To remain competitive, organizations must operate efficiently and be flexible enough to rapidly respond to changing market conditions. To meet the first challenge, IT managers must continually seek ways to support more effective and accurate business processes. The second challenge implies a need for systems that the organization can easily extend to meet new demands. Enterprise application integration (EAI) is a key technology in meeting this mandate. But before implementing a data-integration solution in an enterprise, an organisation should be aware of the technical risks as well as the operations involved in the integration process. This article examines the data-integration subset of EAI. In EAI, data integration is the automated sharing of relevant data between two or more applications. This article aims to provide IT managers with an overview of EAI's fundamental technical issues and solutions.