Planning to adopt an integration tool for your large organization? Terence O’Donovan, director of technology for DataMirror in Toronto, an enterprise application integration platform provider, suggests considering these points first.

Scalability

Replacing point-to-point interfaces with a tool becomes senseless if the tool can only easily manage a small percentage of those interfaces.

Performance

The tool must have a high throughput of data.

Ease of Deployment

The ability to change certain parameters (source name, target name and so on) is essential.

Centralized Administration

Interfaces must be able to be administered automatically and from a central place.

Straight Through Processing/Zero Latency

The ability to deliver target data as soon as possible after reading the source data is important for many applications.

Heterogeneous Sources

To turn data into information, you must be able to join data from heterogeneous sources.

Security

Support for various security standards is required. Good, hard-to-reverse standards at the moment include Secure Sockets Layer, IPSec and Pretty Good Privacy.

Partners

For large enterprisewide projects, a company must have good partnerships with respectable systems integrators, with a base staff already trained in the product.

Training

The better the training program the quicker the enterprise will realize its return on investment.

Support

A good, tiered support function (offering up to 24/7 telephone support and

a knowledge base) will help alleviate

inevitable problems.

User Group

An organized user base – to share experiences, good practices, tips and tricks – is invaluable in heightening the ROI of the project.

References

Before investing in a tool, always check references from well-respected com-panies that have that tool in production.



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