Enterprise Information Integration

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Enterprise information integration (EII) is the ability to support a unified view of data and information for an entire organization. It has been a priority of the enterprise IT function for nearly a half century, and has also been the source of many notable IT failures. EII is the explicit, primary purpose and application for the Open Semantic Framework. OSF already overcomes the central failure points in past efforts at enterprise information integration.

EII requires a minimum of these non-trivial capabilities:

  • The ability to represent and interconnect all forms of information — unstructured documents, semi-structured files, spreadsheets, and structured databases
  • Common terminology and semantics able to capture the diversity of contexts and data aggregation across the enterprise
  • Extract, transformation and load abilities across all legacy assets and the Web
  • User interfaces useful to knowledge workers and administrators
  • Visualization capabilities
  • Ability to query and extract results sets for separate analysis, visualization or sharing
  • Security and access control systems
  • Workflow systems to enable analysts and users to effectively maintain, grow and manage the EII infrastructure
  • Scalability and performance.

In addition, it may be preferable to have a system that is:

  • Multilingual
  • Interoperates with Web applications
  • Provides results and views in linked data
  • Has direct integration with business intelligence capabilities.

Early and current enterprise information integration efforts have almost uniformly failed to meet EII requirements, let alone preferred options. There are two principle reasons for this.

First, logic and data models need to support continuous addition of new things, new relationships and new characteristics of those things. This constant expansion of knowledge and understanding is, of course, integral to all knowledge management functions, be they search, analysis, visualization or business intelligence. These expansions are inherent to approaches based on the open world assumption. Traditional systems have failed because they have been based on fixed schema and closed rules, which are brittle and must be expensively re-architected to deal with new learnings.

Second, prior to most recently, a complete ecosystem of open standards for interoperating at scale were lacking. These standards need to span from how to communicate across a network (Web) to how to organize enterprise and domain semantics through vocabularies and languages, and how to represent and access resources (URIs). A rich ecosystem of open standards to meet all of these purposes and more is now available from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

OSF has been explicitly designed to address all of these EII requirements and preferences. Combined with the distributed networking capabilities described under the group collaboration application, the Open Semantic Framework is perhaps your premier choice when considering an enterprise information integration project.