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Access Mechanisms

When your business problem is accessing other applications from Siebel Financial Services applications or accessing Siebel Financial Services applications from other applications, you need to ask: Exactly what kind of data exchange do I require?

Data Sharing. You may just need to share data that exists outside of the Siebel system. For example you may have several legacy mainframe systems that you need to access with Siebel Financial Services to provide customers with comprehensive information on their insurance record. You might not want to replicate this information in the Siebel system, but may want to dynamically share this mainframe data as needed and display it within a Siebel Financial Services application. For data sharing, use VBC.

Replication. Replication of data is often useful. For example, you might want to integrate data in CIF (Customer Information File) with data in the Siebel system, keeping order status information in both systems. For mass replication of the order status information in Siebel Financial Services applications, use Siebel Business Integration Manager (BIM) and Siebel Enterprise Integration Manager (EIM).

Presentation Layer (UI) Integration. Integration at the presentation layer is useful in cases where you only need to look at the other application's user interface (UI) and the data does not need to be retrieved. You would capture just the "screen" from the external system using ActiveX Data Controls (ADCs) and represent it natively within a Siebel Financial Services application. This is the least expensive form of integrating two applications, however, it is also the least flexible.

Screen Scrapping. Screen scrapping is another approach you may want to consider. Screen scrapping is never a good long term solution mainly due to performance considerations, cost of ownership, and lack of change management functionality within the application. It is a temporary solution available from some Siebel partners. Screen scrapping can be a very powerful tactical weapon for a project that requires shorter development time and when the project's timeline needs to be separated from availability of legacy application or infrastructure resources.

These Siebel Financial Services solutions can be either real-time or batch. Figure 9 shows the various access mechanism options and where they fit into the integration process.

Figure 9. Siebel Financial Services Solutions
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