Chapter 1

System Integration
JOHN P. VITAL IT-314 System Integration and Architecture Saint Louis University

Background
Integration as you go—better architecture One of our greatest challenges in developing systems is to integrate functionality successfully, avoid duplication of functionality, and avoid brittle architectures.

The very fundamental idea for integrating two or more software systems is to enable them to communicate, share or exchange information, and then to inter-operate in order to achieve a common objective. Systems interoperability: data interoperability and frameworks interoperability
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Scenario: One image satellite ground support system that is currently being fielded was built with a functional decomposition architecture. The system requirements included the ability to plan missions, control the satellites, and process the collected data for analysis. Accordingly, the developer built three subsystems: mission planning, command and control, and data processing. Each of these subsystems was given to an independent team for development. During the project, each team independently discovered the need for a database with the satellite's orbital history (the satellites can, to some extent, be steered to different orbits as needed).
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Scenario: (cont’n) Each team built its own separate database, using separate formats. But the information needs to be consistent for the overall system to operate correctly, and now, the effort required to maintain these three databases is excessive and could easily have been avoided had the team done some kind of object analysis, including a study of the enterprise data architecture. To avoid this kind of duplication of functionality is by promoting a breadth-first analysis of functionality across a set of collaborating entities. Collaboration, both in the development process, and in system functionality.
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What is an integrated system?
Integrated means combined; putting all the internal practices, methods and procedures into one system but not as separate components. Systems integration is the process of physically or functionally linking multiple, disparate computing systems and software applications so they act as a coordinated whole and thus provide greater business value.

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Goals of system integration
 Streamlines business processes

 Increases organisational efficiency
 Saves costs managing IT systems  Maximises value of systems

 Optimises use of company-wide business systems
 Enhances interdepartmental communication  Provides management with a 360 degree view of the

organisation

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Goals of system integration

 Improves insight into business performance  Enables increased strategic use of software systems  Empowers leaders to rapidly respond to changing customer demands  Supports an agile and flexible response to changing market conditions  Facilitates astute decision-making

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Benefits of system integration

• • • • • • • • • • •

reduces duplication and therefore costs increases profitability balances conflicting objectives eliminates conflicting responsibilities and relationships diffuses the power system turns the focus onto business goals formalises informal systems harmonises and optimise practices creates consistency improves communication facilitates training and development

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Considerations for the systems integration process • The extent to which integration should occur. • The political and cultural situation within the company. • The levels of competence necessary. • Legal and other regulatory requirements. • Clear objectives for the integration project.

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Decomposition Strategy - Breaking down the structure
Functional decomposition breaks down activities according to what is done, rather than how it is done. Role decomposition breaks down things according to who does what, it can be an easy and useful starting point, but is likely to constrain improvements if it is maintained.

Subsystems decomposition divides systems first by major subsystem. This is useful when these subsystems are largely independent of one another.
Lifecycle decomposition breaks down a system first by the phases of activity.

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Next meeting

Most Common Integration Types
JOHN P. VITAL Saint Louis University

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