System integration can be defined as the connecting of dissimilar processes and systems in order to facilitate data exchange in an organization. Owing to the proliferation of technology these days, there has been a constant need for organizations to manage many disparate systems and processes. For each of the different systems an organization owns, there will be a difference in the data inputs as well as the data outputs. From time to time, data output by one system becomes an input for another process or system and this leads to great interdependence between business processes and systems. Because of this, there is a need to consolidate all these processes and systems into one by use of system integration. Integration plays a major role in streamlining business operations as well as in cost management of an organization. It is important that the following patterns are carefully observed for any integration process to be successful.
Firstly, continuous integration pattern should be observed for any system integration. This model works on the premise of continued integration of business processes and systems. Any new system or process developed in an organization after integration has been done should fit in the initial integration model. Because of this, the company doesn’t have to purchase another integration solution in the future and is thus saved of this cost. Also, this model ensures that integration work that may arise in the future is autonomous and is independent of the development team and thus ensures that the established integration solution is not interfered with.
Secondly, it is important that any integration process pays proper attention to existing subsystems. The subsystems are the key components of any integration work. A good practice of integration should ensure that the individual components are dependent and are not linked to any existing subsystems. This ensures that integration work is split into small manageable tasks and hence troubleshooting can also be conducted with ease.
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Thirdly, any integration process should adhere to the configuration control. This process elucidates the step by step order of tasks which must be performed by the system integrators. It also specifies the most suitable hardware and software to be used for your integration. This process must be conducted carefully since it is the central point of reference for all the configurations done during the integration process.
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In conclusion, it is important that all the specifications of the subsystems are followed during the integration process. System specifications are important in the sense that they serve as a user manual for integrating specific components. These specifications further dictate the behavioral characteristics of a component and its expected relationship with other components. Additionally, the specification define the data formats the components consumes and produces.