Web integration


Web integration

Web Integration is leveraging the enormous success of the Web Browser to access services and information on the Web. The services can for example include lookup in news archives, searching cheap flights and ordering cinema tickets, even editing Wikipedia. Information can for example include search results from Google or content from any other online information source, even RSS feeds. Web Integration allows for fast integration of any Web browsable content, data, and applications into portals, wireless devices, content management systems, applications, databases, RSS feeds, REST or web services.

Web Integration is the engine behind most Mashup (web application hybrid) sites today. Some of them are using commercial Web Integration products, and others use technologies like Python, Perl, etc.

Benefits

The web front-end is the most widespread interface on the web, by definition everything on the Web is accessible from a web browser and can thus be accessed with Web Integration.This gives many benefits like:
*Anything on the web can be mashed-up as-is, thus the entire web can be used for mash-ups.
*The web human interface is very easy to understand, no deep programming skills are needed to work with Web Integration.
*Mash-up applications can be done without any interference with others.
*The entire internet becomes a database of information, even when there is no RSS feeds or other data feed, as long as the information is available from a web browser.

Issues

Some may argue that using the browser interface for integration is not robust enough when web sites change, and this is sometimes true. Often though, the ability to integrate to anything as-is, gives a new level of agility and flexibility that often far outweighs the concerns of robustness. Also, Web sites do not change every day.Good Web Integration products have built-in mechanisms to deal with changes on web sites, to automatically adapt to changes and/or make it very easy to detect and fix if something goes wrong.

Types of Integration

*Integration at the presentation layer. This layer is the human user interface, either web-based or a platform-specific GUI or terminal interface. This layer allows user to collaborate with an application. Integration at the presentation layer lets have to access to a user interface of a remote application.
*Integration at the functional layer. This type of integration provides direct access to business logic of applications. It is attained by interaction between applications and API or by interaction with web services.
*Integration at the data layer. In this case we mean access to one or more databases used by a remote application
*Complex integration. Commerce solutions of web-integration as a rule include all three types of integration.

ee also

*Web 2.0
*Mashup (web application hybrid)
*Enterprise Application Integration
*Web scraping
*SOAP
*SOA
*REST
*RPC
*XML
*ECM


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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