TIBCO’s infrastructure software focuses on real-time communication for business-to-business, business-to-consumer and business-to-employee data transfers. Unlike other providers, TIBCO has developed programming that facilitates communication between incompatible software. The company provides middleware, which allows for access to real-time data between multiple systems while predicting users’ needs. The software appears in Amazon.com’s personalized product recommendations, and FedEx’s package tracking system. Clients also use TIBCO’s software’s feedback to deliver special offers to customers based on their browsing habits.
TIBCO’s products focus on fulfilling the company’s vision for “Enterprise 3.0,” in which technology delivers the right information in the right place at the right time with the right context, giving businesses and organizations an advantage in serving their customers and managing their operations.
Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) is an integration framework composed of a collection of technologies and services which form a middleware to enable integration of systems and applications across the enterprise.
Supply chain management applications (for managing inventory and shipping), customer relationship management applications (for managing current and potential customers), business intelligenceapplications (for finding patterns from existing data from operations), and other types of applications (for managing data such as human resources data, health care, internal communications, etc.) typically cannot communicate with one another in order to share data or business rules. For this reason, such applications are sometimes referred to as islands of automation or information silos. This lack of communication leads to inefficiencies, wherein identical data are stored in multiple locations, or straightforward processes are unable to be automated.
Enterprise application integration (EAI) is the process of linking such applications within a single organization together in order to simplify and automate business processes to the greatest extent possible, while at the same time avoiding having to make sweeping changes to the existing applications or data structures. In the words of the Gartner Group, EAI is the “unrestricted sharing of data and business processes among any connected application or data sources in the enterprise.”
One large challenge of EAI is that the various systems that need to be linked together often reside on different operating systems, use different database solutions and different computer languages, and in some cases are legacy systems that are no longer supported by the vendor who originally created them. In some cases, such systems are dubbed “stovepipe systems” because they consist of components that have been jammed together in a way that makes it very hard to modify them in any way.