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Enterprise Application Integration (EAI)

Definition - What does Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) mean?

Enterprise application integration (EAI) is the use of technologies and services across an enterprise to enable the integration of software applications and hardware systems. Many proprietary and open projects provide EAI solution support.

EAI is related to middleware technologies. Other developing EAI technologies involve Web service integration, service-oriented architecture, content integration and business processes.

Techopedia explains Enterprise Application Integration (EAI)

Intercommunication between enterprise applications (EA), such as customer relations management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM) and business intelligence is not automated. Thus, EAs do not share common data or business rules. EAI links EA applications to simplify and automate business processes without applying excessive application or data structure changes.

However, EAI is challenged by different operating systems, database architectures and/or computer languages, as well as other situations where legacy systems are no longer supported by the original manufacturers.

EAI meets these challenges by fulfilling three purposes, as follows:

  • Data Integration: Ensures consistent information across different systems.
  • Vendor Independence: Business policies or rules regarding specific business applications do not have to be re-implemented when replaced with different brand applications.
  • Common Facade: Users are not required to learn new or different applications because a consistent software application access interface is provided.

The advantages of EAI are clear:

  • Real-time information access
  • Streamlining processes
  • Accessing information more efficiently
  • Transferring data and information across multiple platforms
  • Easy development and maintenance.

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