Elementary Systems Integration my dear Watson
The first part of the article describes this down to a 'T'.
There are many products that can be used to 'fill the gap' or you can 'roll your own'.
Filling that gap is what I've been doing for the last 30+ years.
One popular description of such a solution is to use an ESB, Enterprise Service Bus.
This stops the mess of point to point connections. Any decent ESB will be able to talk many different protocols and do format transformation in a trice.
I've looked at several Open Source ESB's (Apache/Camel, WS02 etc). They are not there yet if you compare them to the top proprietary products. A year ago WS02 was totally unusable. Now, well, the jusry is out but and it is a big BUT, you still have to craft a lot of horrid looking XML to define things like JDBC connections, SAP JCA connections etc.
The time to develop for these products is also considerably longer than for the best of the propeitary alternatives. I did one 'thing in the middle' recently that took JMS messages and initiated a SAP Bapi call without writing a line of code or creating a single XML connection config file.
When Open Source alternatives can do that then I'll gladly sing their praises. At the moment, people like me are using proprietary tools to fill the gap and letting business get on, with you know, doing business.
It's Friday. It's almost 8pm, time for beer.