinvent the wheel with each integration project and essentially create more silos.


Coincidentally, the next day Seeking Alpha ran another article by Sherman that explores this problem more thoroughly. In it, Sherman explains data integration projects often create more silos because IT continues to approach integration on a project-by-project basis.


In this piece, Sherman suggests the remedy is to create an overall data integration framework -- and he includes a link to a 2003 DM Review article he wrote explaining how to build one. He also discusses how vendors now are adapting their offerings to support this type of enterprise-wide integration plan.


He doesn't mention an ICC in this post, but it's definitely a good complementary read.


In other integration-related news:


Integrating RFID with Enterprise Apps. RFID is one of those great technologies companies are still trying to figure out. You can get all of this great information from RFID -- but then you have to manage and figure out how to use all that data. OATenterprise is offering a new platform solution from OATSystems that's designed to help you manage an RFID deployment at multiple sites -- and really, who would want to deploy it at one site anyway?


According to eWEEK, the platform can interface with back-end applications, including ERP systems and warehouse management solutions. It also gives business managers the ability to monitor RFID-related key performance indicators across the organization. It can connect with third-party sites and be accessed via a Web browser. The new platform launched this month.


According to a Forrester research analyst quoted in the article, this is not the first such RFID enterprise middleware solution, though the article does not specifically mention competing products.


Real-Time Data Integration and SOA. Using a service-oriented architecture to support real-time data integration seems to be a hot topic right now. If you'd like to learn more about building data services and combining SOA with a data integration architecture, sign up for this free April 16 Webinar, "Leveraging SOA for Real-Time Data Integration." It's sponsored by Talend, which offers an open source data integration solution. The Webinar will begin at 9 a.m., PDT -- noon, if you're on the East Coast -- and last one hour. Since space is limited, you'll need to pre-register. You'll need Windows 2000 or newer or Mac OS X 10.3.9 or newer.


Web 2.0 Company Will Integrate with SharePoint. Let's face it -- Microsoft is so not Web 2.0. As Oliver Young, a Forrester analyst, points out in this CIO.com article, Microsoft's three- to five-year development cycle is a lifetime in Web 2.0 terms.


And yet, Web 2.0 companies have to face the fact that businesses love Microsoft's SharePoint, even if other companies offer easier-to-use solutions. According to a recent Forrester report, Microsoft sold nearly 85 million seats of SharePoint, which means Microsoft will likely dominate the collaboration software space for the foreseeable future, according to the article.


Apparently, Jive Software, a Web 2.0 company that makes business wikis and blogs, figures why fight 'em when you can join 'em? This week, the company announced its Clearspace platform will integrate with SharePoint. Jive also revealed it will update its platform to add a social networking feature and offer a user interface that allows users to add widgets.


IBM Announces Slew of SOA Offerings. In case you missed it, IBM made a slew of SOA-related announcements at its 2008 IBM Impact conference this week. On the integration front, the press release lists "IBM SOA Integration Services," which it explains are "enhanced services for process integrity that can provide a cohesive SOA across the enterprise."


The release is a bit confusing about what, exactly, you get. There's apparently a consulting component, since it says "IBM experts can provide implementation support," but it also notes that the SOA Integration Services "pull together components from multiple vendors and enable them to work as a single system."


InfoWorld published a feature on another new IBM offering, an event-driven extension to its WebSphere platform that helps manage services. And eChannelLine covered the company's announcement of itsSmart SOA Social Network -- a community devoted to SOA best practices.