Michael Stephenson

keeping your feet on premise while your heads in the cloud
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Analysing Application Interface Capabilities

When you work on integration projects one of the common things you do is to analyse the capabilities of an application to support different integration techniques.  One of the things I tend to find organisations often oversee the importance of is to document and govern the interface approaches used for each application.

What I like to see on a project would be a list of the applications that you integrate with in your organisation, and then for each application there should be a document which provides an overview of the integration interfaces the application has and a little bit of detail for each one.

Id also like to see some guidance in this document about which interfaces your organisation would use for different integration patterns such as batch extracts or real time RPC queries.  Id also like to see information on any interfaces which the vendor might not support and a statement of your organisations rules for this approach.  For example we might have a statement in the document which says "For application A it is technically feasible to access data at database level but we would never use this approach because it would create a risk of corrupting data" or something like that.

In addition to the overview document Id also like to see links to appropriate documentation from the vendor. Most vendors will have some kind of interface specification online or in their documentation packs.  This should be the place for more info.

If you also wanted to be really "on the ball" you may also do some proof of concepts testing the interface approaches that you will use and you could link to these from the document too.

In summary the Application Interface Capabilities document is for any kind of integration team (using BizTalk or not) to help you manage your architecture by having clear guidance and governance on the interface approaches you will use for each application.  The key to this document however is it should not become a big document it should be a high level overview.

Template <-- Incase it doesnt show up properly this is a link!
The template is a great place to start with creating your own copy of this document.

Example <-- Incase it doesnt show up properly this is a link!
The example is a more detailed usage of this document based on a fictitious scenario.


Id be interested to hear if others are using a similar approach or if there are other things about an applications integration capabilities which you think should be included

Print | posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 8:14 PM | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

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# re: Analysing Application Interface Capabilities

Hey there, You’ve done an excellent job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this site.
6/5/2013 5:17 AM | issam
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# re: Analysing Application Interface Capabilities

Hey there, You’ve done an excellent job.... I’ll definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this site.
6/5/2013 5:17 AM | issam
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# re: Analysing Application Interface Capabilities

Great job! It’s great way for organisations and govern the interface approaches used for each application. It helps to help to manage architecture by having clear guidance and governance on the interface approaches you will use for each application.
6/5/2013 8:20 PM | Robin Williams
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