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Build or Buy EAI

By IT Integration ·
We are embarking on an Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) endeavor, using web services and home-grown interfaces. Our company is smaller than those cited in the magazine - we have 600 employees and I need to integrate 5+ applications, residingon Oracle, SQLServer and a proprietary system. We have already built a hub processor and framework and are currently migrating data between two of the systems with another one in beta test, using XML. Do you have any information on companies of our size that are doing this? The need to take this on came mid-budget cycle so purchasing middleware was out of the question and I suspect that something like SeeBeyond would be overkill financially for a project as small as ours. I have a team of skilled web developers and programmers on staff. I am not sure if lower-budget solutions (such a Bridge) are necessary or if simply building it ourselves with our existing staff is the best approach. We have a significant need to understand the business processes we are integrating and my staff of programmers and analysts are well acquainted with the business and the users. Your thoughts?

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Build or Buy EAI

by Ann777 In reply to Build or Buy EAI

Check out this journal:

http://www.eaijournal.com/

They have many articles on the subject.

It's mainly up to you and your comfort level with your staff's capabilities as to whether you should decide to build your own interface or go with another companies software.

If the staff is capable and supported time-wise/management-wise to build this, then you'd save $'s and end up with an app that better fits your users and their needs. There's also the plus of understanding the app thrououghly.

But if the staff does not have the time or support, then the project may fail.

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Build or Buy EAI

by IT Integration In reply to Build or Buy EAI

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Build or Buy EAI

by timwalsh In reply to Build or Buy EAI

Some things to consider before making a decision on developing in-house, or using off-the-shelf solutions:

Building it yourelf:
Pros:
As you mention, your developers already understand your business and users.
You get an product that is perfectly tailored to your needs.
Cost - Don't need to buy anything.
Cons:
Support - You will need to provide all levels of support for the product. Is your support infrastructure up to the challenge
Time to develop, test, roll-out can be excessive (especially if developers are not dedicated to strictly in-house projects).
Cost - If developers aren't dedicated to in-house projects, what projects for "paying customers might suffer? Either way, when comparing costs make sure you take into consideration such things as salary and benefits for all involved during both the development effort and for necessary in-house support after roll-out (vs. purchase price and maybe a yearly maintenance agreement for an off-the-shelf product).

Buy off the shelf:
Pros:
Time - Available now
Support provided by vendor
Cons:
Time - may need to have vendor tweak the product to meet your requirements; time invlved in researching suitable products; time invlved in educating the chosen vendor about your specific needs
Cost - costs for annual maintenance agreements can add up over time
Support - how responsive is it and how good is it?

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Build or Buy EAI

by IT Integration In reply to Build or Buy EAI

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by IT Integration In reply to Build or Buy EAI

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