Ari Haapaniemi 17.12.2014 4 min read

EAI Integrations

No matter whether you do integration from the cloud or on-premises the basic requirement is the same: automate parts or complete business processes, or supporting processes, with help of integration.

Whereas EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) is concerned with solving integration problems within a single enterprise, B2Bi (Business-to-Business integration) deals with business process automation between enterprises. EAI integrations are generally highly customized, focusing on data transformations, transaction completion and message routing between applications. B2Bi, on the other hand, must be based on open standards, business semantics, stable interfaces and scalable platform. These distinct characteristics have resulted different the tools to implement these integrations.

EAI integrations have been implemented using on-premises integration solutions whereas B2Bi requirements have been fulfilled using cloud-based integration solutions. Both have their own challenges: EAI requires technical presence on-premises and support for several interface technologies in order to establish integration with business systems - REST and XML is not enough, since still many business systems operate on batch-based manner using legacy file formats, such as CSV or even in-house EDIFACT. In addition, technical EAI processes are heavily customized since the intra-company processes are divergent. B2Bi on the other hand demands for highly scalable solutions where new companies can be attached to the service network easily, and without performance drawback to other parties attached to the same network. Also, in B2Bi, interfaces must be generic enough in order to enable ease of integration.

Now, with emerge of the iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service), the cloud-based integration platform can provide both, EAI and B2Bi types of integration functionalities which allows new possibilities for both integration vendor and end-customer. One major advantage, when companies start using iPaaS for their EAI implementations, is that they do not have install integration platform on-premises - a task that may require significant amount of work - since it's already up and running, in this case in the cloud. In addition, traditionally with on-premises EAI integration platform deployments, the physical integration architecture has to be designed with peak loads in mind even though such a situation may occur only once or twice a year - a major cost from a capacity that is idle for the most of the year. iPaaS, on the other hand, provides automatic scaling only for the duration of the demand spikes which means you only pay for what you use. 

Above mentioned factors by themselves justify iPaaS in EAI integrations. No local installations, automatically scalable design and low start-up costs. This will definitely attract new companies to adopt EAI, especially SMB companies which haven't found business case for the EAI until now. This, in turn, may open new possibilities for current B2Bi operators to extend their integration offering to the EAI territory. New companies can be integrated with new B2Bi/EAI services - companies which before haven't had technical or commercial maturity to connect to such services eariler. 

And if iPaaS platform supports multi-tenancy - as Youredi does - this will create a whole new ecosystem for integration customers and service providers. 


Ari Haapaniemi

Head of Products and Solutions, Youredi

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