Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ESB as an SOA component

An Enterprise Service Bus (or ESB) is a device operating as an enterprise messaging middleware which provides capabilities of providing an array primitive services and thereby interconnecting a number of complex applications that thrive through event driven or service oriented architectures. An ESB is not essentially a component of an SOA but has increasingly become one of the most popular components of an SOA. It is also important to understand that an ESB itself cannot implement an SOA.

In an SOA environment, an ESB sits in the right middle or at the very edge of a cloud of messages having vested with the capabilities of managing and routing them to their relevant destinations. The capabilities of an ESB puts it in the place of a simple multi-point connector which is capable of serving many types of requirements that may arise in an SOA world of communication with the help of several interconnected resources.

Another major advantage of an ESB is the no-code approach it uses. Most modern ESB developers introduce a concept of plug & play adaptors to which you simply can connect one or more distinct resources capable of servicing incoming requirements. Thus, an ESB makes an SOA easy to implement.

Analogous to a bus found inside a computing system, an ESB serves as a medium through which resources are exposed. Thus, in an SOA environment, the most traditional use of an ESB will be to provide a front-end to a specific resource which then can be accessed via multiple mechanisms over a number of different transports.

In a modern SOA environment the most important aspects of an ESB are it's
  1. Speed
  2. Ease of use
  3. Features
  4. Maintenance & Support

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