Dev Muse

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."  Arthur C. Clarke

Saturday, September 30, 2006


My employer, Visiphor, inhabits the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) / Software Integration / Data Sharing space. We're a Microsoft shop that uses BizTalk, K2, InfoPath, custom solutions, and our own Enterprise Information Integration (EII) product called BIE. (for more about BIE or Briyante Integration Environment, see the Visiphor website) We have a product side and a consulting side. I work for the consulting side - Visiphor Consulting Services. (VCS)

One simple way of looking at the Data Sharing/Integration space is in terms of two development solutions at opposite ends of a spectrum as depicted above. A stateful EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) solution may use Biztalk, amongst other tools. And a 'real-time', stateless, purely EII (Enterprise Information Integration) solution using BIE.

Employ EII in situations where you need to query the 'latest' information from a network of database providers now and state is not critical. Example: perform a 'Federated Query' of several disparate law enforcement agencies for potential suspect information in real-time.

Use EAI in situations involving long running Business Processes that evolve over time and which necessitate the keeping of state. An EAI example might involve using BizTalk, web services, web applications and databases to maintain correct relationships, according to complex Business Rules, between different Health Care Providers that host related patient data on seperate systems.

EAI is usually the more heavyweight solution.


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