In a network of heterogeneous applications and systems in any organization, Integration between these systems and applications plays a key role in achieving the business goals and to optimize the performance of all the systems involved. When it comes to integration, 3 Ts of Integration are the primary focus which are Translation, Transformation and Transfer. In this post, I will talk about these 3 Ts of Integration to shed some further light on it.
Different systems and applications involved in an integrated environment speak differently in terms of data formats. A major goal of integration is to let these heterogeneous systems speak to each other through a common understandable message format.
Translation of the message received from the originating systems aims to cast the messages in a format which is parsable for the integration layer so that Integration layer can proceed on any additional steps (e.g. data validation). E.g. an originating system might send data in the JSON format. The integration layer will be responsible for parsing the message for structural validations as well as any business validations as part of the validation process.
Things to consider for data translation:
1. Source data format
2. Data encryption, decryption algorithms
3. Data Standards
As explained before, Integration layer’s primary role is to enable two or more systems to speak to each other no matter which message formats, encodings, protocols, standards or languages they understand. Integration layer takes charge of all the required transformations to turn the messages into the format and standards required by the destination system. Transformation is performed as part of the integration processes after performing the needful validations (technical as well as business validations).
Things to consider for data transformation:
1. Technical and Business validations.
2. Transformation formats (XSLT etc.)
3. Transformation criteria.
4. Destination’s message format
Transfer of messages between n number of systems in an integrated environment on various communication protocol is the responsibility of the integration solutions. All other relevant matters including data security, authenticity, encryption etc. must also be taken care of when developing the communication processes in the integration processes.
Things to consider for message transfer:
1. Transfer protocol
2. Transfer mode (synchronous, asynchronous, broadcast etc.)