Within Exact, but also outside our organization, we experience more and more the need to have the capabilities to connect our software with other applications to exchange information. On this blog we already gave multiple examples where we have realized a connection with other applications. Just a few of these blogposts are: OCS presence in Exact Synergy Enterprise, Electronic Invoicing, E-Risk Management for Exact Globe and the Synergy Office Integration.
Those examples describe a connection with a specific application where we, as Exact, have established the connection ourselves. Here we are fully in control to define the connection. But other organizations also want to exchange information between their applications and our applications. They want to use the connection the same way as we do in our applications to:
- Present information from other applications
- Exchange data to help their users to improve their productivity
In our applications we had basically two main possibilities to establish a connection to exchange information. Those two possibilities are:
- XML; With XML, Exact and other organizations have the possibility to exchange data via an XML file.
- SDK; With the Software Development Kit, certified solution partners can develop their own solution for exchanging data, real-time.
Those two possibilities are very useful to exchange information but are not the solution to establish easy, standard connections between Exact’s applications and other applications. The main reason is that those possibilities are not standardized and /or do not work real-time.
To come to the situation that we can easily connect with other applications we have made several steps. We have built a layer in Exact Globe and Exact Synergy Enterprise which we call the connectivity layer. This layer gives the possibility to exchange data, real-time in a standardized format based on a request – reply structure. Via this layer, entities, which are different types of data such as ‘accounts’ and ‘resources’, can be exchanged. At this moment 6 entities are supported for Exact Globe and 20 entities for Exact Synergy Enterprise and we are extending this number with every new product update.
The beauty of this connectivity layer is that the same structure is used for both applications. So we basically get one way of connecting for both Exact Globe and Exact Synergy Enterprise. The difference is only that Exact Globe supports the entities on component level and that Exact Synergy Enterprise supports the entities on component level as well as through web services.
I think that with this connectivity layer we make connecting with Exact Globe and Exact Synergy Enterprise much easier. Ok, it’s still something that is only to be used by developers, but it makes their lives much easier.
Although we know that this is a good step, we also know that establishing connectivity between two applications can be made even easier than this. To realize this, we have signed a strategic partnership with Pervasive to use their Data Integrator as a preferred middleware solution to establish the connection. More about this partnership in my next blog post.
Please share via a comment to this article your opinion about you vision on connectivity and please let me know if you see possibilities to improve it even further. Do not hesitate to share your great ideas!
Photo credit: Visulogik