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Review: 'Next Generation Application Integration'

David S. Linthicum, author of “Next Generation Application Integration,” says many firms see the benefits of app integration, but few understand how to do it. Being technical people, they tend to focus on the technologies, but fail to pay enough attention to its strategic aspects.

The first section of “Next Generation Application Integration” defines four basic types of app integration: information-oriented (IOAI), business process integration-oriented, service-oriented and portal-oriented. IOAI is the simplest of these types of integration, and the least expensive, because it focuses solely on transferring information from one application to another.

The author argues, however, that we should think in terms of service-oriented application integration (SOAI), which offers more value in the long run than simple IOAI. The key to wringing this value out of SOAI is adopting the right strategy.

While the book focuses primarily on strategy, it does not neglect technology. Sections two and three discuss the different types of middleware and the industry standards that support them.

With technology out of the way, the book turns once again to strategies. Perhaps the most important chapter in this section is the one that describes the author’s “12 Steps to Application Integration.” The 12 Steps are nothing new, but they do provide a useful checklist for those managers tackling an integration project.

The book concludes with the Application Integration Manifesto, which sums up all of the concepts in the book and lays out the features that the author feels should be present in any application integration.

Application integration is a complex process. You must master not only the technologies involved, but develop a strategy that will take into account your business processes and business goals. This book will help you to do both.


"Next Generation Application Integration: From Simple Information to Web Services” by David S. Linthicum. 488 pages. Addison-Wesley, Boston, Mass., 2003.

About the Author

Dan Romanchik is an engineering manager turned writer and Web developer. His current passion is amateur radio. You can read his amateur radio blog at www.blurty.com/~kb6nu.

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