Situation and Challenge
Many companies currently have different types of technologies and solutions for integrating applications in the company and between the company and its business partners. Often the company has invested in platforms for integration and wants to standardize integration efforts into one technology platform.
The integration platform is a software platform that can be compared to a toolbox. Integration that develops uses capability in the platform. Sometimes the supplier makes major changes in the platform, new modules are added and basic standards are changed, and the technology must adapt.
Sometimes the integration platform is outdated and no longer supports the needs of operations and IT. In this case, it might be appropriate to select a new platform and migrate the existing integration to the new platform.
Required skills – problems with implementation
New acquisition or migration of the integration platform is frequently not a priority compared to other projects. Many companies are put off by the cost and are uncertain whether the gains justify the investment.
The company may decide to manage the existing integrations without attempting to ascertain a new path with new possibilities. New functionality in a new platform is purposely not chosen, and it may be decided not to upgrade the existing platform. In this situation, it is common for dependency on specific individuals to arise whereby only a few people are knowledgeable about the platform and solutions.
The most obvious problem is that at some point support becomes unavailable and cannot be extended. The hardware eventually succumbs to old age, and the company is faced with a high-risk business-critical project where everything is old and, in the worst case scenario, not documented.
What is a structurally correct approach?
It is important to understand that the integration platform is a vital and integrated part of the IT landscape that has to be upgraded and version managed in the same way as other applications.
Assess the possibilities afforded by new platforms and identify valuable improvements (business-related and technical), and thus produce better documentation for decisions.
Migrate using exploratory analysis, architecture definition, code migration and automated testing, and then hand over to operations. Updated test cases and testing methodology make the next migration much simpler.
We have done this before!
We have had the opportunity to help many successful companies migrate integration platforms.
A bank in southern Sweden raised its integration platform to a new version level. The migration comprised about 400 integration flows. Ferrologic assumed full responsibility for the project, analytical work, code migration, testing and handover to operations. Duplicated environments during the migration phase.
The EDI platform of a major retailer had succumbed to old age and needed to be implemented in a new platform. Around 1,000 flows needed to be migrated – some through direct connections and others via VAN services. New architecture, new design of all of the flows, new infrastructure, new framework and automated tests enabled a successful migration by Ferrologic.