A recently introduced term to describe automating information flow between bespoke systems, packaged business applications from different vendors and Web sites across heterogeneous platforms and networks.
The use of middleware to integrate the application programs, data bases and legacy systems involved in an organization's critical business processes. EAI applications are really an extension of legacy gateway applications, with provisions for tighter coupling with back-end applications than the legacy gateway solutions.
As companies seek to link their existing software applications with each other and with portals, the ability to get their applications to exchange data has become critical. EAI is usually close to the top of any CIO's list of concerns. There are different approaches to EAI. Some rely on linking specific applications with tailored code, but most rely on generic solutions, typically called middleware. XML, combined with SOAP and UDDI is a kind of middleware.
EAI enables data propagation and business process execution throughout the numerous distinct networked applications as if it would be a unique global application. It is a distributed transactional approach and its focus is to support operational business functions such as taking an order, generating an invoice, and shipping a product.
EAI allows data sharing between unrelated systems in the organization, provides a single point of interface to which all applications and databases connect, resolves differences between systems, triggers processes and delivers data in the proper format to the proper destination.
(EAI) Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) is the process of analyzing the structure and content of databases to identify redundant data that exists within and across enterprises. When a redundant data version is changed, that change must be reflected in all data versions to ensure that all data remains up-to-date. EAI ensures that only one copy of that data exists, shared by all who are authorized to use it. When that data changes, it is immediately available in an up-to-date form for all to use. Enterprise Architecture Enterprise Architecture documents the business plans, diagrams, specifications and models that represent an enterprise. It is shown as a Framework of 5 rows from the perspectives of: Planner; Owner; Designer; Builder; and implementation Sub-Contractors. It includes 6 columns that address: WHAT (Data); HOW (Function); WHERE (Locations); WHO (People); WHEN (Time); and WHY (Motivation). See also Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture for Figures.
The middleware technology that is used to connect together different software applications and their underlying databases is now known as 'enterprise application integration (EAI)'(Internet World, 1999).