File Transfer

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An enterprise has multiple applications that are being built independently, with different languages and platforms.

How can I integrate multiple applications so that they work together and can exchange information?

Have each application produce files containing information that other applications need to consume. Integrators take the responsibility of transforming files into different formats. Produce the files at regular intervals according to the nature of the business.

An important decision with files is what format to use. Very rarely will the output of one application be exactly what's needed for another, so you'll have to do a fair bit of processing of files along the way. Not just do all the applications that use a file have to read it, you also have to be able to use processing tools on it. As a result, standard file formats have grown up over time. Mainframe systems commonly use data feeds based on the file system formats of COBOL. Unix systems use text based files. The modern fashion is to use XML. An industry of readers, writers, and transformation tools has built up around each of these formats.

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Related patterns: Remote Procedure Invocation, Messaging, Shared Database


Enterprise Integration Patterns Find the full description of this pattern in:
Enterprise Integration Patterns
Gregor Hohpe and Bobby Woolf
ISBN 0321200683
650 pages
Addison-Wesley
Creative Commons LicenseParts of this page are available under the Creative Commons Attribution license. You can reuse the pattern icon, the pattern name, the problem and solution statements (in bold), and the sketch under this license. Other portions of the text, such as text chapters or the full pattern text, are protected by copyright.

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