Composite Applications

Loosely Coupled writes:

Composite applications reuse functionality from existing applications by breaking them down into components, separating out the business logic, and then joining selected elements back together again for presentation to the user as a single (hence ‘composite’) application. This can produce remarkable results when applied to business operations that sit at the apex of several different applications, for example customer service call centers, or returns item processing.

For a long time, however, the only way to achieve these results has been by way of “painful customization,” says Rey Currie, VP of platform product management at tools vendor Quovadx. “People have been building new applications out of old applications for some time, but they’ve been doing it via back-end integration, hooking up to the data store and then making changes to the application. The business logic is not decoupled. The interface is probably proprietary and it’s inflexible. When you’ve only got a couple of applications in the business that’s possible. But as you get more users and they become less homogenous, that’s less practical.”

Now a better method is emerging, which uses standardization and web services to make composite applications easier to connect and configure, says Gartner analyst Massimo Pezzini, who was one of the first to use the term. “I would say that I see web services specifically WSDL as a composite application enabler,” says Pezzini. “In other words you can implement composite apps even without web services. However web services fit well with composite apps as they allow you to encapsulate existing apps into components you can invoke using SOAP or any other underlying protocol from multiple front end apps. This is what we call Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).”

I am wondering how we can these ideas in the eBusiness suite development for SMEs.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.