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ESB – Everyone’s Silver Bullet?

January 7, 2011 No Comments

Given its prominence in any discussions around SOA for several years, you might think that by now everyone has acquired an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB).  However, it is clear that there is still ongoing discussion about the need for an ESB, and questions still remain as to what exactly an ESB is.  Cloud computing seems to have renewed interest in the topic. In the same way that people asked “do I need an ESB to do SOA?”, we now have “do I need an ESB to do Cloud Computing?” (at least amongst those who recognize that Cloud Computing is largely service-based).

I sometimes think a better expansion of the abbreviation might be “Everyone’s Silver Bullet”, such is the perception that all you need to buy is an ESB and all your problems are solved.

I have long promoted the view that an ESB isn’t a product as such, but a set of capabilities that you might assemble from various sources – either upgrading existing infrastructure, buying new components, or even building some yourself. Some of the capabilities might be embedded in the operating platform you use, or looking forward, you might consider some cloud-based ESB capabilities too.
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