The possibility of integrating heterogeneous and distributed systems with each other is indispensable in the 4.0 industry era. Integration is viewed as collaboration and dialogue between machines, or rather integration between software and services, internal or external to the organization.
Thanks to innovative applications integrated into a single well-structured software system, it is possible to interface isolated and separate systems with each other, both within the company and external suppliers.
System integration can be seen as a communication software capable of facilitating collaboration between the resources operating in the company but mostly for external collaboration, with the various stakeholders who interact with the company itself.
This collaboration can be focused on a particular procedure or extend to the daily activities of the company, it can concern the processes and technologies adopted to follow the production cycle or the various processes connected to it, from warehouse to logistics, from sales to purchases.
These are only a few of the integrations that can be made thanks to the implementation of a Digital Integration strategy, that allows the different software in the company, where software means not online management software, but mostly software in machines and implants, to share data and procedures.
Business integration includes technologies, processes, and teams that connect data, applications, and devices that, over time, are transformed from a small group of point-to-point connections to a centralized model based on Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and, finally, to a modern distributed architecture with many endpoint interfaces (API).
Application Programming Interface
APIs are a software interface that allows two systems or applications to communicate with each other and exchange data (usually in XML or JSON format), commonly using the internet, without knowing how they are implemented. A typical example of communication through API are the smartphone apps that communicate with the respective central systems like Facebook, WhatsApp, Weather, …
Furthermore, the APIs are independent of the type of operating system or language and adjust to the type of syntax or platform used, offering great freedom and potential for dynamic data interchange and interoperability.
Application connectors are elements that regulate how components interact. Usually, these are custom standard links for some common APIs (e.g., e-Commerce platforms), which are used to quickly integrate new services or processes.
Enterprise Service Bus
An Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) is a software infrastructure that supports communication between processes in complex architectures by providing coordination, security, messaging, routing, and transformation services, acting as the backbone of the application architecture.