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IT professionals often sing the praises of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) and Service Oriented Architectures (SOAs). Trouble is, implementing them can mean mixing legacy systems with the likes of .NET and J2EE, which could turn the sound decidedly off-key. So how can companies orchestrate the harmonization of all those discordant technologies?

That challenge was discussed thoroughly by CoreTech Consulting Group VP and CTO Krishna Palaparthi in the ebizQ webinar Harmonizing .NET, J2EE and Legacy in a Service Oriented Architecture, part of the series Managers? Guide To Service Oriented Architectures, sponsored by Magic Software.

Palparthi noted that EAI is ?an approach and technology used to link disparate enterprise systems and processes into a single cohesive infrastructure focused on fulfilling business needs.?

In today?s highly competitive and global business landscape, he explained, smooth EAI is essential: ?Consider a typical organization, with a number of distributed, disparate departments. Each has several processes designed to meet specific responsibilities and often relying on standalone systems, frequently built in isolation and with little automated interaction between departments. That results in enterprises having various platforms and infrastructures across departments. Those platforms come with different languages and tools, such as .NET, Java and legacy toolsets. All these platforms and technologies must be able to exchange information with each other to fulfill business needs. In order to harmonize the various platforms and technologies, the applications must be architected based upon a common framework.?

Such as SOA. ?Fundamentally, SOA is a design style for creating shared, reusable, distributed services. SOA principles and best practices contribute to the creation of the most flexible and optimal virtual enterprise networks. Service-oriented design encourages standards-based sharing, reuse, and the integration of functionality across diverse platforms.?

Then he came full-circle, back to EAI: ?So how do we rapidly implement this kind of architecture? The answer is, by using EAI software and tools, because they?re based on this architecture.?

Palparthi shared a very detailed approach to picking, planning and rolling out EAI solutions, and went through the features to look for in such solutions. Among them, he stressed process automation, workflow and BPEL rules engines, which he dubbed ?the heart of EAI.?


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