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Enterprise Information Integration (EII) is proving to be an amazingly effective vehicle for traveling to the new space known as Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).

As modern-day technology navigators, SOA architects are finding that EII or data federation provides an excellent charter for their voyage from planning and design to implementation. Part of this charter is asking and answering the following questions:

  • Where does Data Federation/EII fit in the world of SOA?
  • How are EII-based data services overcoming the biggest hurdle in new SOA deployments?
  • Why are data virtualization, data abstraction and on-demand data integration services now critical capabilities required in every SOA?
  • Who is gaining value from these new capabilities today?
  • How does one get started on a similar journey?



EII - Data Integration based on Data Federation

According to Colin White, president of Oregon-based industry analyst firm BI Research, "Data Integration provides a unified view of the business data that is scattered throughout an organization. This unified view can be built using a variety of different techniques and technologies." *1
SOA

These techniques may include:

  • Federation - a virtual federated view of disparate data assembled dynamically at data access time; and
  • Consolidation - a physical view of data captured from multiple disparate data sources and consolidated into an integrated data store like a data warehouse or operational data store; and,
  • Propagation - a propagated view of data created by synchronizing data from one database to another such as product data across manufacturing, supply chain and order management systems.

Data-integration technologies have evolved to support each of these techniques including:

  • Enterprise Information Integration (EII) for federating data
  • Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) for consolidating data
  • Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) for propagating data.

In the same article, Mr. White defines EII in more detail. "EII provides a virtual business view of dispersed data. This view can be used for demand-driven query access to operational business transaction data, a data warehouse, and/or unstructured information. EII supports a data federation approach to data integration. The objective of EII is to enable applications to see dispersed data as though it resided in a single database. EII shields applications from the complexities of retrieving data from multiple locations, where the data may differ in semantics and formats, and may employ different data interfaces."

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