Communications of the Association for Information Systems


The term enterprise application integration (EAI) refers to the plans, methods, and tools aimed at modernizing, consolidating, integrating and coordinating the computer applications within an enterprise. The need to integrate across applications is being driven by customer demand for access to information and the desire of the business for a single point of contact with their customer base. The challenges are significant because of the variety of technologies in need of integration and because integration cuts across lines of business. This paper distinguishes among four different (but related) targets of EAI: Data-level integration Application-level integration Process-level integration Inter-organizational-level integration The paper then discusses the technologies that assist with this integration (the "EAI toolkit") under the following categories: Asynchronous Event/Message Transport Transformation Engines Integration Brokers Business Process Management Frameworks The paper concludes by outlining six key strategies for managing EAI suggested by a group of senior IT managers from leading-edge firms.