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EMS versus EII

It's the battle of the "E"s in the technology ring as Enterprise Mashup Services (EMS) start intruding on the Enterprise Information Integration (EII) space.
Bob Zurek over at IBM coined the phrase Enterprise Mashup Services in a recent blog entry on the subject. He says EMS is where "where companies will combine information from enterprise search engines, web services, messaging systems, business intelligence engines and data integration solutions and combine that information from external services from their partners and emerging external data sources to deliver the information up to the glass."

O RLY? That sounds suspiciously like EII suites, whose primary purpose is to integrate information from a variety of data sources and deliver the information up to the glass. EMS on the desktop using AJAX and Web Services may be alright for consumers, but in the enterprise no network administrator wants to deal with users pulling data from multiple data sources and then wasting CPU cycles while the client joins together the data and presents it. EII suites like those from Composite Software, MetaMatrix and IBM are all designed to integrate disparate data into a single source and are all capable of presenting that single result set to the user in whatever way they'd like. Want an SQL result set? Can do. Want a stream of XML via Web Services? No problem.

Some mashups, particularly those utilizing Google's mapping API, are certainly outside the realm of what EII can do, and it makes sense to combine the graphical data from Google with, say, GPS data on the current location of your delivery truck. But in the enterprise, where data may be culled from multiple databases and Web Services, and it's all basically just a joining of two similar type data sources, it just doesn't make sense to let the client join the data together. It's a waste of resources and bandwidth and there's very few good reasons for implementing an EMS at this stage of the game.

Unless, of course, you just want to be able to say you're "on the bleeding edge" and confuse your friends at parties by talking about the hella-cool mashup you put together at work last week.

Even though it may be cool, it's not a good reason to implement technology that isn't considerate of the network and desktop resources. EII vendors like Composite have been working hard to keep ahead of the curve and bring integration of not only Web Services but applications like SAP and to the table so you can avoid the problems inherent in an EMS.

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