Cetrix Blog

    Design Principles of Application Integration Architecture

    Paul Nilsen - May 11, 2018 10:42:48 AM

    There are multiple methods to application integration architecture. The first method is creating a centralized application architecture as a top-down approach, but you may not know all the requirements for your applications beforehand. Generally implemented in a waterfall model, data is prepared based on requirements. While it works, making changes with this design can get expensive.

    Another approach is to start from the bottom up. This way you develop applications for each individual department in the business unit. You then network departments together. While this approach is more suitable for application integration architecture, it comes with its own disadvantages such as duplicate applications and infrastructure.

    You also have to consider legacy applications, client server, web applications, and how they will change in the future.  . A much better approach is to consider your entire enterprise and integrate each business, application, data, and infrastructure system into your overall network without becoming too complex and unmanageable.

    Either way, your approach must integrate the following enterprise architecture principles to be successful:

    • Client Server
    • N tier
    • middle ware architecture,
    • service oriented architecture (SOA)

    In some cases, you can combine some of these systems successfully to address bottlenecks between them.

    Fig 1, Enterprise Service Bus-1

    Figure -1, Enterprise Service Bus

    Fortunately, there is an easy way to combine your middle ware and SOA on the market already. It is called enterprise service bus (ESB), and it is capable of addressing all your application integration architecture needs.

    While ESB will make your network and IT operations easier, you must choose the right ESB tool. You have a number of choices from both proprietary and open source vendors, such as Dell Boomi, WSO2, Talend ESB, IBM Websphere ESB, and Microsoft Biztalk server. But not all of them will come with the features, architectural capabilities, and cost effectiveness you need based on your desired enterprise integration pattern.

    An enterprise integration pattern is a design template for integrating your application, business, and data systems together within your enterprise network. Currently, there are already 65 different integration patterns you can reuse to get your network up and running quickly without having to develop new code.

    The following list provides a small sample of the these readily available integration patterns. You can find the complete list in the WSO2 product documentation

    Messaging Systems

     Message Channels

    Message Channels

    How applications interact among themselves.



    How two applications exchange a piece of information.

     Pipes & Filters

    Pipes and Filters

    How to perform complex processing on a message.

     Message Router

    Message Router

    How to decouple individual processing steps ..

     Message Translator

    Message Translator

    How different data formats communicate with each other.

     Message Endpoint

    Message Endpoint

    How an application connects to a messaging channel .

    Messaging Channels

     Point to Point Channels

    Point-to-Point Channel

    How the caller receives the document or perform the call.

     Publish-Subscribe Channels

    Publish-Subscribe Channel

    How the sender broadcasts an event to all interested receivers.

     Message Bus

    Message Bus

    An architecture to work together in a decoupled fashion such that applications can be easily added or removed without affecting the others.


    System Management

     Channel Purger

    Channel Purger

    How to removes unwanted messages

     Control Bus

    Control Bus

    Administers a messaging system that is distributed



    Routes a message and performs validation,

     Message Store

    Message Store

    Reports loosely coupled and transient nature of a messaging system.

     Smart Proxy

    Smart Proxy

    Tracks and publishes reply messages to the Return Address specified by the requester.

    Integration through API Management.

    Similar to WSO2 ESB handles your business and application integration architecture, WSO2 API manager also handles the application integration. In successful SOA governance, you benefit exposing main processes, data services as API to the public.

    API creation is linking the available API implementation in back end to the API publisher available. So that you monitor and manage API life cycle, security, community and subscriptions. In an alternative way, API implementation can be kept in-line with API publisher itself.

    However there are new challenges in leveraging API in collaborative way such as regulation, implementing control, establishing security and trust. WSO2 API manager takes care of these issues with API creation, publication, life cycle management, monetization, versioning, security and governance. These are all executed by WSO2 enterprise service bus (ESB), WSO2 identity server and WSO2 governance registry. WSO2 DAS powers for more scalability.

    WSO2 DSS and Analytics manages your data integration. Together as the WSO2 Enterprise Integrator, these tools give your organization the following benefits:

    • Patform independence
    • Scalability
    • Flexibility
    • Content based routing,
    • Reliability
    • Component reusability
    • Interoperability
    • Simplicity
    • Error handling
    • Monitor, auditing, logging
    • Security
    • Guaranteed delivery
    • Asynchronous delivery

    References are in these links.


    Key Differences between ESB, EAI and SOA

    Figure-2,     Enterprise integrator

    As Figure 2 shows, you get more from WSO2 Enterprise Integrator than just the ESB, DSS, and Analytics modules. You get a complete enterprise IT integration management system.. Out of the box, it comes bundled with these eight modules and profiles.

    • ESB Service Integration (WSO2 ESB)
    • Message broker(WSO2 MB)
    • Business process(WSO2 BPS)
    • Micro-services and Analytics.
    • Real-time data processing (WSO2 DSS)
    • WSO2 Governance registry
    • WSO2 business activity monitor (BAM)
    • API manager and identity server

    Each module comes with its own variety of configuration options and settings. Once configured, you can use them right away without any additional costs, resources, or coding. In the end, you get a much more manageable network with fewer interfaces than with any other integration method. More information is available at WSO2 Library

    Figure- 3,   ESB integration chart

    Figure– 3,   ESB integration chart

    The Figure-3 shows how many interfaces  get reduced using ESB in the integration. There are 50 applications are to be integrated. It shows maximum of 50 interfaces are only needed, where as in other methods you need more than 250 interfaces.

    More information is available in this link.

    A new cost model for comparison of Point to Point and Enterprise Service Bus integration styles

      While WSO2 does create a single point of failure for your network, it is quite robust with a number of built-in exception monitoring and handling solutions that meet every industry and government standard. 

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    Digital Business

    Digital Business

    Topics: Application Integration

    Paul Nilsen

    Paul Nilsen

    Paul Nilsen is the director of solution development at Cetrix Cloud Services. He also works with the Solution Development Department at Cetrix Technologies, where he headed the department for three years. Paul has over 20 years of experience in IT, working on software engineering projects, hardware-software product integration, design of special purpose systems using artificial intelligence, and implementing CRM and ERP software systems.

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