The Design of Software (CLOSED)

A public forum for discussing the design of software, from the user interface to the code architecture. Now closed.

The "Design of Software" discussion group has been merged with the main Joel on Software discussion group.

The archives will remain online indefinitely.

adapter and accelerator - what is the difference

BizTalk, SAP and other product literature uses the terms "adapter" and "accelerator"-- what is the difference between them? Also, if BizTalk is not an EDI product, under what category does it fall into?
Monday, July 03, 2006
These sorts of product suites are meant to aid in "business integration."  This usually refers to a case where an enterprise has core in-house systems, various satellite systems, and information trading partners (including banks, etc.) - all of which they want to tie together.

The reasons for this "tying" range from eliminating rekeying or otherwise re-entering data to replacing batch-transferred and processed transactions to connecting systems that were never connected before.  It's the usual idea of reducing labor, improving system responsiveness from an enterprise-wide perspective, and meeting new business madates - or in theory gaining competitive advantage.

The ultimate result would be to produce private information and financial oligarchies or govermental hyper-centralization in the Soviet model.  This is something business and western governments crave, oddly enough.  They actually envied Soviet Communism that style of organization.

The fortunate fact for the people of the planet is it won't happen.  While these BI systems help approach such a state, the days when business or government can be run by a single dictator rolling into his "Cerebro" are still far off.

Adapters tend to be slightly more complex than protocol converters.  Generally they exist to couple a BI suite into legacy systems that do not directly support the BI product's native data transport (often some message oriented middleware product).  So not only can the BI suite "talk to" these foreign platforms at the line level through adapters, most of the time there is also at least character-set translation and some form of mapping between "transactions" on the two platform types - at least at the level of robust and durable information delivery.

"Accelerators" often go beyond this by quite a bit.  They use adapters at the low level as data connectors, but they also "know" more about the foreign/legacy platform.  This "knowledge" can take the form of translation between standard message types (including field remapping and recoding or even message splitting/joining) and things about workflow.  In a sense an accelerator is a prepackaged suite of BI logic for external platform X that saves you developing a whole X integration module yourself.
Glen Hamer
Monday, July 03, 2006
Conventional EDI becomes one subsystem of these kinds of integration suites.  Today most have XML as their internal data representation, and any EDI formats dealt with are handled on the periphery as another legacy format.
Monday, July 03, 2006
Great info. Is there a good online article that provides an overview of the whole highlevel aspects of integration and how products do it etc?
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Also note that EDI is often just a one-way batch submission of data, while true systems integration is often two-way, transactional, and involves real-time activity.
MBJ Send private email
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Almost forgot, follow the links starting here for more info.
MBJ Send private email
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
The difference between an adapter and an accelerator is usually about $25,000.
Chris Tavares Send private email
Wednesday, July 05, 2006

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
Powered by FogBugz