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Is the IT sector saturated with enterprise applications?

An Enterprise Application (EA) is a big business application. In today’s corporate world enterprise applications are complex, distributed and mission critical applications running on various platforms across the corporate networks, intranets or internet. These enterprise applications satisfy the business requirements of large companies and not of small groups or individuals. Large companies would include corporate, schools or governments.

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These complex applications meet stringent requirements of security and administration. EA are software designed to integrate all areas of a company’s operations such as accounting, finance, human resources, inventory, marketing, sales, manufacturing and resource planning. These enterprise applications provide services like online payment processing, online shopping, automated billing systems, content management, call center and customer support, security services, customer relationship management (CRM), business intelligence, project management, enterprise resource planning (ERP), HR management, manufacturing applications and many more unique to the organization.

Enterprise application comprises of hundreds of separate requirements put together to fulfill a business requirement. They are designed to store and process large complex data which access relational databases. It is designed and developed over years of requirements put together to develop a suite of customized programs. These applications have lot of user interface screens to handle and display the huge data. EA also features complicated data relationship, specific business requirements, distributed systems integrated with other systems and concurrent users. Software development has always been focused on a particular section like healthcare, trading, accounting or payroll.

Proprietary enterprise applications are generally developed and designed in house by the company’s own development team. Today these applications are also accessed through an enterprise application service provider (ASP). A third party application provider designs these applications and leases it to the company as a hosted service. This is known as Web based applications or software-as-a-service (SaaS). Another practice is moving these enterprise applications on cloud computing and use their services to access the application.

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In context to enterprise applications, enterprise application integration (EAI) is a way to bridge the gap between software programs thus enabling data to flow from one application to the other. The applications may be within the company or from outside the company. Integration helps create a single point of access of all the company related data.

In future companies would have infinite flexibility to choose the type of application that would best suit their business models. The enterprise application market will keep growing in the years to come. The market is dominated by large trading and financial companies who count on these enterprise applications to manage their most sensitive information. The important products will have integrated suits to cover primary business functions for the organizations. New technology is good for web surfing or for social networking, but not for financial management or customer order processing. Thus we see that EA are an integral part of any establishment as it is orchestrating an entire enterprise!