In my previous two columns, I've explored some of the more common enterprise application integration (EAI) technologies (such as message- and database- oriented EAI engines) on the market. These technologies often offer adequate solutions to various types of integration problems. However, they are not viable in certain circumstances. Message-oriented EAI tools often don't provide intelligent routing capabilities by themselves, and sometimes there are serious scalability issues with database-oriented EAI toolsets. The solution to these problems is the middleware of middleware, the cream of the crop, the pinnacle of the EAI market: the solution is message broker technology.

Because of the way they handle integration tasks, message brokers are almost unlimited as to the types of applications they can integrate. Their use of "adapters" makes complex processing easier and, in some cases, transparent to users. They also provide a friendly graphical user interface (GUI) to facilitate easier use. Finally, they have intelligent routing capabilities that enable transmission accuracy and efficiency of the thousands of messages that flow through the EAI infrastructure.

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