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The slogan for enterprise application integration (EAI) projects ought to be: “The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.” The need for enterprise application integration is greater than ever. A lot of application integration is still done the old-fashioned way, with batch file transfers under manual control. However, the last few years have brought several important technologies adapted for EAI: object orientation, application servers, and now lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP) and extensible markup language (XML).There’s nothing the computer industry likes to do more than tout a new technology. It’s a “latest and greatest” world. However, experience (sometimes painful) suggests that not all technologies are worthwhile. It’s tempting to wait on anything new, and let the pioneers suffer the hardships. The problem is, these days the pioneers are just as likely to annex your business. This adage may be especially true for EAI because the goal is (usually) to improve business and become more competitive.