delaware Integration Monitor: opening the ‘black box’ of integration

Oct 27, 2021
  • IT

Integrations are what holds modern enterprise architectures together, ensure that pieces and tools communicate effectively, and facilitate a smooth data flow across the company. They can also get messy – especially when part of the IT stack runs in the cloud while other parts remain on premise. For business users, finding out what went wrong and why can be near impossible without assistance from the integration partner or other technical experts. Here’s how an integration monitor can help.

Let’s be clear: it’s not a business user’s job to know every technical detail of an integration landscape, i.e., which applications are connected in the enterprise, what protocols they use, and what dependencies are created in the integration processes. However, they are held accountable for specific business processes that depend on flawless integration.

Black box revelations

When something goes wrong on an integration level – an order doesn’t come through in the ERP, a digital invoice gets lost, crucial customer information isn’t pushed to the CRM, etc. – being confronted with an integration ‘black box’ can be pretty frustrating. Not only does it require a lot of back-and-forth communication between business and IT, but in many cases, the only solution is to call in costly and time-consuming external expertise. By the time the issue is solved, the damage is likely already done: the sales opportunity lost, the customer (and the business user) frustrated, and the financial records inaccurate. 

What makes this all the more tragic is that 90% of issues logged after the go-live are functional by nature*, e.g., errors made when logging certain data. This also means they could easily be solved if the business users knew where to look. There’s a lot to gain by empowering them with a visual representation of end-to-end business activities across hybrid integration solutions. 

* Based on data from delaware’s own service organization.

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By popular demand: the delaware Integration Monitor

At delaware, we’ve been working on and finetuning such a solution for years now, often at the direct request of our customers. It is based on our growing expertise as an integration partner and in-the-field experience. The result is the delaware Integration Monitor (dIM): a unique end-to-end business monitor built on top of Azure that makes highly technical and complex integration landscapes comprehensible for non-technical people. 

How? By making abstraction of the technical aspects of complex integration scenarios. It is, in fact, an isolated layer on top of your integration landscape. ‘Isolated’, so it doesn’t impact performance or reliability. ‘On top’, as it comprises a cloud-based web interface that enables users throughout the company to handle functional integration issues. The dIM is also technology agnostic, which means it can be used across one or more integration products. It even includes data from applications that aren’t middleware to enable a comprehensive view of the entire landscape. 

How the delaware Integration Monitor communicates with apps & the integration platform

Differentiators and key features

Many enterprise tools come with out-of-the-box monitoring capabilities, and there are numerous solutions for monitoring across multiple tools. However, these are often either very limited, or they require technical know-how. One way dIM is different is through its use of business terminology for processes and business documents – instead of, say, terms like ‘ports’, ‘pipelines’ or ‘orchestrations’. 

In the dIM, business users, service desk operators and functional experts can quickly check how many orders have been sent, what the different process steps are (and where a process went wrong), or even look up a specific invoice and view its content. To make this as user friendly as possible, we’ve implemented a host of handy features, including:

  • the ability to filter messages by metadata parameters;
  • a process overview that reveals the different steps from original input message to delivery;
  • a business view that allows users to inspect what was sent or received;
  • reprocessing capabilities that enable you to retry failed messages in case of connectivity issues;
  • configurable alerting capabilities that allow you to proactively inform end users, customers or service desk personnel;
  • role-based security and access to protect confidential enterprise information;
  • and lots more, including front-end customization, storage configuration, etc. 

All of these features together – and more are being built as we speak – allow your organization to understand and solve (critical) issues in a timely fashion. By enabling more efficient follow-up, dIM has an advantageous effect on your bottom line and improves the quality of services across the board. Just ask our clients Giardino, Vandemoortele, Vandewiele, Bakker and Efsa. And finally, the dIM isn’t just the key to opening the black box of your organization’s integration solution; it also increases awareness of the role of an integration solution within operational processes.

explore the capabilities of the delaware Integration Monitor

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