Enterprise Application Integration: A Wiley Tech Brief 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
* Define your specific integration problem in a useful form that enables a real solution
* Develop your own EAI architecture and ensure interoperability of legacy, stovepipe, COTS, client-server and modern technology applications
* Choose the best among messaging architecture, object architecture, and transaction architecture
* Work with the best implementation technologies, including Microsoft's COM+, the OMG's CORBA, and Sun's EJB
* Utilize the proven Secure Application Integration Methodology (SAIM)
Wiley Tech Briefs Focused on the needs of the corporate IT and business manager, the Tech Briefs series provides in-depth information on a new or emerging technology, solutions, and vendor offerings available in the marketplace. With their accessible approach, these books will help you get quickly up-to-speed on a topic so that you can effectively compete, grow, and better serve your customers.
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The authors start with EAI business drivers, which sets the context for the business process owners who need to understand how the "EAI project" that IT is cooking up will affect their lives. For the more technical manager or individual who is making a horizontal career move, the types of integration will be of great interest. Then authors do a good job of clearly explaining approaches.
Basic building blocks is about as far as a business process owner will want to wade into this book. It gives a clear picture of the scope and complexity of an EAI solution without overwhelming details.
The chapter on messaging architectures can be easily followed by IT managers who are in their positions because of a basic understanding of technology and emphasis on business. Although the material is fairly high-level it is also suitable for developers, DBAs and other technical types who may not be exposed to messaging architectures, or whose life is more oriented towards transaction processing. Another chapter that may have a wide technical audience is the one that addresses object architectures. For all of the hype and buzzwords, object-orientation is still grossly misunderstood, even by people who are suppost to understand it. I like the way the material was presented.
I got the most from the chapter that covered the author's Secure Application Integration Methodology (SAIM). I saw a lot of parallels between their method (which is proprietary to their company, Concept5), and the work developed by the company for which I work (naturally, proprietary as well). Too bad this book is a technical brief because I would have loved more details on the SAIM methodology :-)
If you are looking for a "nuts and bolts" book this one is not it. If you are trying to get quickly up to speed in EAI, this is a great starting point. I read the book because I was looking for material that I could give to clients, and this one fit my needs perfectly. I recommend it to its intended audience and give it five stars for doing what it claims: giving a clear, understandable summary of a complex subject.
As a service delivery consultant I was very interested in the chapter on business drivers because my job is to align IT to business processes, so the discussion of business drivers from the perspective of EAI was something I could immediately use.
The integration approaches were familiar territory based on my background, but some of the approaches provided were unique twists that I had not encountered. What I really liked was the chapter on architecture building blocks because I was able to see clearly what it takes to design, develop and implement an integrated enterprise architecture. I also liked the way the authors presented messaging and transaction architectures. I was vaguely familiar with messaging architectures from my IBM days (MQSeries), and a lot more familiar with transaction processing monitors and approaches. These two chapters showed me how to apply my existing knowledge and experience to understand EAI architectures.
This book gave me a good understanding of EAI in general, including the technical and business aspects. It went neither too deep nor too shallow. I am not sure how suitable this book will be for business managers because it gets pretty technical in places. It also is probably too high level for someone who has EAI experience. However, for someone with a technical background who wants to see EAI's "moving parts" and how they fit together it is perfect.
The other problem with writing a book of this nature is the danger of being obsolete even before publication. A fair bit of information is redundant, especially descriptions on companies and products.
The book can also be better served with a case study or two.
Overall a good attempt on a difficult subject. Being from a technical background, I did not gain much from reading this book. But I have found it useful suggesting this as recommended reading to non-technical managers who are contemplating Application Servers and EAI.