After years of enterprise application development a green field development site is rare. Much more common are the challenges of mixing the new with the old. Today, enterprise integration architects must join cutting edge technologies with the tried and true. They must also balance the push for innovation with stable business strategies. Much of this is born out in conversation with Ken Vollmer.
In October2011, Ken Vollmer, principal analyst at Forrester Research, sat down with SearchSOA.com’s Jack Vaughan to walk through key application integration trends for 2012 and beyond. Vollmer’s take on integration is particularly interesting, as his understanding of business technology is truly a mix of the practical and the visionary. As he sees it, enterprise service buses (ESBs), cloud-based integration (CBI), and other new age integration methods can best succeed if they are approached from a holistic view of middleware integration.
Today, within most organizations, the typical scenario sees silos of integration and knowledge. There is a breach that separates the ESB practitioner from the mainframe adaptor scripter; there is a gap separating the data integration team from the Java server-side crew. That means different teams with different sets of tools, according to Vollmer. He advises technology managers to establish a holistic integration strategy. That means working at a high level to ensure that silo-oriented integration is replaced with a common planning strategy. This may mean establishing an integration-oriented center of excellence, much as you might establish with SOA or with application modernization practices.
Vollmer strongly asserts that current application integration trends will have a vital impact on the direction that enterprise IT organizations take in the next two to four years. By knowing what's coming, enterprise architects can better prepare themselves for the challenges ahead. Watch this half-hour video for a closer look at application integration as it is likely to unfold in the coming years.