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ESB Selection


An Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) is a software architecture model used for designing and implementing communication between mutually interacting software applications in a service oriented architecture.

There is no global standard for ESB concepts or implementations, but most providers of message oriented middleware have adopted the ESB concept as a standard for service oriented architecture (SOA).

Which ESB for your company?

We see many companies struggle to select the right ESBs for their companies. This is understandable because there are so many variables to consider. It’s an important decision for any company, as it takes a big investment of time to select and implement the solution, as well as the financial investment.

Decision-makers might find themselves having to consider 20 to 40 products, as well as the following variables:

  • Divergent and confusing pricing models
  • Different editions / releases
  • Whether it is Open Source
  • Software licensing
  • Implementation considerations
  • Compatibility / interoperability with operating systems, databases and web servers

Ideally, the ESB should be able to replace all direct contact with the applications on the bus, so that all communication takes place via the ESB. Therefore the ESB must encapsulate the functionality offered by its component applications. Often, because that application evolved without the same message model, the ESB has to transform the message into a format that the application can interpret.

ESBs rely on accurately constructing the enterprise message model and properly designing the functionality offered by applications. If the message model does not completely encapsulate the application functionality, then other applications that require that functionality may have to bypass the bus, and invoke the mismatched applications directly. Doing so violates the principles of the ESB model, and negates many of the advantages of using this architecture.

The beauty of the ESB lies in its platform-agnostic nature and the ability to integrate with anything at any condition. It is important that vendors truly apply all the ESB capabilities in their integration products while adopting SOA. Therefore, the challenge for integrators is to provide an integration solution that is low-cost, easily configurable, intuitive, user-friendly, and open to any tools customers choose.

Help is at hand

Considering all of this, decision-makers can feel quite overwhelmed when they have to make this choice. This is where we come in, as integration is our core business. We know how to help our customers make this decision. We are often called upon to help companies select an ESB for their business. Teams which are not experienced in this area can easily end up spending too much time and money selecting the ESB, and sometimes they still don’t make the best decisions.

Download a detailed ESB selection whitepaper here – or contact us to discuss your requirements with us – just drop your details into the form >>