What is Integration?
It is not unusual to find even small companies with multiple websites, intranets and applications that facilitate their business operations. As the company scales through medium to large, the number of systems grows to cater for increased numbers, complex organisational structures and new areas of business. Enterprise Resource Planning solutions have attempted to solve the multiple systems issue and include some big players including: Microsoft, Oracle, PeopleSoft & SAP. These 'solutions' rarely solve the root cause of the problem and often lead to other problems: increase in legacy solutions and poor adoption of a 'one-size-fits-all' approach. They often push your company into making your business processes fit the software rather than finding the best software for your business processes.
An alternative approach is to use the existing systems that work for your business, replace them when something better comes along & budgets allow and seamlessly add new systems as your business develops. Integration is the bringing together of a set of subsystems so that they work together as one system. So using Integration as a strategy for managing your IT systems is a very powerful alternative to a locked-in vendor approach. At Perfectly Simple IT Solutions, we advocate integrating your existing systems together to derive maximum business value and then increasing that business value by improving upon those systems; without disrupting your business processes.
- Solutions for Integration Scenarios using reusable Integration Patterns.
- Specialist Integration Architects and Developers with extensive experience of integrating COTS, Legacy and Bespoke systems.
- Service Oriented Architecture approaches including: Enterprise Service Bus and MicroServices.
Used to pull information from multiple back-end systems and represent it in a unified manner.
Simple use case: a customer updates their contact details on your website and you wish to update the Sales, Shipment & Invoicing systems that all store their details.
Case study: Chief/CDS Synchronisation at HMRC
Used when you have multiple front-end systems that can use information from a single back-end system.
Simple use case: your company may have multiple client engagement channels but you wish to ensure that they are all consolidated under a single customer back-end system.
Case study: Odyssey Project at Ford
Used to manage back-end 'services' through service discovery and negotiation.
Simple use case: your front-end service makes multiple calls to multiple back-end systems and you wish to consolidate/reuse the types of calls made.
Case study: Customs Declaration Service Programme for HMRC
Used to add intelligence to a system by adding a business processing function; allowing a single business function.
Simple use case: your front-end services are complex and need some orchestration to ensure that the correct back-end is called at the correct time during a complex business process.
Case study: Multi Annual Strategic Plan Project at HMRC
Used to connect separate business systems (across multiple companies) together, to achieve one customer end-to-end process whilst ensuring appropriate protection for those individual company's systems.
Designed and delivered ESB/MicroService based services; including system integration where there are teams from multiple suppliers, managing multiple cross stream dependencies:
Our consultants work with HMRC; designing/delivering Open-Source MicroService back-end/Middleware-Services and leading the integration of COTS/Legacy/Bespoke-components supplied by: HMRC-in-house, IBM, Euro-Dynamics, Accenture, CapGemini & Equal-Experts across 13-parallel streams in three cross-dependent programmes/projects.
We delivered back-end Headless-services to other suppliers; including:
- MicroServices configuration storage - Hashicorp-Consul.
- Digital-Certificates storage - Hashicorp-Vault.
- Access control, security & log-management - API-Gateway, Service-Mesh, Docker, Kubernetes, LDAP, Kafka & ELK.
- Consolidated Notification Service - MicroServices & WSO2; channels including: Email, SMS, Push & Slack.
- File Transportation - S3, FTPS, SFTP, SMB, MicroServices (file-upload, download & anti-virus).
- Integration to Barclays-Payment-Service (experience of CyberPac, Stripe & Braintree).
- Integrations with IBM’s Customs-workflow-engine (experience with Camunda, Documentum & JIRA).
- Data-Management services connecting UI to multiple back-end systems (DataBases, Workflow-Engine, Risking-Tool & Payment-Systems).
We used Docker & Kubernetes best-practices, Twelve-Factor-App and container-design-patterns to implement MicroServices; resulting in horizontally-scalable, stateless, MicroServices with clean separation of concerns between development, logging, monitoring & security.