Web Integration is a unique and innovative approach to the challenges of integrating and service-enabling existing browser-accessible applications.Using Web Integration, other applications would have the capability to access the full functionality and data of the application, as if the application had been developed to provide an open interface. By accessing the application through the user interface, the power and functionality of these applications can be re-utilized in sophisticated integration solutions, such as:
- Enterprise Portals - content and functionality of existing web-enabled applications can be used in an enterprise portal.
- Composite Applications - functionality from any existing application can be combined to create a new application that automates business processes
- Web Services - any web-enabled application can be turned into a web service
- Data Collection - data available via any web-enabled application can be aggregated and moved to a new system, such as a content management system.
- Market Intelligence - information from competitors, media providers, government databases, etc., can be collected on a regular, scheduled basis for market intelligence purposes.
- Automation - in general, Web Integration is exceptional for programmatically automating normal operator tasks requiring the flow of information between web-enabled applications.
Web integration tools can be used to implement various types of integration solutions, to include:
- Web Clipping - utilize existing portions of any web-enabled application in your portal
Integration - integrating the functionality of any web-enabled
application into your application while providing full updating
capability to the application data
- Data Aggregation - aggregating data from any number of web-enabled applications through data inquiry functionality.
Importance of Web Integration
Web Integration has a number of important benefits compared to the other more traditional integration approaches:
- Lower cost. Using Web Integration, the effort required becomes much less expensive compared to traditional integration. There are numerous reasons, including lower skills for developers, no change to existing applications, and no infrastructure changes to network.
- Non-intrusive. Web Integration is done non-intrusively, thereby lowering the risk and impact of the entire integration project. Because there are no architectural changes required, it is often easier to justify cross-enterprise projects. This benefit extends even further to those external applications where the user interface is the only available option for integration.
- Faster development. Since the browser interface is well understood by both the end user and the programmer, application design becomes much easier and less prone to error.
- Faster overall integrations Even complex Web Integration projects can be completed in weeks rather than months. Companies can gain competitive advantages by leveraging their existing enterprise applications more quickly than their competitors.
- Lower skill requirements. A traditional integration project requires highly skilled development staff. In depth knowledge of the applications and application integration techniques is required. With Web Integration technologies, development personnel with basic programming experience and web application knowledge can do a superior job. The need for high-skilled expensive programmers can be obviated.
- Potentially lower risk. Web Integration allows for shorter and more cost-effective implementation cycles. The initial integration can often be up and running quickly and further integration can be accomplished once results from the initial integrations have been proven. This allows companies to try out new business opportunities at lower risk than using traditional methods.