Application Interoperability

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Interoperability is the ability of diverse systems and organizations to work together (inter-operate). The term is often used in a technical systems engineering sense, or alternatively in a broad sense, taking into account social, political, and organizational factors that impact system to system performance.

Interoperability was initially defined for IT systems or services and only allows for information to be exchanged. The basic definition of the Interoperability is-

Interoperability is a property of a product or system, whose interfaces are completely understood, to work with other products or systems, present or future, without any restricted access or implementation.

Types of Application Interoperability

The interoperability is categorized in two basic categories-

Syntactic Interoperability

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If two or more systems are capable of communicating and exchanging data, they are exhibiting syntactic interoperability. Specified data formats, communication protocols and the like are fundamental. XML or SQL standards are among the tools of syntactic interoperability. This is also true for lower-level data formats, such as ensuring alphabetical characters are stored in a same variation of ASCII or a Unicode format (for English or international text) in all the communicating systems.

Semantic Interoperability

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Beyond the ability of two or more computer systems to exchange information, semantic interoperability is the ability to automatically interpret the information exchanged meaningfully and accurately in order to produce useful results as defined by the end users of both systems. To achieve semantic interoperability, both sides must refer to a common information exchange reference model. The content of the information exchange requests are unambiguously defined: what is sent is the same as what is understood.

Application Interoperability – Implementation & Associated Risk Factors

The Following risks factors are involved in the Application Interoperability-

  • Security
  • Performance
  • Reliability

Considering the above risk factors, Application Interoperability risks can be mitigated by following implementation–

  • Application Interoperability Using Web Services/Interfaces Development
  • Application Interoperability Using Windows Services

Benefits of Application Interoperability

Interoperability offers these benefits-

  • Businesses can bring together applications and systems across an enterprise, irrespective of vendors.
  • Multiple systems can be linked together to share information in a real-time manner, delivering time-sensitive information to those who need it.
  • Disparate solutions as the result of mergers or acquisitions can be quickly incorporated into the enterprise’s information technology solution.