A PRACTICAL APPROACH FOR INTEGRATING HETEROGENEOUS SYSTEMS
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The adoption of cloud computing is a major requirement for expanding a conventional business into an electronic one. In order to benefit fully from the advantages of cloud computing, companies need to have their business applications redesigned, yet this requires substantial financial, human and time resources which even the largest enterprises cannot afford. A feasible option is developing a strategy for gradual transition to cloud systems and technologies, which implies integrating the conventional systems of enterprises with newly developed cloud solutions. The underlying idea of this research is that the priorities of such gradual transition should be identified on the basis of the major characteristics of the activities comprising the overall business process, such as its dynamics and prospects, the current and the potential level of automation, the volume of processed data, the workload they create for the systems processing those data, etc. The research paper proposes an approach for integrating a conventional and a cloud system to service the business process ‘Requesting a consumer loan’ that requires real-time data exchange. The integration solution uses data structures which have been created in an intermediate data base for communication between systems. The rules for accessing and manipulating data by each of the integrated systems are defined. Interoperability is ensured through programme components (triggers and stored procedures) that are created in the data base of the operational system and ensure data exchange for real-time processing. The approach proposed in the paper has been employed in the business practice of a large Bulgarian bank. Its major advantages relate to the comprehensive service of the business process, as well as the greater flexibility, adaptability and scalability achieved with minimum financial and time resources.