In previous blog posts I have talked about the different integration patterns that we utilize at RKL eSolutions to realize successful integration stories for our customers (see the overview as a good starting point http://www.rklesolutions.com/blog/sage-500-integration-1/). In this article, I want to talk more about the underlying toolkit that we use for message-based integration stories, the RKL Integration Services toolkit, and how we have worked to produce a flexible, extensible infrastructure for ERP-centric integration projects.
RKL Integration Services
An evolution of nearly seven years, the RKL Integration Services toolkit is a collection of components that we utilize to produce domain-specific Messaging solutions to help our customers solve complex integration stories. Some important points about the Integration Services are:
- The RKL Integration Services toolkit is a mature messaging infrastructure that we have used in several large-scale integration projects.
- The toolkit is built on three primary components, a Messaging Queue, a Queue Manager, and Integration Adapters.
- The Messaging Queue is a common component across multiple implementations and does not require significant customization for individual projects.
- The Queue Manager is the message broker and router and is semi-customized for each project (there are several different deployment models to fit different scalability and administration needs).
The Integration Adapters are a combination of existing adapters for Sage 500 and Sage X3, and custom adapters for customer’s line of business and e-commerce systems.
What do you mean “Domain Specific” Message Solution?
While there are several commercial and open source integration platforms available today, few of them have mature adapters into ERP solutions for the mid-sized enterprise, and they all carry significant licensing costs over their lifetime. So we found ourselves at RKL engineering our own “right-sized” integration solutions to meet the ERP-centric integration stories our customers have repeatedly asked for. This is where I use the term “Domain Specific” messaging solution; the RKL Integration Services is engineered around the Sage ERP platforms that we support, letting us inject a significant amount of platform-specific intelligence into our solution.
Our integration toolkit includes a large library of business objects and adapters that are engineered to allow us to quickly realize conversations with Sage 500 and Sage X3. Customers, Vendors, Inventory, Orders, RMAs, Shipments, Invoices, Vouchers, all of these core business objects are already supported. There are over 100,000 lines of code already in the toolkit, greatly reducing cost, time, and risk in implementing integration stories into your Sage product.
Additionally, our Integration Adapters are evolving into a plug-in architecture, again with specific design decisions that are informed by our experiences across dozens of integration projects. This will allow us to even more quickly realize new adapters into on-premise, cloud, and hybrid business and e-commerce applications.
Reliable, Scalable, and Extensible
These are the most important three words we have to consider when engineering integration solutions. We have carefully considered these in our architecture and have proven performance across all three in real-world solutions.
Reliable We have built integrations with the Integration Services that handle over 200,000 message per day, with zero message loss over operating periods of 100+ days. By default we use a persistent messaging model that has recoverability engineered in, allowing for faster recovery from network or server outages and confidence that the integration messaging will support your business critical workflows.
Scalable Our core architecture was designed from the beginning to be scalable across multiple dimensions. We can split processing across boundaries of specific messaging pipelines, participating systems, and message type, or any combination thereof. Multiple Queue Managers can asynchronously process messages from a shared Message Queue, and messages can be shipped across separate instances of the entire Integration Services stack. We estimate throughput ceilings of around 250K-500K messages per day per CPU core (assuming enterprise class SAN storage for the queue and 16 gig of RAM). Network bandwidth and the API capacity of participating business systems are typically the limiting factors over the actual integration core.
Extensible With our flexible message handling, ability to add and modify message types with ease, and a clear, documented Integration Adapter development pattern, we feel that we have one of the most extensible sets of integration tools available for the SMB market today. Here are just some of the systems we have integrated with: Sage 500, Sage X3, Davisware GlobalEdge, SAP/hybrids, ZNode Multifront, Channel Advisor, Commerce Server, EFI Process Shipper.
Find out More
We are always happy to discuss your needs with you and can explore with you the best integration pattern and toolset to meet the goals of your project. More than just a technology company, we leverage our extensive experience and technical expertise to help you successfully solve your real world business problems.Leave your name below to get in touch. One of our Sage consultants will follow up with you shortly.