Monday, October 13, 2008

OOW 2008 - Application Integration Architecture

AIA seems to have become integral to many of the offerings from Oracle. It is now assumed that AIA is the integration mechanism across all product stacks, unless stated otherwise. This was quite surprising, since the AIA product suite itself has matured only in the last 6 months. It shows the surprising rapidness with which Oracle has internally embraced the AIA message. This space will continue to grow rapidly, as Oracle continues to use AIA internally and continues to roll out newer (and enriched) versions of the Foundation Pack.

The interesting new development in this space, was the newly announced approach to start building composite (stand-alone) applications using AIA. This is a different direction for AIA, as it takes the AIA Suite out of the integration realm and into the broader domain of composite application development. This would have been the eventual evolution of the product suite, but it seems to have already started moving in that direction.

The implication here is that new applications can be developed which implicitly integrate functionality from disparate systems. With this approach AIA moves from simply being a stack of "pipes" to becoming a "jacuzzi" (or sewage pump, or flush tank, or... you get my point). It has moved from being the plumbing to a usable end-application.

On a side note, I would not be surprised if AIA was rebranded in the near future. AIA is not really an architecture (more like a framework), it has grown beyond simply being an integration platform, and is not meant simply to connect two major application suites. Although all of the above were true when AIA originally came out, it has evolved from "plumber's putty" to now being applicable to a whole host of new areas and would be more aptly characterized by its likeness to "Gorilla glue" (pun intended).

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