What to do about this? How do we achieve the long-promised benefits of internet-enabled applications without all the bloat? One of the possibilities that we are exploring is integrating data via data syndication. Similar to RSS, this method involves the owner of one system publishing selections of their data in an XML file. The second system then consumes that data and uses it in its functions. The beautiful thing about this model is that the data gets consumed on a web client or a browser versus integrating the data into the back end of a system. It keeps it lightweight for both systems. It makes the system truly loosely coupled. Of course, this method of integration is more appropriate for systems that do not have high dependencies on each other, and it is a one-way thing, but there are many many business applications for this type of integration, so why not run with it?
We have not yet built this type of integration yet, but I imagine we will in the next few months. I will blog it when we do.