Service-Oriented Architecture— An Integration Blueprint
With the widespread use of service-oriented architecture (SOA), the integration of
different IT systems has gained a new relevance. The era of isolated business information
systems—so-called silos or stove-pipe architectures—is finally over. It is increasingly
rare to find applications developed for a specific purpose that do not need to exchange
information with other systems. Furthermore, SOA is becoming more and more widely
accepted as a standard architecture. Nearly all organizations and vendors are designing or
implementing applications with SOA capability. SOA represents an end-to-end approach
to the IT system landscape as the support function for business processes. Because of
SOA, functions provided by individual systems are now available in a single standardized
form throughout organizations, and even outside their corporate boundaries. In addition,
SOA is finally offering mechanisms that put the focus on existing systems, and make it
possible to continue to use them. Smart integration mechanisms are needed to allow
existing systems, as well as the functionality provided by individual applications, to be
brought together into a new fully functioning whole. For this reason, it is essential to
transform the abstract concept of integration into concrete, clearly structured, and
practical implementation variants.
The Trivadis Integration Architecture Blueprint indicates how integration architectures
can be implemented in practice. It achieves this by representing common integration
approaches, such as Enterprise Application Integration (EAI); Extract, Transform, and
Load (ETL); event-driven architecture (EDA); and others, in a clearly and simply
structured blueprint. It creates transparency in the confused world of product developers
and theoretical concepts.
The Trivadis Integration Architecture Blueprint shows how to structure, describe, and
understand existing application landscapes from the perspective of integration. The
process of developing new systems is significantly simplified by dividing the integration
architecture into process, mediation, collection and distribution, and communication
layers. The blueprint makes it possible to implement application systems correctly
without losing sight of the bigger picture: a high performance, flexible, scalable, and
affordable enterprise architecture.
What This Book Covers
Despite the wide variety of useful and comprehensive books and other publications on
the subject of integration, the approaches that they describe often lack practical relevance.
The basic issue involves, on the one hand, deciding how to divide an integration solution
into individual areas so that it meets the customer requirements, and on the other hand,
how it can be implemented with a reasonable amount of effort. In this case, this means
structuring it in such a way that standardized, tried-and-tested basic components can be
combined to form a functioning whole, with the help of tools and products. For this
reason, the Trivadis Integration Architecture Blueprint subdivides the integration layer
into further layers. This kind of layering is not common in technical literature, but it has
been proven to be very useful in practice. It allows any type of integration problem to be
represented, including traditional ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load), classic EAI
(Enterprise Application Integration), EDA (event-driven architecture), and grid
computing. This idea is reflected in the structure of the book.
Chapter 1, Basic Principles, covers the fundamental integration concepts. This chapter is
intended as an introduction for specialists who have not yet dealt with the subject of
Chapter 2, Base Technologies, describes a selection of base technologies. By far the most
important of these are transaction strategies and their implementation, as well as process
modeling. In addition, Java EE Connector Architecture (JCA), Java Business Integration
(JBI), Service Component Architecture (SCA), and Service Data Objects (SDO) are
explained. Many other base technologies are used in real-life integration projects, but
these go beyond the scope of this book.
Chapter 3, Integration Architecture Blueprint, describes the Trivadis Integration
Architecture Blueprint. The process of layering integration solutions is fully
substantiated, and each step is explained on the basis of the division of work between the
individual layers. After this, each of the layers and their components are described.
Chapter 4, Implementation Scenarios, demonstrates how the Trivadis Integration
Architecture Blueprint represents the fundamental integration concepts that have been
described in Chapter 1. We will use the blueprint with its notation and visualization to
understand some common integration scenarios in a mostly product-neutral form. We
will cover traditional, as well as modern, SOA-driven integration solutions.
Chapter 5, Vendor Products for Implementing the Trivadis Blueprint, completes the book
with a mapping of some vendor platforms to the Trivadis Integration Architecture
Integration Architecture Blueprint
The Trivadis Integration Architecture Blueprint specifies the building blocks needed
for the effective implementation of integration solutions. It ensures consistent quality in
the implementation of integration strategies as a result of a simple, tried-and-tested
structure, and the use of familiar integration patterns (Hohpe, Wolf 2004).
Standards, components, and patterns used
The Trivadis Integration Architecture Blueprint uses common standardized techniques,
components, and patterns, and is based on the layered architecture principle.
A layered architecture divides the overall architecture into different layers with
different responsibilities. Depending on the size of the system and the problem involved,
each layer can be broken down into further layers. Layers represent a logical construct,
and can be distributed across one or more physical tiers. In contrast to levels, layers are
organized hierarchically, and different layers can be located on the same level. Within the
individual layers, the building blocks can be strongly cohesive. Extensive decoupling is
needed between the layers. The rule is that higher-level layers can only be dependent on
the layers beneath them and not vice versa. Each building block in a layer is only
dependent on building blocks in the same layer, or the layers beneath. It is essential to
create a layer structure that isolates the most important cohesive design aspects from one
another, so that the building blocks within the layers are decoupled.
The blueprint is process oriented, and its notation and structure are determined by the
blueprint’s dependencies and information flow in the integration process. An explanation
of how the individual layers, their building blocks, and tasks can be identified from the
requirements of the information flow is given on the basis of a simple scenario. In this
scenario, the information is transported from one source to another target system using an
In the blueprint, the building blocks and scenarios are described using familiar design
patterns from different sources:
- (Hohpe, Wolf 2004)
- (Adams et al. 2001)
- (Coral8 2007)
- (Russel et al. 2006)
These patterns are used in a shared context on different layers. The Trivadis Integration
Architecture Blueprint includes only the integration-related parts of the overall
architecture, and describes the specific view of the technical integration domain in an
overall architecture. It focuses on the information flow between systems in the context of
Domain-driven design is a means of communication, which is based on a profound
understanding of the relevant business domain. This is subsequently modeled specifically
for the application in question. Domain models contain no technical considerations and
are restricted exclusively to business aspects. Domain models represent an abstraction of
a business domain, which aims to capture the exemplary aspects of a specific
implementation for this domain. The objectives are:
- To significantly simplify communication between domain experts and
developers by using a common language (the domain model)
- To enable the requirements placed on the software to be defined more
accurately and in a more targeted way
- It must be possible to describe, specify, and document the software more
precisely and more comprehensibly, using a clearly defined language, which
will make it easier to maintain
The technical aspects of architecture can be grouped into domains in order to create
specific views of the overall system. These domains cover security, performance, and
other areas. The integration of systems and information also represents a specific view of
the overall system, and can be turned into a domain.
Integration domain is used to mean different things in different contexts. One widelyused
meaning is “application domain”, in other words, a clearly defined, everyday
problem area where computer systems and software are used. Enterprise architectures are
often divided into business and technical domains:
- Business domains may include training, resource management, purchasing,
sales or marketing, for example.
- Technical domains are generally areas such as applications, integration,
network, security, platforms, systems, data, and information management.
The blueprint, however, sees integration as a technical domain, which supports business
domains, and has its own views that can be regarded as complementary to the views of
other architecture descriptions.
In accordance with Evans (Evans, 2004), the Trivadis Integration Architecture Blueprint
is a ubiquitous language for describing integration systems. This and the structure of the
integration domain on which it is based, have been tried and tested in a variety of
integration projects using different technologies and products. The blueprint has
demonstrated that it offers an easy-to-use method for structuring and documenting
implementation solutions. As domain models for integration can be formulated
differently depending on the target platform (for example, an object-oriented system or a
classic ETL solution), the domain model is not described in terms of object orientation.
Instead, the necessary functionality takes the form of building blocks (which are often
identical with familiar design patterns) on a higher level of abstraction. This makes it
possible to use the blueprint in a heterogeneous development environment with profitable
An architecture blueprint is based on widely-used, tried-and-tested techniques,
components and patterns, which are grouped into a suitable structure to meet the
requirements of the target domain.
The concepts, the functionality, and the building blocks to be implemented are described
in an abstract form in blueprints. These are then replaced or fine-tuned by productspecific
building blocks in the implementation project. Therefore, the Trivadis Integration
Architecture Blueprint has been deliberately designed to be independent of individual
vendors, products, and technologies. It includes integration scenarios and proposals that
apply to specific problems, and can be used as aids during the project implementation
process. The standardized view of the integration domain and the standardized means of
representation enable strategies, concepts, solutions, and products to be compared with
one another more easily in evaluations of architectures.
The specifications of the blueprint act as guidelines. Differences between this model and
reality may well occur when the blueprint is implemented in a specific project. Individual
building blocks and the relationships between them may not be needed, or may be
grouped together. For example, the adapter and mapper building blocks may be joined
together to form one component in implementation processes or products.
Structuring the integration blueprint
The following diagram is an overview of the Trivadis Integration Architecture Blueprint.
It makes a distinction between the application and information view and the
Insertt image 1049EN_03_01.png
The application and information view consists of external systems, which are to be
connected together by an integration solution. These are source or target entities in the
information flow of an integration solution. Generally one physical system can also take
on both roles. The building blocks belonging to the view, and the view itself, must be
regarded as external to the integration system that is being described and, therefore, not
the subject of the integration blueprint. The external systems can be divided into three
- Transactional information storage: This includes classic relational
database management systems (RDBMS) and messaging systems (queues,
topics). The focus is on data integration.
- Non-transactional information storage: This primarily file-based systems
and non-relational data stores (NoSQL) with a focus on data integration.
- Applications: Applications include transactional or non-transactional
systems that are being integrated (ERP—Enterprise Resource Planning,
CMS—Content Management System, and so on) and can be accessed
through a standardized API (web service, RMI/IIOP, DCOM, and so on).
The focus is on application and process integration.
The integration view lies at the heart of the integration blueprint and is divided (on the
basis of the principle of divide and conquer) into the following levels:
- Transport level: The transport level encapsulates the technical details of
communication protocols and formats for the external systems. It contains:
- Communication layer: The communication layer is part of the
transport level, and is responsible for transporting information.
This layer links the integration solution with external systems,
and represents a type of gateway to the infrastructure at an
architectural level. It consists of transport protocols and formats.
- Integration domain level: The integration domain level covers the classic
areas of integration, including typical elements of the integration domain,
such as adapters, routers, and filters. It is divided into:
- Collection/distribution layer: This layer is responsible for
connecting components. It is completely separate from the main
part of the integration domain (mediation). The building blocks
in this layer connect the mediation layer above with the
communication layer below. The layer is responsible for
encapsulating external protocols and their technical details from
the integration application, and transforming external technical
formats into familiar internal technical formats.
- Mediation layer: This layer is responsible for forwarding
information. Its main task is to ensure the reliable forwarding of
information to business components in the process layer, or
directly to output channels that are assigned to the
collection/distribution layer, and that distribute data to the target
systems. This is the most important functionality of the
integration domain. In more complex scenarios, the information
forwarding process can be enhanced by information
transformation, filtering, and so on.
- Application level: The application level encapsulates the integration
management and process logic. It is an optional level and contains:
- Process layer: The process layer is part of the application level,
and is responsible for orchestrating component and service calls.
It manages the integration processes by controlling the building
blocks in the mediation layer (if they cannot act autonomously).
The integration view contains additional functionality that cannot be assigned to any of
the levels and layers referred to above. This functionality consists of so-called
cross-cutting concerns that can be used by building blocks from several other layers.
Cross-cutting concerns include:
- Assembly/deployment: Contains configurations (often declarative or
scripted) of the components and services. For example, this is where the
versioning of Open Service Gateway initiative (OSGi) services is specified.
- Transaction: Provides the transaction infrastructure used by the building
blocks in the integration domain.
- Security/management: This is the security and management infrastructure
used by the building blocks in the integration domain. It includes, for
example, libraries with security functionality, JMX agents and similar
- Monitoring, BAM, QoS: These components are used for monitoring
operations. This includes ensuring compliance with the defined Service
Level Agreements (SLA) and Quality of Service (QoS). Business Activity
Monitoring (BAM) products can be used for monitoring purposes.
- Governance: These components and artifacts form the basis for SLAs and
QoS. The artifacts include business regulations, for example. In addition, this
is where responsibilities, functional and non-functional requirements, and
accounting rules for the services/capacities used are defined.
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