New integrations from People & Money
Our new People & Money system is replacing the University’s old HR and Finance systems. With that change comes the need to replace the data feeds that connected the systems being replaced to other IT applications. We’re taking advantage of this to change the way we connect our systems. Instead of copying large data files between systems overnight, the People & Money team are using a middleware system called Enterprise Integrator to transfer each changed piece of data when the change is made.
For example, when a new employee is added to the People & Money system, this is detected by the Enterprise Integrator. In the jargon, this is called an event, and the data about the new employee is added to an event queue. This is then copied to subsidiary event queues, one for each of the systems that need to be sent the data, and then sent to the appropriate system. Typically, this happens in a few seconds, which means the data arrives in the other systems and can be processed immediately.
The implementation team configure Enterprise Integrator so that each system only receives the data that it requires. If a data field is required by one system but not by the others, then the configuration will only send that field to that one system. This helps to ensure that personal data is only processes in those systems that need it, which is an important principle of data protection.
If a problem arises with the data transfer, for example if the destination system is not available, the data is held on the event queue until it can be transferred sometime later. This guarantees delivery to the destination system.
In addition to making data available more quickly, Enterprise Integrator will simplify the implementation and monitoring of our data flows. We are already beginning to use this for other systems as well, such as feeds from the student record. The intent is to make this approach the norm for all data feeds between our IT systems.