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Software Integration Definition

Software Integration is the process of aggregating diverse sub-systems to combine to form one coherent multi-functional system.  It involves conjoining the system and the software applications to act as a whole.  The advent of the internet and proliferation of systems utilizing the cloud platform paved way for software integration. By using different sub-systems, a legacy system can add certain utility as an individual sub-system to contribute to the system as a whole.

There are 4 types of software integration methods-namely, vertical integration, star integration, enterprise service bus and common data format.  Vertical integration lets you integrate the software based on functionality. This is the cheapest method for short-term needs as it involves only the necessary parties.  Star system, as the name suggests, interconnects one sub-system with the rest of the sub-system.  However, adding a sub-system to the ring disturbs the architecture and can often cause problems. Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) actuates communication between a custom-made sub-system and the rest of the sub-systems. As a result, it provides a great deal of flexibility. The common data format is an application independent data format created so that adapter does not have to convert data into other formats.

In an enterprise level, Software Integration can be used to simplify a lot of complex activities. It can be used in various fields ranging from project planning to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to quality testing and so on.

There are several perks of integrating your software. It makes fault detection a simple process and also removes the need to deal with stand-alone systems, hence reducing time. However, if security is breached in any one of the sub-systems, the entire system could be breached. Hence, it is safe to say that software integration is important but it could come at a cost.

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