Business System Integration Topologies – Everything You Need To Know - In A Nutshell

Business system integration is the process of bringing together a number of component subsystems into one system so that they function together as a complete system. It includes linking together different computing systems and software applications both physically and functionally to act as a coordinated whole. Various discrete systems are usually put together using a number of techniques such as computer networking, application integration, business process management etc. This integration of these various disparate systems is known to add value and capabilities to the existing systems and make them more efficient.

Let’s discuss the various methods of integration that are prevalent today:

Vertical integration

This is the process of integrating the various subsystems according to their functionality. Various functional entities are created – usually termed as ‘silos’. With this method, the integration is performed quickly and involves only the necessary vendors – this method turns out to be cheaper in the short term. On the other hand, cost-of-ownership could be slightly higher than the other methods.

Star integration

This method is also known as spaghetti integration. Each system is interconnected to each of the remaining subsystems. When observed from the perspective of a subsystem that is being integrated, the connections are a reminiscent of a star. The cost varies with the interfaces that the subsystems are exporting.

Horizontal integration

This method is also called as Enterprise Service Bus or the ESB in which one specialized subsystem is used to communicate with the rest of the subsystems. The number of connecting interfaces is reduced to one per subsystem. The cost of integration is effectively reduced. This also provides maximum flexibility.

These are the various logical topologies to implement system integration. Overall, these types of integration of systems helps business derive maximum benefits from their IT systems so as to improve operational efficiency and productivity.

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