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2015/05/28

Don't be Afraid of Data Integration!


Data Integration: Middleware Considerations

When an organization chooses to enhance their business infrastructure with a cloud-based ERP, CRM or PLM product, such as Netsuite, Salesforce, or Autodesk PLM 360 respectively, the question quickly arises:

“Can I keep information in my existing systems synchronized with my new ERP/CRM/PLM system?” 

The answer, in short, is “Yes!”

This is achieved through a task known as Data Integration or Enterprise Application Integration. This entails putting in place a middleware application to synchronize information between the different systems, enabling a complete worldview of business logic across every application platform.

There are many considerations when choosing how to implement a middleware application, including:
  • The scale of information being synchronized
  • The programmable interfaces of the systems being integrated
  • The resources allotted to putting in place the middleware application


With that being said, the two types of middleware approaches to consider are:
  • Commercial Middleware Products 
  • Customized Middleware Applications


Commercial Middleware Products
Data Integration is not entirely a new concept. Several companies have built commercial middleware products to help organizations perform their Data Integration needs with as much ease as possible. A couple of these commercial products, which ERP Guru has experience with, include Jitterbit and Boomi. Within these types of products are the necessary pre-built connections to popular products such as Netsuite, Salesforce, and Autodesk PLM 360. As a result, in order to get your Data Integration started, all that is needed is to assign the proper field mappings between systems. One advantage of commercial middleware products is that they will continue to adapt to the inevitable changes in the systems they are integrating with. 

These products often come with the choice of being located on servers on-site or being cloud based.

Pricing is often characterized with a first-time fee followed by either a monthly or yearly subscription fee.

Customized Middleware Application
In the case where a commercial middleware product cannot be customized to fit a particular need or the investment price is not justifiable for the Data Integration project, a Customized Middleware Application can be built. ERP Guru specializes in creating these applications using the Spring Framework, which is based in the Java programming language. Other common toolkits for this type of customization work include Apache Camel and Talend.

Once a custom middleware application has been delivered, should there be any changes to the infrastructure of the systems being integrated, additional development effort will be needed to update the application.

This application will generally sit on a server managed by the organization and will not require any yearly or monthly cost.

The right Middleware for the right situation
ERP Guru has the experience to recognize which type of middleware application will provide the best results and the best value whether you are integrating with Netsuite, Salesforce, or Autodesk PLM 360. We are continually on the look-out to stay up to date with the current trends in middleware techniques and embrace new technologies.

Contact ERP Guru for more information and let our knowledge be your organization’s competitive advantage when implementing a middleware project.


Author: 
Christopher Neal
Integration Specialist at ERP Guru

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