System Integration

Introduction:

System integration may be defined as the process of bringing together the component subsystems into one system and ensuring that the subsystems work efficiently and properly together as a system. In IT, system integration is the process of linking together different workstations and software applications to act as a whole.

Skills required by the system integrator/engineer:

The system integrator takes in together the discrete systems utilizing a variety of techniques like:

  • Computer Networking.
  • Business Process Management.
  • Enterprise Application Integration.
  • Manual Programming.

A broad range of skills should be present in any system integrator/engineer. For system integration, breadth of knowledge is of more importance than the depth of knowledge. Insync solutions include such a group of employees who are diligent and efficient and have an extensive knowledge of this field.

Impartial skills include:

  • Software, systems and enterprise architecture.
  • Software and hardware engineering.
  • Interface protocols.
  • General problem-solving skills.

There exist different methods by which system integration can be executed. Enlisted below are few of those.

Methods of System Integration:

  • Vertical Integration:

    It is the process of integrating subsystems according to their functionality by creating silos also known as functional entities. The integration is performed quickly using this method and hence it is a very advantageous method. This process is not that expensive as it involves only the necessary vendors. However, expensiveness may increase in the long-term as the cost of ownership can be higher substantially. The drawback of this method is it does not provide reusability of subsystems to create a new functionality.
  • Star Integration:

    It is a process of systems integration where each system is interconnected to each of the remaining subsystems. The connection seems like the reminiscent of a star when seen from the perspective of the subsystem which is being integrated. The overall diagram, however, looks like spaghetti and hence it is also referred to as a spaghetti method. Time and cost increase substantially when we need to add the additional subsystems. But this method is still preferable as it offers the flexibility of reusing the subsystems.
  • Horizontal Integration:

    It is a method in which a specialized subsystem is dedicated to communicating between other subsystems. It provides extreme flexibility as it is capable of translating one interface into another. This decreases down the cost as well making this method the most preferable among the three methods that have been discussed till now.
  • Common Data Format:

    It is a method to avoid every adapter which is needed to convert the data to/from every other application’s formats. It is a two-step process of system integration.

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