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Comparing Integration Methods: Is a Loosely Coupled or Tightly Coupled Integration best for Connecting Infor EAM and Esri ArcGIS?

December 8, 2021
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Infor EAM was acquired by Hexagon and is now known as HxGN EAM.

Viewing assets in a geospatial framework is crucial for asset-intensive organizations in the utilities, government, transportation, or telecommunication space – especially as these organizations pursue digital transformation initiatives. But, despite the vast benefits of integrating GIS and Enterprise Asset Management systems, integration for integration’s sake is not ideal – organizations must consider what type of integration solution will produce the best results for data integrity, productivity, and business decisions.

Read below to discover two types of integration methodologies (loosely and tightly coupled), how they pertain to Infor EAM and Esri ArcGIS integration, and how to determine what is right for your organization.

First things first, what are loosely and tightly coupled integration methodologies?

Loosely Coupled: The loosely, or decoupled, integration methodology is predicated on not interfering with each application’s internal workings and workflows. Loosely coupled methods often leverage a middleware software, like the Geonexus Integration Platform, to communicate with each integrated system without interfering with each system’s internal capabilities.

Tightly Coupled: The tightly coupled integration methodology relies on making changes to edge system schemas and/or embedding code or third-party software directly into individual systems to integrate them together, changing the internal workings of each system. Tightly coupled solutions rely on custom code and development or software installed into the applications to enable data sharing between systems.

How does this pertain to Esri ArcGIS – Infor EAM integration?

With the recent launch of our Infor EAM connector for the Geonexus Integration Platform, organizations can connect their Infor EAM and Esri ArcGIS applications via loosely coupled integration connectors. The Geonexus Integration Platform serves as a middleware to synchronize and compare data, so that the same accurate, up-to-date data appears in both systems. Because the Geonexus Platform has an easy-to-navigate graphical user interface, business or IT users can configure integrations by leveraging no-code capabilities in the platform including data translations, Infor EAM business objects, Dataspys, and more, using a point and click methodology. This allows both systems to operate in their normal workflows without disruption from custom code. Plus, with a loosely coupled integration method, users can upgrade their edge systems (Esri and Infor EAM) whenever they please without breaking the integration. And, what’s more, with the Geonexus Integration Platform, users can leverage a geodatabase or REST API connection to Esri, allowing geometric network and utility network organizations to leverage the integration platform. Finally, the Geonexus Integration Platform provides comprehensive reports each time a data synchronization is run, detailing any discrepancies, errors, or changes made in the synchronization.

On the other side of integration methodologies, Infor EAM offers their own tightly coupled integration solution for Esri GIS. With Infor EAM’s tightly coupled integration, users need to install an Infor EAM add-on directly into Esri ArcMap, allowing them to manually push data from ArcMap into Infor EAM. While this tightly coupled method can reduce data duplication, it also fundamentally changes how Esri ArcMap functions, creating more complicated workflows and interfaces that are tied into specific versions of Esri desktop software. While a loosely coupled solution allows for simple edge system upgrades, this tightly coupled solution locks users into Esri ArcMap – hindering the move to the Utility Network. Plus, with tightly coupled solutions, when one system is down, the other system is affected.

Summary: 

To summarize, a loosely coupled solution allows for:

  • A loosely-coupled integration between systems to ensure accurate data and full functionality in both systems.
  • Each system to operate with native functionality and workflows.
  • Easy connection to different software versions, like a Geodatabase or REST API connection on the Esri side, and no version lock.
  • Comprehensive data health reporting.

A tightly coupled solution, on the other hand:

  • Embeds code and software directly into edge systems, changing how the software works.
  • May require manual processes to push data from one system to the other, reducing data duplication, but increasing the possibility to overwrite good data.
  • Locks users into software versions, hindering users from transitioning to the Utility Network or upgrading versions without breaking the integration.

Conclusion:

At Geonexus our mission is to ensure the integrity and reliability of enterprise data to support effective decision making. The Geonexus Integration Platform is an enterprise-grade integration platform. It is easy to use, reliable and includes out-of-the-box connectors for Esri® ArcGIS®, IBM® Maximo, SAP®, ABB® Ellipse, Oracle® Utilities, Infor® EAM®, and other leading enterprise systems. Asset-intensive organizations across the globe use the Geonexus Integration Platform in industries including utilities, telecommunications, pipeline, transportation, and government.

To learn how Geonexus’ Infor EAM connector can benefit your organization, reach out today!

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