11.2. This Is Now: Integration Services

So here you are—a new tool and the opportunity to reconsider your data-processing architecture. In an ideal world, the tool would not be part of your conceptual design. This may never ultimately be achievable, but with Integration Services, solutions can be designed with much more flexibility and extensibility given the nature of the product. Designing a data-processing solution requires more than just sending the source data into a black-box transformation engine with outputs that push the data into the destination. And of course, system requirements will dictate the final design of the process, including but not limited to the following:

  • Source and destination system impact

  • Processing time windows and performance

  • Destination system state consistency

  • Hard and soft exception handling and restartability needs

  • Environment architecture model, distributed hardware, or scaled-up servers

  • Solution architecture requirements such as flexibility of change or OEM targeted solutions

  • Modular and configurable solution needs

  • Manageability and administration requirements

In reviewing this list, you can quickly map several of these to what you have learned about Integration Services already. In most cases, a good architecture will leverage the built-in functionality of the tool, which in the end reduces administration and support requirements. The tool selection process, if it is not completed before a solution is developed, should include a consideration of the ...

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