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Fundamentals of Enterprise Applications

By Rizwan Ahmad - 18 December 2012 No Comments
When people hear the word application, they immediately think of the apps for iPhones, iPods, iPads, etc. Enterprise applications show how the company works, and are used to solve company-wide problems, not departmental problems. These applications are put in place to improve the efficiency and productivity of the company. They are usually too complex and costly for a small business or an individual to use. They manipulate, display, and store large amounts of data that is usually very detailed and hard to decipher. There is no universal list of characteristics, but they usually cover performance, scalability, and robustness.

The software has different categories such as, accounting software, business intelligence, customer relations management, database (including master data management), content management systems, and enterprise resource planning. There are blurred lines between some of these categories that make delimitation complicated. Designing these applications can be difficult.

Enterprise Applications

You have to meet many requirements, and in doing so create other requirements to be met. These requirements need to be balanced by considering certain things such as budgeting, business goals, time until delivery, the amount of people used to develop, test, and maintain the program, how many users need to be able to get into the program, the performance and ease of use, hardware, security, and how long the program must be used. Without considering these issues, the program will end up not working the way that it was intended.

Enterprise application integration ensures the consistency of the information in multiple systems. There are two patterns of this, mediation and federation. Mediation acts as a broker between these multiple systems. After new information is added or a transaction is completed, an integration module is notified. The module then makes the changes to other parts of the application. Federation is an overarching facade over the multiple systems. Event calls from anywhere outside the program are interpreted. Then the Enterprise application integration shows only relevant information. These two patterns are often used concurrently. 

You can improve your company's enterprise applications with four different steps. The first step is to track your service-level agreement automatically and not manually. This can show the effectiveness of your availability. The next step would be to monitor the program. To do this you need to be able to log into your application with a username and password.  Third, try to reduce the amount of single points of failure.  By reviewing the architecture of the program, you can correct these failures by clustering, redundancy, load balancing, and virtualization. Finally you need to plan for disaster recover. Know what you are going to do if something happens to the program.

Without these applications, many businesses would not be able to run as efficiently as they do. They store and use data to keep the company running at a smooth pace. Integration between the multiple systems is important to keep things moving and to keep the company from going under when it shows errors within the company.

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