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Tools for connecting back-end applications

What methods, mechanisms, tools do people use for connecting back-end (legacy, many platforms, non-Java) applications to an externally hosted Java Web site application such as ATG Dynamo? Is it preferable to build bespoke interfaces or wrappers, to pass files, or to use EAI tools?
The correct answer depends on the periodicity of the information. The least expensive route will be to process extracts at the close of business. Use the information that is already available. Real time extraction from the legacy system is a different issue from how to process it in Dynamo. In general, the Web site should have it's own schema that represents its common gateway. Getting the information into XML can be done using opportunistic methods, i.e., the simplest approach for the job at hand.

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