Over the coming weeks, the Interoperability team will share details about several focus areas and the related tools and processes. The first look at one of these projects underneath the Interop umbrella addresses the need for improved integration capabilities. Last fall, the Interop team created a roadmap that described this need to better connect UW–Madison’s ecosystem of data, business processes and events, applications, IT services, and software as a service products in consistent, reusable ways. Through an inclusive and collaborative review process, the Interop team selected Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services, or IICS for short, to meet these integration needs. IICS provides a range of capabilities including low-code connectors to software as a service products. This enables a broader community of people to perform integration tasks using best practices and reusable components that DoIT will curate.
A team within AIS Enterprise Integration recently kicked-off the IICS implementation project with goals that include configuring IICS, developing documentation, identifying training opportunities, creating a playbook of best practices and decision-making guidance, and developing expertise in the product. The team is also working through a couple of pilot projects using IICS as a way to build its own knowledge while meeting campus integration needs:
- The Enterprise Integration team is using IICS to integrate UW–Madison data with Rave, the product that powers UW–Madison Police Department’s WiscAlerts and Housing’s targeted communications. Both use cases have been critical in communicating with UW–Madison constituents throughout the university’s response to COVID-19.
- CAOS has long provided its consumers with access to student and curricular data without needing to do undesirable, direct integrations with SIS. The team is now working on a use case for UW’s Online Undergraduate program that will integrate CAOS with IICS. A major goal of this work is to build reusable assets that deliver student and curricular data through IICS so that CAOS consumers will get consistent data regardless of how they do their integration.
In addition to the configuration, documentation, and pilot projects Enterprise Integration is doing, the team is also preparing to onboard and migrate users of the old on-premises Informatica PowerCenter product:
- DoIT’s Enterprise Business Systems has over 2,200 extract, transform, load (ETL) workloads that must be analyzed and migrated. The team is working closely with EBS which manages these ETL workloads for systems like HRS, SFS, and others.
- The Office of Data Management and Analytics Services (ODMAS) will be migrating their current InfoAccess (UW’s major shared data warehouse) use cases and is looking to use IICS to support their next-generation, cloud-based data warehouse, Snowflake.
- The School of Medicine and Public Health will migrate their existing PowerCenter use cases and will expand their usage of IICS to improve their integrations with UW Health IT systems and data.
With the IICS implementation underway, what’s next? First of all, the team is learning a lot. We’re doing the hard work today to make integrations easier in the future for our community of integrators. That takes patience, good communication, pilot use cases, feedback from actual users, and lots of refactoring.
If you’re interested in engaging the team, trying out what the team is creating, and providing feedback, consider reviewing the documentation or attending one of the biweekly sprint reviews. If you’re interested in attending an upcoming sprint review, please send an email to the team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for more updates like this on other Interop focus areas in the near future. To stay informed as the initiative progress picks up visit the Interop website and join our update mailing list.
—Interoperability Initiative Team