Develop that App

DQI Bureau
New Update

Software engineering, the process by which software is built, is more closely

connected with business success and competitive differentiation than ever

before. As organizations strive to align software with business objectives, they

are also struggling to squeeze more value from their existing IT investments.

Business leaders rely on their IT staff to create the right infrastructure to

help them provide better customer services, protect assets and position

themselves to take advantage of "the next big thing." So software

engineers are in the enviable position of controlling their own destiny, and

that of their companies, right?


Not so fast. While it is true that software creators are god-like in their

ability to turn bits into business applications, they unfortunately are forced

to practice their craft within the confines of a development process that is

subject to significant external forces that severely threaten their success and

overall value to the organization. Today's software engineers are often doomed

for failure before they even start a project due to a software delivery process

clogged by ever-changing business requirements, conflicting priorities and poor

project management. It is a process crippled by a lack of visibility into and

across projects and a minimal understanding of the development process by

operational managers.

A recent report by The Standish Group provides a glimpse as to just how

inefficient today's software delivery process is. It found that nearly one-third

of all software projects are canceled prior to completion. Of those projects

that are completed, more than half (54%) exceed budget, 90% are delivered late,

and two-thirds are considered unsuccessful, even though they met the functional

business requirements.

No need to worry, it is only our global economy's infrastructure that we're

attempting to build. Success in software delivery has become an art form,

mastered only by the very skilled and experienced software managers and

developers. In most companies, development teams are working against all odds,

in a never-ending battle against schedule and budget constraints. Business

leaders turn to their software experts to solve the most pressing business

problems but often don't arm them with the guidance, resources or tools they

need for success.


To overcome these challenges, it is necessary to transform the very way many

software development organizations operate. The time has come for the software

development process to be transformed from its current chaotic art form into a

managed business process.

Most companies today are hindered by gaps between organizations, by gaps

between the roles in the development process, a serious lack of communication

between stakeholders, and an increasing platform complexity. Often, this lack of

alignment causes different teams to have uncoordinated, and often, conflicting

priorities and objectives.

Only by tying the art to the business it serves, software engineering

discipline will get the credit it deserves.


Making chalk and cheese hold hands

Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) is the unrestricted sharing of data

and business processes throughout the networked applications or data sources in

an organization.

Business applications, today, not often live in isolation. Users are

expecting on the spot access to all business functions irrespective of the

system the functionality may reside in. This requires disparate applications to

be connected into a larger, integrated solution. Such integration is normally

done through some form of "middleware."

The rise of e-business has forced companies to look outside their corporate

perimeters to integrate their B2B (business-to-business) and B2C

(business-to-consumer) applications with existing solutions, such as Supply

Chain Management (SCM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer

Relationship Management (CRM).


The Hurwitz Group has defined six market segments that address the

integration problem at different levels: platform integration, data integration,

component integration, application integration, process integration, and B2B


  • Platform Integration provides connectivity among heterogeneous hardware,

    operating systems, and application platforms.
  • Data Integration products generally fall into two categories. The first

    includes database gateways-such as Sybase DirectConnect, Information

    Builders EDA SQL, and Oracle Open Gateways-that provide Structured Query

    Language (SQL) access to heterogeneous data sources. The second category of

    products provides tools for extracting, transforming, moving, and loading

    data (commonly called ETML tools).
  • Component Integration enables new functionality to be easily combined with

    ERP packages, client/server, and legacy applications.
  • Application Integration provides a framework for a collection of

    technologies that together provide near real-time integration.
  • Process Integration provides the highest level of abstraction and

    adaptability for an EAI solution.
  • B2B Integration takes EAI technology beyond the corporate walls and

    delivers the full promise of e-business by integrating customers, suppliers

    and partners.

From real-time to predictive Biz

Companies are taking steps to succeed in today's high-speed,

hyper-competitive global marketplace. They are doing everything they can to cut

costs, squeeze more value out of their existing technology investments, increase

the velocity of their operations, and improve their ability to adapt to market

forces and shifts in demand. To accomplish these goals, companies are focused on

increasing efficiency and agility. Almost every business today needs to morph

into a real-time predictive enterprise, but the demand is the highest for BFSI,

telecom, discrete manufacturing and e-governance.


In today's agile and competitive environment, EAI has made

real-time business a reality, enabling unrestricted sharing of data and

processes throughout an organization's network of data sources. Companies

investing in EAI streamline processes and remain interconnected. Database

linking, application linking, data warehousing and common virtual system are the

four categories in this integration process.

In addition, organizations have to meet shorter deadlines for

project completion, and challenged with shortage of skilled personnel. It's also

not just the integration of new and old applications that have surfaced as

problems but also the need to integrate partners, suppliers and clients. So

vendor management is also critical.

Given a situation like demand trending down during peak

season predictive business can help a company identify patterns such as a major

customer's orders trending down during a typically busy period. This could

result in investigating possible reasons, or to proactively stimulate some

customer buying behavior.

With contributions from editorial advisors -Satyen

, MD, Indian Sub-Continent, Borland Software India, N Natarajan,

CIO, Aztec Software, and Anup Varma, Country Manager, TIBCO Software