Software integration is the process of bringing together various types of software sub-systems so that they create a unified single system. Software integration can be required for a number of reasons, such as:
Migrating from a legacy system to a new database system, including cloud-based data storage
Setting up a data warehouse where data needs to be moved through an ETL process from its production system to the data storage systemLinking different systems, such as various databases and file-based systems
Joining various stand-alone systems to make it easier to replicate processes and gain uniform results
This kind of application integration is increasingly necessary for companies who use distinct systems to perform various tasks. These operations can include anything from recording sales, keeping track of supplier information, and storing customer data. To incorporate all of these different systems and applications into one system, where data can be collected and analyzed, requires specialized functionality.
A data integration tool seeks to provide a solution for cloud-based data repositories, where large amounts of data from disparate sources need to be collated, processed, and analyzed as one. By using such tools, companies can combine and utilize all of their data.
There are four methods which are used for software integration:
Vertical integration, which integrates software based on the specifically required functionality
Star system integration, which interconnects one sub-system with the rest of a sub-system
Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), where a custom-made sub-system is created which allows a variety of different systems to communicate with each other simultaneously
Common data format integration is independent of applications so that all data is in one format and so doesn't have to be converted into others depending on the application using it