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How BMC Remedy AR System integrates with third-party products

BMC Remedy Action Request System (BMC Remedy AR System) is a platform on which you can build applications for automating a wide range of support and business processes. BMC Remedy AR System is designed to be used with third-party products to create an integrated solution. In many IT organizations, BMC Remedy AR System-based applications are the central applications for tracking information. Therefore, the opportunities to integrate BMC Remedy AR System with other applications are endless, ranging from simple access to diagnostic utilities to large-scale integration with manufacturing, customer interaction, and financial accounting systems.

Note

A strength of BMC Remedy AR System is its rich and robust API. All prospective product partners are encouraged to integrate with BMC Remedy AR System at the API level whenever possible. For more information, see Developing an API program.

Many customers purchase BMC Remedy AR System as a development platform to create their own business applications and automate their business processes. BMC also develops and sells specific applications such as BMC Service Desk, BMC Asset Management, or BMC Change Management. These BMC applications are built on top of BMC Remedy AR System.

BMC recommends integrating at the API level because your integrated applications can more easily be adapted to customers who use applications that are purchased from BMC and to BMC customers who build their own custom applications. BMC Remedy Mid Tier and BMC Remedy Developer Studio are built on the BMC Remedy AR System Java API.

Integration defined

In the context of software applications, integration means linking products together to provide increased functionality and efficiency. In other words, two products together do more (or do it faster) than the products by themselves.

BMC Remedy AR System is a powerful foundation and development environment for applications that automate business processes. Its flexible multiplatform, multidatabase architecture and highly customizable user interface enable BMC Remedy AR System to be adapted to the unique business processes of a particular company and to evolve as those processes change. However, BMC Remedy AR System alone cannot perform all of the functions in an environment. Instead, BMC Remedy AR System applications can be integrated with other applications and tools to form complete business solutions.

Integration benefits

The primary intent of business software is to enable users to do their jobs more quickly with fewer resources. Using two products separately is usually less efficient than using them in an integrated fashion.

For example, a user might have to enter the same information into two different applications, which often results in errors. Or the telephone number of an incoming call might be manually entered by a customer service representative rather than automatically captured. Application integration can provide improved efficiency and effectiveness.

Areas for integration

The two primary areas for integration between applications are:

  • Data sharing — Passing data structures back and forth or jointly accessing a common database.
  • Process linking — One application (App1) automatically launches another (App2) "in context" so that App2 "knows" everything entered into App1, and the user is immediately focused at the part of App2 that continues the process. Or App2 automatically does its job in the background based on directions from App1, and the user does not even know it is running.
    The overall environment behaves as if it were one large application, and yet the company can choose the discrete pieces that best meet the business requirements.

Real-time versus asynchronous

Products are sometimes integrated for real-time interaction.

Example

In a help desk environment, a user calls a support person with a question. During the call, the support person enters information about the user and the question into the call tracking application. If the best way to answer the question is for the support person to walk the user through a process on the user's workstation, the support person could click a button on the call tracking application interface that runs a remote control application. The remote control application opens a window on the support person's workstation that is a copy of the user's screen, and the support person can take control of the keyboard and mouse functions of the user's system to step through a process. The user gets an answer and the support person never leaves his or her desk.

In contrast, some integration is done asynchronously. This means that an application can be updating another application on an ongoing basis so that the second application is up-to-date the next time it is accessed.

Example

Suppose a Human Resources application contains the names and office numbers of all of the current employees of a company. Every night, the HR application writes a file that contains an alphabetical list of all of the employees to a defined place on a file server. Whenever the help desk starts the call tracking application, the application reads this file and dynamically builds menus of the employee names so that the support personnel can fill in their forms quickly. Conversely, whenever a change request to move an office is processed by the help desk, a notification is sent to the HR system that contains the affected employee name, the new office number, and an effective date.

For complete information about integrating with third-party products, see Integrating.

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