Enterprise Application Integration
Enterprise application integration is an integration framework composed of a collection of technologies and services which form a middleware to enable integration of systems and applications across the enterprise.
Supply chain management applications (for managing inventory and shipping), customer relationship management applications (for managing current and potential customers), business intelligence applications (for finding patterns from existing data from operations), and other types of applications (for managing data such as human resources data, health care, internal communications, etc.) typically cannot communicate with one another in order to share data or business rules. For this reason, such applications are sometimes referred to as islands of automation or information silos. This lack of communication leads to inefficiencies, wherein identical data are stored in multiple locations, or straightforward processes are unable to be automated.
Enterprise application integration is the process of linking various applications within a single organization together in order to simplify and automate business processes to the greatest extent possible, while at the same time avoiding having to make sweeping changes to the existing applications or data structures.