A good friend and colleague of mine, Don Bauman, pointed out to me the common trend of data integration in its many forms throughout the late 20th Century and still today. Don's industry experience and longer term perspective has been invaluable to me. Not to "out" Don's age or anything but he has been at this quite a bit longer than I have. Let's just say Don was spreading the good word of technology while I was in my Spiderman Underoos playing He-man (17 was such a great age).
No matter what the technology, or the semantics that surround them, finding better ways to integrate and access data has always been the goal. People, Process, and Technology will always be the mechanisms (aka hurdles).
It does feel very exciting right now: the conversations, the challenges that are presenting themselves, and the industry professionals that aren't looking for an excuse but looking for an opportunity. When I was a kid I wanted be a doctor, I remember thinking "there will always be something new to discover, when some problems are fixed others will arise". Now I am a AEC software technologist and luckily for me I feel the same way. Its almost as if I had followed that childhood dream just minus all the schooling, insurmountable student debt, and prestige. That and I don't have to give anybody a prostate exam or examine any sort of terrible rash which I am also grateful for.