This chapter introduces the application of process management to business-to-business (B2B) integration and enterprise application integration (EAI). It introduces several integration examples and a complete conceptual model of integration with a focus on process management. Several specific process-oriented integration problems are introduced that are process-specific in nature. The goal of this chapter is to introduce B2B and EAI integration, to show how process management fits into the conceptual model of integration and to convey solution strategies to specific process-oriented integration problems. The exercises at the end of the chapter continue the various examples and allow the reader to apply their knowledge to several advanced integration problems.
EAI integration and B2B integration, as shown later in this chapter, are really two specializations of a common abstraction from a process management viewpoint (and other viewpoints as well that are not discussed in more detail in this chapter, see (Bussler, 2003) for a more comprehensive discussion). In order to motivate the common abstraction of EAI and B2B integration as well as to substantiate the integration concepts discussed in the next section, two examples are introduced here that will serve as prototypical use cases throughout the book chapter. The first example is a typical B2B integration from the supply chain domain and the second example is a typical EAI integration from the company-internal IT domain.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Compensation: The actions required to semantically undo an achieved data state in order to neutralize an earlier state change for the purpose of correcting errors.
Enterprise Application Integration (EAI): The exchange of messages between software systems for purposes of data replication as well as business process execution.
Business-to-Business (B2B) Integration: The exchange of messages between organizations for the purpose of exchanging business information, requests as well as contractual obligations.
Data Flow: Data dependency and data movement between process steps to ensure that required data is available to a process step at execution time.
Data Mediation: Semantic transformation of data structure and data content to establish semantic equivalence of different representations.
Formats and Protocols (FAP): Definition and sequence of messages and invocations required by an organization or application system to communicate meaningfully.
Process Management: The definition of process types and the execution of process instances.
Control Flow: Concept to define causal dependency between process steps to enforce a specific execution order.