Introducing Application Integration
Roles, Responsibilities, and Tasks
This section provides an overview of the roles and tasks required to create integration solutions. This section includes the following topics:
Roles and Responsibilities
The following sections describe the roles that must be fulfilled for members of an integration solution team:
A successful integration solution requires input from all of these participants. Depending on the solution, one person may assume multiple roles and all roles might not be required.
Application Integration Specialists
Application integration specialists lead the implementation of an integration solution and drive the design effort. Application integration specialists are knowledgeable about the features and capabilities of the WebLogic Integration product, particularly the application integration capabilities. They consult with EIS specialists to determine requirements, map those requirements to WebLogic Integration features, and design an integration solution's architecture. Integration specialists are responsible for the end-to-end solution and have experience in the following areas:
- Business and technical analysis
- Architecture design
- Project management
EIS specialists are experts in the enterprise information systems (EIS) that are part of the integration solution. An EIS specialist provides the information needed to integrate the EIS into the integration solution, including external interfaces, connection protocols, EIS metadata and data formats, and EIS behaviors. EIS specialists are knowledgeable about all aspects of the applicable EIS system and they have experience in the following areas:
- Technical analysis
- Integration solution design
- In-depth knowledge of the organization's EIS deployment and operations
Technology specialists are experts in the various technologies used in integration solutions. Examples of technology specialists include:
- Java developers
- database administrators
- system administrators
- infrastructure specialists, such as experts in network, intranet, extranet, and mail infrastructure
Process for Creating Integration Solutions
This section provides a high level, end-to-end view of the process of creating integration solutions that involve EIS integration. It includes the following topics:
This section is a hypothetical or idealized solution designed to showcase product features rather than a suggestion of how to execute a plan. It is intended to supplement any methodologies or processes already used in your organization to build and deploy integration solutions.
Phase 1: Design the Solution
This phase involves two steps: defining the components of the integration solution and creating a detailed, end-to-end design.
Step 1: Define the Components of the Solution
The first phase is to define the components of an integration solution, which includes (but is not limited to) the following tasks:
- Determine which business process(es) will be involved in the integration solution.
- Determine which external EISs and other technologies will be involved in the integration, as well as any external EIS interfaces involved in the business process(es) that you are integrating.
- Determine which WebLogic Platform components will be involved in the integration solution, such as:
- web services, business processes, or portals designed in WebLogic Workshop
- custom applications
- Determine which adapters will be required, including BEA WebLogic Adapters for WebLogic Integration and, if applicable, custom adapters. An integration solution can involve multiple adapters.
For more information, see Understanding Application Integration.
Step 2: Create a Detailed, End-to-End Design of the Solution
Once you have defined the components of the solution, you need to create a detailed design that specifies:
- Any service invocations, including:
- the schemas required for requests and responses (as described in EIS Metadata, Schemas, and Repositories)
- the client application that will initiate each service request and handle the response (as described in Clients for Service Invocations)
- whether each service invocation will be synchronous or asynchronous
- other requirements that pertain to the associated EISs
- Any event notifications, including:
- the event schema required (as described in EIS Metadata, Schemas, and Repositories)
- the event consumer(s) that will subscribe to, and listen for, events initiated by the EIS, as described in Event Consumers
- the configuration required on each EIS to publish events to destination where the adapters can receive them
- other requirements that pertain to the associated EISs
- Any requirements for connecting to the EIS, such as login credentials, network connections, specialized configuration, and so on.
- Any specialized business logic, such as transaction processing.
- Any other components of the integration solution, such as business processes, web services, portals, and so on.
This step involves the expertise of business analysts, system integrators, and EIS specialists. Note that an integration solution can be part of a larger integration solution.
Phase 2: Build the Solution
The next phase is to build the solution using the design-time tools described in Tools for Integration Solutions. Build tasks include:
- Purchase, install, and configure the WebLogic Platform and any adapters.
- Create the schemas for services and events according to the "Generating Schemas" chapter in your adapter documentation, using the BEA Application Explorer if appropriate for your adapter.
- Create the application views that provide an XML-based interface between WebLogic Server and the EIS. For each application view, you configure connection information, services, and events.
- Build and integrate with other BEA software components as required. For example, you might need to build business processes, web services, or portals in WebLogic Workshop and configure them to invoke services or receive and process event notifications. Similarly, you might need to construct queries in Liquid Data for WebLogic that access application views as data sources. For instructions, see the documentation associated with the BEA software component you are using.
- Test the end-to-end solution, making sure that all of its components interact correctly and produce the desired results.
This phase involves the expertise of technical specialists, such as designers (of business processes, web services, portals, and queries), developers, system integrators, database administrators, EIS specialists, and so on.
Phase 3: Deploy and Manage the Solution
The final phase is to deploy the integration solution in a production environment and monitor its ongoing operation.
- Design the deployment.
- Deploy the required components of the BEA WebLogic Platform.
- Install and deploy the adapter as described in the adapter's Installation and Configuration Guide.
- Deploy any application views and schemas for EIS integration.
- Verify business processes in the production environment.
- Monitor, tune, and troubleshoot the deployment.
This phase requires system administrators, network administrators, network operators, and specialists who operate the infrastructure of your organization.
Where To Go From Here
To begin using one of the BEA WebLogic Adapters for WebLogic Integration in your integration solution, refer to the "Getting Started" section of the Introduction in the adapter's User's Guide.