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Need to make a case for an Enterprise Service Bus in your organization? Learn more about the components, purpose and benefits of an ESB in this white paper.

The Enterprise Service Bus, or ESB, has recently become the subject of intense interest by enterprise customers and heated debate by technologists- a clear sign that the idea either carries significant merit or is compelling hype without substance. Certainly the noise level alone on ESB warrants an open-minded examination of the concept.

A Connection and Integration Backbone

In the ESB model, most or all applications and services in the enterprise connect to the ESB and communicate with each other over the ESB. Applications and services usually connect using SOA standards, whereas legacy systems require integration via EAI technologies such as adapters. The communication between endpoints is handled by

In the ESB model, most or all applications and services in the enterprise connect to the ESB and communicate with each other over the ESB. Applications and services usually connect using SOA standards, whereas legacy systems require integration via EAI technologies such as adapters. The communication between endpoints is handled by message-oriented middleware. The ESB serves as a common messaging fabric for the enterprise. Programs connect to the ESB and send or receive messages. The ESB handles routing details, mediation of differences between endpoints, and the physical details of communication. It’s far more sensible to put such matters in the hands of I.T. personnel who can make enterprise-level decisions than having them controlled by developers at the application level.

An Infrastructure for SOA

As most SOA enthusiasts will tell you, the “A” in Service Oriented Architecture is still missing in action (and some prefer the term “Service Orientation” for this reason). Service orientation has given us a good set of principles (such as loosely coupled communication), an excellent set of standards that are composable and ongoing (WS-*), and compelling new technologies such as Windows Communication Foundation.

In short, while service orientation is still young, it’s real enough to be usable here and now and is being put into practice everywhere. As enterprise adoption of services continues, the need for a service oriented architecture will start to be felt. There’s a big difference between the casual use of services and running your enterprise primarily over services. As enterprises travel down the road that will take them from light use of services to deep use of services, many issues will arise, such as how to manage large numbers of services well; how to overcome differences between services; how to enforce SLAs; and how to enforce enterprise policies across distributed collections of services.

Learn more about ESBs. Download the White Paper now.