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September 30, 2019
3 min read

Strategic Change and Integration Harmony with WSO2 Enterprise Integrator 7.0

To succeed today, businesses must harness digital assets and ecosystems to improve customer outcomes and increase operational agility. With the launch of Enterprise Integrator 7.0, WSO2 now takes a major step forward to help succeed at this challenging outcome.

The Problem

Digital businesses thrive when they enable data-driven insights to drive operational and strategic decisions, informed by a deep understanding of their organizational capabilities and technology assets.

However, the separation of systems of engagement from systems of record — which each have different lifecycles or methods (waterfall versus agile or DevOps, respectively) — has added new constraints for integration solutions.

These constraints may include continuous development, continuous integration or integration governance along with a move to containers, Kubernetes and cloud-native technologies, and the ability to run in a microservices environment.

This means that complexity is not only on technical connectivity and capabilities but also on the way integration is delivered and maintained without compromising integrity and security.

Owing to these multiple digital initiatives, integration strategies today require multiple components, from cloud-based integration platforms, app integration, data virtualization, to APIs, and much more. The problem with most traditional integration is that it is not strategically aligned with business or enterprise needs, which leads to problems with digital business demands and the complexity of those demands.

The Solution

WSO2 has long recognized this problem; refer to a recent post about brownfield integration here.

Essentially the problem comes down to the fact that although most modern systems support integration with other systems through APIs that are exposed through well-known protocols and standards, it's difficult to expect all systems to be capable of integrating with other systems in the same way.

Most legacy systems use proprietary or non-standard ways to talk with the outside world. These legacy systems will be eventually replaced by modern systems, even though it takes time. Nevertheless, organizations may want to accelerate their digital transformation strategy rather than delay this process by waiting to replace the existing system with a modern one.

Building everything from scratch is not cost-effective and is also a tough call for a manager to make, especially if a system plays a vital role in the core business of an organization. Furthermore, no one wants a massive change at once.

Therefore, typically, a part of the new system is integrated with the existing system and both co-exist during a transition period. This gives decision-makers more freedom to change the system in its entirety, if needed, and minimize the business risk to the organization.

Not all existing systems are replaceable but this should not be a reason for not digitally transforming an enterprise. If any existing system is not replaceable, then we need to find new ways to bring functionality to these systems by integrating them with other systems. Driving these existing systems towards brownfield integration is an important aspect in today’s digital world.

Enter WSO2 Enterprise 7.0

With the launch of Enterprise Integrator 7.0 (WSO2 EI 7.0), WSO2 enables future integration strategies that will require many elements to enable digital initiatives.

WSO2 EI 7.0 provides an open-source hybrid integration platform, which enables teams to move to an agile integration approach based on a choice of architectural approaches (e.g., centralized/monolithic integration or cloud-native microservices integration) as required by the systems or applications that are to be integrated.

It provides easy-to-use development tools, along with a code-driven approach, to bridge the “integration gap” and ease the rifts between the development and operations teams. With the new Ballerina Integrator, developers can directly program integration projects, helping merge siloed coding and waterfall-based integration teams.

To support the move to an agile delivery system the EI 7.0 runtimes natively support Docker and Kubernetes. Also, they offer integration points to seamlessly integrate your projects with CI/CD systems, thereby easing the problem of different lifecycle models.

Summary

Integration is a highly complex procedure so the notion that we can solve the problem of siloed apps and processes with siloed integration technologies does not stand.

The enterprise must create a strategy around business design — an approach to integration that centers first on sustainable business outcomes and agility, unifying across application silos rather than merely making it easier to live with them.

Using “digital business design” principles will enable the enterprise to connect the integration strategy directly to the current and future success of its business.

As a key enabler, WSO2 and Enterprise Integrator 7.0 can help an enterprise deliver on the requirements of the business and become a successful contributor to digital transformation.