Enterprise Information Integration _EII_ A Technical Ally of EAI

					Enterprise Information Integration (EII)
     A Technical Ally of EAI and ETL




                                                                 Author
                                                    Bipin Chandra Joshi
                                                   Integration Architect
                                               Infosys Technologies Ltd




         EII-A Technical Ally to EAI and ETL
                    Page 1 of 8
                                                                                    TABLE OF CONTENTS

1
TU   UT        ENTERPRISE INFORMATION INTEGRATION (EII) ............................................... 4
               TU                                                                                       UT




          1.1
          TU        UT   BACKGROUND .................................................................................................. 4
                         TU              UT




          1.2
          TU        UT   WHAT IS EII ? ................................................................................................. 4
                         TU                   UT




          1.3
          TU        UT   HOW IT WORKS ? .............................................................................................. 4
                         TU                                  UT




          1.4
          TU        UT   EII VS EAI VS ETL ........................................................................................... 5
                         TU                                       UT




          1.5
          TU        UT   LEADING PRODUCTS OF EII .................................................................................. 6
                         TU                                                    UT




          1.6
          TU        UT   BENEFITS OF EII .............................................................................................. 7
                         TU                             UT




          1.7
          TU        UT   LIMITATIONS OF EII .......................................................................................... 7
                         TU                                            UT




          1.8
          TU        UT   AUTHORS NOTE ................................................................................................ 7
                         TU                        UT




2
TU   UT        REFERENCES ....................................................................................................... 8
               TU                   UT




                                                                            EII-A Technical Ally to EAI and ETL
                                                                                       Page 2 of 8
EII-A Technical Ally to EAI and ETL
           Page 3 of 8
1 ENTERPRISE INFORMATION INTEGRATION (EII)

1.1 BACKGROUND
Newbie technologies like Enterprise Information Integration (EII) provide new capabilities for
solving business intelligence and reporting challenges. EII is generally complementary to
integration technologies such as ETL and EAI. Companies are still exploring on the features of
this technology and evaluating and analyzing against the already established ones. Some
common questions are what are EII technology designed to do? What is the need of another
technology when we already have others? When is it better to use it versus the other?
The following sections are the attempt to find answers to those doubts.



1.2 WHAT IS EII ?
In most enterprises, information is stored in separate databases, data warehouses and
applications. EII products make it possible to combine information from these different data
sources on demand. They do this by establishing an intermediate data services layer that
makes it possible to access the data in a standardized way, instead of having to interact
directly with each separate back-end data source.
EII solves a set of business problems that share several common characteristics. Integration
Architects should consider EII if they need to accomplish the tasks from the following:-

   •   Generate Reports with information stored in variety of formats in widely distributed
       data warehouses
   •   Implement a path to a service-oriented architecture with a minimal impact to existing
       IT infrastructure
   •   Access data distributed across multiple sources (relational databases, enterprise
       applications, data warehouses, documents, XML)
   •   Combine data in different formats (relational databases, flat files, Word or Excel
       documents, XML)
   •   Merge static data with messages, web services, or other data streams
   •   Perform queries that include archived data with live information




1.3 HOW IT WORKS ?
Applications address queries to the EII layer. EII acts as a ‘PULL’ engine which waits for the
requests, splits the query across multiple heterogeneous data source systems gathers
transactional data sets, merges them together and then pushes them out to the requesting
applications. These requesting applications can be a Web-Service, Excel or some other front-
end.
A typical example will be an employee exercising his Stock Options. The Finance Department
needs to check:-
Eligibility Details like date of joining, designation etc
Employee Records like current address, his individual limit for stocks
Company Accounts like the current year’s allocation for stocks, budgets etc

However this involves querying separate disparate system, which doesn’t talk to each other.
EII is a correct fit in this case. The department just needs to send simple query “Can


                             EII-A Technical Ally to EAI and ETL
                                        Page 4 of 8
Employee <EMP No.> exercise <no. of stocks> Stocks”. Rest of the above mentioned checks
is done by EII at background using federated query, all transparent to the user.




                                         Fig 1: EII

1.4 EII VS EAI VS ETL
A key distinction of EII compared to other integration technologies is that data is not
permanently moved or replicated into a new location or server; rather the source data
remains where they are and results persist in the server only as needed for caching. In other
words, EII is clearly for combining information assets, not for scheduling data flows between
applications.
Most EAI systems are PUSH driven. A transaction happens in one of your Enterprise
Application, and an EAI listener "sees" it and pushes it out over the bus or to a centralized



                             EII-A Technical Ally to EAI and ETL
                                        Page 5 of 8
queue for distribution to other applications. Most EAI engines are more "workflow" and
"process flow" driven rather than on-demand.
ETL on other hand feed massive amounts of data from one data source to another data
source in a timely fashion. They are responsible for performing that task on a consistent and
repeatable basis. They handle massive transformations (sometimes in the database,
sometimes in stream).ETL finds its major implementation alongwith OLAP or Data-mining
systems.

Following table provides a comparative understanding of EII with EAI and ETL.

Parameter     EII                       EAI                              ETL
              (Enterprise               (Enterprise Application          (Extraction
              Information               Integration)                     Transformation and
              Integration)                                               Loading)
Primary       Reporting and             Business Process Automation      Data Synchronization
Focus         Analytics
Technology    PULL                      PUSH                             PUSH
Trigger       Query Driven (Data        Event Driven (Data flow at       Time Driven ( Data
              flow at query time)       transaction time)                flow at scheduled time)
Output        Resultsets                Messages                         Set of Messages
Mode of       Realtime                  Realtime/Batch                   Batch
Data Flow
Data          Access to structured      Message brokers can convert      Data integration often
Support       (Oracle, SQL Server),     between several different        addresses only
              semi structured           data formats understood by       structured information.
              (Spreadsheets,            applications.                    Integrated information
              Emails) and                                                is stored in a data
              unstructured (Word,                                        warehouse.
              PDF ) formats



1.5 LEADING PRODUCTS OF EII
EII products fall into two categories, those that grew from an RDBMS background and those
that emerged from the XML world. Some major EII products are:-

   1.   Composite Information Server (CIS 2.5 ) from Composite Software
   2.   XML Intelligence Product (XIP 3.5 ) from Ipedo
   3.   DB2 Information Integrator ( DB2II 8.1) from IBM
   4.   Totally Integrated Enterprise (Tiger) from Cincom systems
   5.   FDX Information Server ( FIS 3.5 ) from SnapBridge Software
   6.   XA-iServer 3.52 from XAware
   7.   MetaMatrix Server
   8.   Aracne (ARN) from Denodo Technologies

This difference in origin affects the product’s features and capabilities .On the server side
these are caching capability, data management, metadata and modeling, and query-
optimization features, and on the client side it can be even ODBC or JDBC connectivity.




                               EII-A Technical Ally to EAI and ETL
                                          Page 6 of 8
1.6 BENEFITS OF EII
Enterprise information integration's claim to fame is its ability to federate data. It provides a
single point of access to disparate information sources. This reduces the complexity inherent
in client applications attempting to join various data sources while offering another way to
access that information. Some major benefits of using this technology are:-
    • EII Shields applications from the details such as location and format of the
        information, protocols and query languages supported by the information sources, and
        the programming interfaces supported by the database servers.
    • It also allows the applications to process data independent of changes to the
        underlying data management infrastructure.
    • EII can act a virtual database that insulates the data warehouses from the impact of
        unmanaged raw queries
    • Automate operations and data extraction from any type of data system: Web sources,
        relational databases, XML, Web Services, files (flat, PDF, Word, Excel, logs, etc.), data
        warehouses, applications, etc.
    • Support to SOA architectures, as data can be accessed through Web Services and
        predefined exchange formats can be generated (e.g. XML).



1.7 LIMITATIONS OF EII
The EII model has a number of limitations. These are:-
The fact that querying Data sources for reporting, without degrading their performance is still
an issue. It is an especially important issue when the source systems are older legacy
systems.
EII also tends to suffer from data quality problems, to an even greater extent than the data
warehouse model. Unlike data maintained in a data warehouse, which is extracted from
operational sources and then standardized and cleansed, EII tools generate a virtual view of
the data they assemble from various operational sources, which generally contains
mismatched data.



1.8 AUTHORS NOTE
There is no doubt EII is an important new tool for data architects. It fits right-in-with and
complements existing environments to fill the gap in integration of disparate data sources to
end-users. Using EII and an XML data model, organizations can then take the next step to on-
demand intelligence and deliver a valuable business advantage to their users. Given the need
of on-demand information and the advantages of EII, more companies will explore their
options towards this technology. They won't just want it, they'll demand it.




                              EII-A Technical Ally to EAI and ETL
                                         Page 7 of 8
2 REFERENCES
 •   http://www.ipedo.com – The EII zone
     TU                  UT




 •   http://www.denodo.com – Discover the EII Integration
     TU                                 UT




 •   http://www.cutter.com – Cutter Consortium
     TU                       UT




 •   http://java.sys-con.com – The Worlds Leading Java Resource
     TU                            UT




 •   http://www.networkcomputing.com - Network Computing for IT by IT
     TU                                      UT




                              EII-A Technical Ally to EAI and ETL
                                         Page 8 of 8

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:4
posted:8/6/2011
language:English
pages:8