Open Technology Standards to Accelerate Interoperability

Steve Taylor, Head of Technology and Architecture

As we become immersed in an era described as the “internet of things,” we are almost taking for granted something that for decades has continued to shackle data into siloes and stifle how data is used and adopted across the enterprise. The way we move information around the enterprise has gone from a ‘nice to have’ to vital to exist. It is this need for greater levels of interoperability that has created a shift in how we approach data integration. The technology landscape has changed significantly in recent years; open source is now the norm rather than the exception. We have seen the emergence of new standards and patterns that are accessible and available to larger numbers of users and applications. This has allowed information to move deeper and wider across firms driving up data quality and operational efficiency. One common challenge remains. How do I ensure interoperability between my commercial off-the-shelf, custom and legacy applications? A decade ago a standardized ETL function within a shared utility was the strategic direction followed, but all too often the projects overran, didn’t deliver or required costly “last mile” integration using point solutions and technologies. This was often due to the lack of standards or understanding of the business domain.

Over the last three years, Eagle has been working on a canonical model called EagleML, which helps firms publish rich, validated, quality data to surrounding applications. Using Eagle’s Data Integration capabilities, the canonical model provides a tight integration with the underlying Eagle data model. This simplifies the integration, eliminates custom SQL code and allows users to leverage XML standards and technologists that may already be present in their firm. XML standards mean that transformations that are often attempted in SQL can be completed outside of the core application and without impacting business logic. By using an open technology and offering multiple transport options such as web-services, JMS, MQ or traditional file-based interactions, IT can accelerate integration projects to deliver value to their business partners. This strategy is often coupled with an existing enterprise service bus implementation to take advantage of publish-subscribe patterns to abstract the publisher from the consumers and deliver on a service-oriented architecture strategy.

Eagle’s position is that, over the course of the next few years, more customers and vendors will migrate from a traditional file-based approach to leveraging messaging and web-service technologies, which simplifies how systems integrate, provides improved resiliency and facilitates a more real-time data management strategy.

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