System Integration is an engineering term which refers to the process of aggregating and linking various subsystems to form one main core system. This process of System Integration consists of connecting computer networks with enterprise applications that are ideal for the business management process. There are various methods that engineers utilize to achieve suitable system integration such as Vertical Integration, Star Integration, Horizontal Integration & Common Data Format.
Vertical Integration – This is a method in which subsystems are integrated based on their functions which are classified as silos. This is generally thought to be a quick and budget friendly method of integration when compared with the other 2 methods described below.
Star Integration or Spaghetti Integration – As the name describes, This is a jumbled up system in which each system is interconnected with subsystems. This method is generally thought to be a flexible method due to its jumbled up nature which allows re-usability of various functionality.
Horizontal Integration or Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) – This is a method in which a particular subsystem only communicates via one connection. This method is a clean method due to the fact that number of connection is limited to only one. This method is generally thought to be an ideal method of System Integration due to its low cost and flexibility.
Common Data Format – This is an integration method which prevents the need for data to be converted based on formats readable by a particular application. This method utilizes something called Enterprise Application Integration System which provides the seamless data transformation based on application specific formats.