Interoperabilidade

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1 Data Integration — Problems, Approaches, and Perspectives
Patrick Ziegler and Klaus R. Dittrich {pziegler, dittrich}@ifi.unizh.ch
Database Technology Research Group Department of Informatics, University of Zurich Summary. Data integration is one of the older research fields in the database area and has emerged shortly after database systems were first introduced into the business world. In thispaper, we briefly introduce the problem of integration and, based on an architectural perspective, give an overview of approaches to address the integration issue. We discuss the evolution from structural to semantic integration and shortly present our own research in the SIRUP (Semantic Integration Reflecting User-specific semantic Perspectives) approach. Finally, an outlook to challenging areas offuture research in the realm of data integration is given.

1.1 Introduction
In today’s business world, it is typical that enterprises run different but coexisting information systems. Employing these systems, enterprises struggle to realize business opportunities in highly competitive markets. In this setting, the integration of existing information systems is becoming more and moreindispensable in order to dynamically meet business and customer needs while leveraging long-term investments in existing IT infrastructure. In general, integration of multiple information systems aims at combining selected systems so that they form a unified new whole and give users the illusion of interacting with one single information system. The reason for integration is twofold: First, given a set ofexisting information systems, an integrated view can be created to facilitate information access and reuse through a single information access point. Second, given a certain information need, data from different complementing information systems is combined to gain a more comprehensive basis to satisfy the need. There is a manifold of applications that benefit from integrated information. Forinstance, in the area of business intelligence (BI), integrated information can be used for querying and reporting on business activities, for statistical analysis, online analytical processing (OLAP), and data mining in order to enable forecasting, decision making, enterprise-wide planning, and, in the

end, to gain sustainable competitive advantages. For customer relationship management (CRM),integrated information on individual customers, business environment trends, and current sales can be used to improve customer services. Enterprise information portals (EIP) present integrated company information as personalized web sites and represent single information access points primarily for employees, but also for customers, business partners, and the public. Last, but not least, in the area ofe-commerce and e-business, integrated information enables and facilitates business transactions and services over computer networks. Similar to information, IT services and applications can be integrated, either to provide a single service access point or to provide more comprehensive services to meet business requirements. For instance, integrated workflow and document management systems can beused within enterprises to leverage intraorganizational collaboration. Based on the ideas of business process reengineering (BPR), integrated IT services and applications that support business processes can help to reduce time-to-market and to provide added-value products and services. Thereby, interconnecting building blocks from selected IT services and applications enables supply chain managementwithin individual enterprises as well as cooperation beyond the boundaries of traditional enterprises, as in interorganizational cooperation, business process networks (BPN), and virtual organizations. For instance, in e-procurement, supply and demand for producer goods are provided with integrated information and services to streamline the purchasing process for institutional buyers. Thus, it...
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