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CIS 8020:
Systems Integration


This course focuses on the integration of information systems in organizations, the process by which different computing systems and software applications are linked together physically or functionally. It examines the strategies and methods for blending a set of interdependent systems into a functioning or unified whole, thereby enabling two or more applications to interact and exchange data seamlessly. The course will explore tools and techniques for systems integration as well as proven management practices for integration projects.


Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

·       Understand basic concepts, methods and technologies related to system integration

·       Identify commonly used tools for integrating information systems, describing the benefits of using each.

·       Explain alternative strategies for systems integration.

·       Explain how service oriented architecture can aid in systems integration, identifying the underlying tools and technologies that facilitate the creation of such services.

·       Analyze the problem and design feasible integration solutions to address the problem.

TextBooks and readings

[Wiley]         Enterprise Application Integration: A Wiley Tech Brief,  by William A. Ruh, Francis X. Maginnis and William J. Brown, John Wiley & Sons © 2001

[Addison]     Next Generation Application Integration, by David Linthicum, Addison-Wesley © 2004

[Packt]         SOA Approach to Integration: XML, Web Services, ESB, and BPEL in Real-World SOA Projects, by Matjaz, B. Juric et al., Packt Publishing © 2007

Other readings (journal papers, magazine articles, or research reports) will be listed in the online schedule.


Course website including online schedule:                        http://jackzheng.net/teaching/cis8020
Course blog site and student blog sites hub:                     http://cis8020.blogspot.com

Note: the blog site is the main website used for this course. All announcements, course materials and contents will be organized as blog entries or gadgets. Please follow the site closely or sign up for the RSS feed. The site serves a second purpose to be an example for your blog site development.

Course Requirements and Grading

Grading Item


Group Presentation and Discussion Leading (2)


Group Project on System Design


Group Project on Blog Site


Individual Assignment/Exercise (3)


In-class Participation




Brief description

One group consists of three students, (ideally) with different background and technology proficiency.

Group presentation and discussion leading: each group will select two specific topics (corresponding to the schedule), do some research, present it in class and lead the discussion.

Group project on system design: each group will identify an integration problem in a particular domain, analyze the problem, propose and design the potential solution using technologies, techniques and products discussed in class.

Group project on blog site: every group needs to set up a group blog site on blogspot.com. Each group needs to write blogs related to system integration, and also write comments to other’s blogs. In addition, there are many tools in blogspot.com that you can use to integrate various content and applications on the web. Each group should try their best to develop the blog site.

Assignment/Exercise: there will be three individual exercises/assignments on integration technologies.

In-class participation: this is based on student participation in discussions.

Bonus point (1% each)

·        The top 3 blog entries which receive the most comments.

·        The group with the best blog site based on student votes at the end of the semester.

·        Best blogger voted by all students.


Topics and Readings*
Class Activities (Presentations)
1. 08/18/09 - Course overview - Attendance checking
- Student groups
2. 08/25/09 - System integration overview; integration challenges and problems. - Group blog sites setup
3. 09/01/09 - Integration models and styles; middleware; ERP.

- Wilhelm Hasselbring et al. (2000), "Information system integration", Communications of the ACM, Volume 43, Issue 6 (June 2000), Pages: 32-38
- [Packt] chapter 1
- [Wiley] chapter 1, 2, 3
- Enterprise Integration Patterns ("introduction" and "integration styles")


1. sysintteam: Integration Models and Styles

2. cis8020-achievers: ERP Systems

4. 09/08/09 - Messaging oriented middleware; messaging patterns.

- [Wiley] chapter 4
- Enterprise Integration Patterns ("messaging systems" up to "interlude: simple messaging")

* A lecture from Stan J. Senesy


1. mercury: Messaging Middleware - readings

2. thecoolkidsinthebackrow: WebSphere MQ

5. 09/15/09 - Interface based middleware; distributed objects.

- [Wiley] chapter 5
- QuickStudy: Application Programming Interface (API)
- David Krieger, Richard M. Adler, "The Emergence of Distributed Component Platforms," IEEE Computer, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 43-53, March, 1998.
- Database-Oriented Middleware


1. megahotpot: Database Oriented Middleware

2. nucleus-inc: Cloud Computing

6. 09/22/09 - XML; XML based languages and standards

- [Packt] chapter 3
- XML Standards and Vocabularies
- A.C. Lear, XML seen as integral to application integration. IEEE IT Pro, 1(5), 1999, pp.12–16
- XML meets the challenge of application integration

* Lecture on XML/XSLT;
- XSLT examples


1. thecoolkidsinthebackrow: XML

2. 4thaluvofmusic: ebXML and EDI

7. 09/29/09 - Service Oriented Architecture; Web Services.

- Papazoglou, Georgakopoulos, "Service-Oriented Computing", Communications of the ACM, 46(10), October 2003
- Gartner: Service-Oriented Architecture Scenario
- Benatallah and Nezhad, "Service Oriented Architecture: Overview and Directions", Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 5316, 2008, Springer.
- [Packt] chapter 2, 4
- [IBM] chapter 5


1. mercury: Service Oriented Architecture

2. gsucis8020teamanalyst: Web Services

8. 10/06/09 - Web 2.0: Web APIs, REST, Mashup.

- [IBM] chapter 8
- What is Web 2.0 from O'Reilly; Mashup
- Schroth, C. Janner, T., "Web 2.0 and SOA: Converging Concepts Enabling the Internet of Services", IT Professional, May-June 2007, Vol 9: 3, page: 36-41
- Jin Yu , et al. "Understanding Mashup Development", IEEE Internet Computing, Vol 12:5, 2008, page:44-52
- REST; RESTful Web Services; REST vs. Web Services


1. cisintegratem: REST

2. silk8020: Mashup

9. 10/13/09 - Data/information integration and EII

- Gartner: Data Integration Forms the Technology Foundation of EIM
- Philip Bernstein and Laura Haas, "Information integration in the enterprise", Communications of the ACM 51(9) September 2008, Pages 72-79
- Alon Y. Halevy, et al. "Enterprise information integration: successes, challenges and controversies", ACM SIGMOD international conference on Management of data, 2005, pp. 778-787
- Gartner: Magic Quadrant for Data Integration Tools

* Lecture: Data Integration Overview


1. megahotpot: Data Warehousing

2. mavericks8020: Schema Mapping

10. 10/20/09 - Presentation integration and portal

- Florian Daniel, et al., "Understanding UI Integration: A Survey of Problems, Technologies, and Opportunities Export", IEEE Internet Computing, Vol.11, No.3 (2007), pp. 59-66.
- The Role of Application Integration in Enterprise Portals

* Lecture: UI Integration Overview


1. 4thaluvofmusic: Portal

2. cis8020-achievers: Markup UI

11. 10/27/09 - Process (oriented) integration

- [Packt] chapter 5, 6
- Business Processing Modeling
- Introduction to BPMN


1. cisintegratem: Process Modeling Notation

2. gsucis8020teamanalyst: Process Execution

12. 11/03/09 - Industry practice: system integration in the traveling industry.

- Global Travel Distribution Trends

Guest speaker:

- Jim Ownby from the BCD Travel.
- Jim's Talk

13. 11/10/09 - Identity integration; Single Sign-On

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_sign-on
- Andreas Pashalidis and Chris J. Mitchell. A taxonomy of single sign-on systems. ACISP 2003, Proceedings, volume 2727 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 249–264.

Guest speaker:

- Art Vandenberg from GSU IS&T


1. silk8020: Open ID

2. sysintteam: FaceBook Connect

14. 11/17/09 Open topics Presentations:

1. nucleus-inc: SAML

2. mavericks8020:

15. 11/24/09 - Thanksgiving holiday - No class
16. 12/01/09 - Design project presentations - Design project presentations


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