EII - aka; Enterprise Information Integration. Does it really have a chance to survive? or is it just another passing fad??
As an architecture it makes sense, a lot of sense - but then there's SOA - with a much larger view of the world, and lot more integration under the covers. So is EII just the technology to make SOA work? or is there something else going on here?
EII is an interesting topic, it get's a lot of buzz, both positive and negative in the industry. The vendors in this space today are new, and considered first generation (by their own accounts), but are rapidly racing to come up with generation two.
What I've seen so far is that EII as a niche player provides some value to the business, as long as the business wants to integrate "data now" across the organization, and is interested in an enterprise view (including outside or external data sources) of all their information. Where EII runs into limitations today is: write-back to source systems that meet ACID tests - overtaking the entire data warehousing effort, claiming "virtual warehouse".
I think that EII is an interesting category when it comes to replacing the ODS - and maybe the marketeers should be trumpeting: Virtual ODS, which if the ODS is built according to most standard definitions(not containing any history except transactional history - because its' reflected in most source systems), then EII can hold a candle to that. I think EII falls short in creating a virtual warehouse, that may be in the future - but for now, it just doesn't happen (for a variety of reasons).
As the EII vendors rush to generation two, the SOA "vendors" are gearing up with generation one. As I've stated before: the tools underneath SOA architecture and EII have a lot of overlap, and some EII vendors are actually tooling EII generation two to include SOA offerings (with web services, security, and compliance).
As with any technology, there's convergence in the market place. Convergence across EII, EAI, ETL, and web-services. SOA is the architectural icing on the cake.
EII is a technology to watch, and today - if you have a very specific question about your enterprise that needs data from many sources (but not history), then EII may solve the problem elegantly.
Posted July 27, 2005 6:58 PM
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