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ESB Question

 
Vijitha Kumara
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Dear Authors,


Where actually this ESB fits in to (ie.If we take an Enterprise Application for Example) the Application? What are the main Advantages of using that?

PS: I am actually going through the Introduction of your book now. I am
a very beginner to this thing, Really interested in get to know more about this.

Thanks in Advance,
 
Paul Sturrock
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ESBs exist to communicate between enterprise applications. If you only have one such application, you probably have no need for an ESB. See here for a summary.
 
Alaa Nassef
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ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) is an abstraction layer on top of an Enterprise Messaging System, which is used to loosely couple computer software systems. This means that you use it so that different enterprise systems expose their services to it, so that if any other system needs a service, it will ask the ESB, and the ESB will route this request to the system that exposes the required service.
 
Vijitha Kumara
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Thanks everyone,

I got the idea. Then ESB is somewhat function like (may be not even close to it) webservices, Instead ESB registers many different services together with providing lot of services(routing etc...) to those services. Correct me if I am wrong....

Thanks
 
Tijs Rademakers
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Well, an ESB provides a number of functionality that you can use in an enterprise application. But it will only add value if you need to integrate with another enterprise application or you need to provide services to other applications.

In chapter 1 of the book, which is available for free, we try to explain the functionality of an ESB so that's a good starting point. The added value of an ESB is for me the following items:

- location transparency: promotes loose coupling of applications and services. Applications don't have to know about the physical location of another application or service. So the ESB provides an abstraction layer.
- transport protocol conversion: in a lot of enterprises you will have to deal with all kinds of transports like: file, ftp, JMS, MQ, web services etc. The ESB is able to connect to these different transports and therefore can easily consume messages on a file system and sent them on as a web service call for example.
- message routing: with enterprise integration, you will need to route messages arriving at the ESB to the target destination. Therefore you will need to define routing rules that take care of this. A well-known set of routers is described in the Enterprise Integration Patterns book of Hohpe and Woolf.

What's interesting about open source ESBs in specific is that you can download them for free and look at the source code. Most closed source ESBs (like WebSphere ESB, WebSphere Message Broker, Tibco BusinessWorks, Sonic ESB etc) have a large license fee in advance that makes it hard to justify the upfront cost in an organization. So for small integration challenges you will not use such a closed source ESB. But an open source ESB can help you out with even very simple integration challenges.

Best regards,

Tijs Rademakers
 
Vijitha Kumara
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Thanks a lot Tijs for your Explanation.
[ July 30, 2008: Message edited by: Vijitha Kumara ]
 
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