Today, an SOA that utilizes a "packaged" ESB is clearly at the top of the list of the enterprise software vendors, such as IBM, Microsoft, BEA and Oracle. ESBs are essentially all about integration and in some ways there is nothing new here at all -- routing, transformation and system integration. What is different are the considerable number of customer facing Web Service standards that work in conjunction with a modern ESB in a seamless fashion. Not since the ill-fated DCE (Distributed Computing Environment) has there emerged a model that can truly support the disparate technologies of the enterprise. However, just as DCE, which had a reputation for having long lead times for software releases and being hard to administer, a true SOA represents a complex software architecture. So, beware the mythmaker. The mythmaker usually recommends that you have to teardown the old technology to make room for the new. However, Web service and application point-to-point integrations are time consuming and expensive projects. A technical strategy is required to move the organization to an SOA over the longer run that includes integration with legacy technologies. For organizations of any scale, a methodology and release strategy is required; any other approach would be a fool's errand. It is better to face the fact that provisioning, integrating and managing services is hard work. This isn't like build stunning, flashy, experience design Web sites; integration implementations are, for the most part, painstakingly tedious, operator-less processing style programming efforts.Read Enterprise Service Bus: Yet Another Paradigm Shift or Better Orchestration of Old Technologies.
An SOA including an ESB is key to having a truly scalable, enterprise-wide solution. But most organizations have a limited tolerance for protracted analysis and system design lifecycle phases, which are required to configure that these systems work properly. In Frank Teti's opinion, this work ethic needs to be seriously reconsidered.
- Posted by: Regina Lynch
- Posted on: August 09 2006 12:30 EDT
"Therefore, enterprising technologies within the organization are building a case for implementing "interim" custom solutions by wrapping Spring services or using other open source technologies such as IONA's Celtix, an open source ESB." I am currently in the above camp. But I wonder if these are really just "interim" solutions, or simply light-weight ones that are more appropriate given certain requirements. BTW I didn't see any mention of ServiceMix in that article. I've been to plenty of SOA seminars. The most notable one was hosted by Oracle, where an Oracle SOA developer admitted that BPEL was "too complicated" to for Business Analysts and got pushed back to the developers. And have a look at these price tags from Oracle: http://oraclestore.oracle.com/OA_HTML/ibeCCtpSctDspRte.jsp?section=15499 The SOA<->Web Services mantra bothers me because these are two buzz-words that all IT managers seem to know about, and ask about all the time. For a lot of my interop requirements, even WS are overkill -- nevermind SOA. A few Spring remoting wrappers seem to be doing fine for EAI requirements that don't need a xform layer. Anyone have RL experience with ServiceMix? It's the only framework that doesn't seem to give me a cramp. Ah, one other interesting note: the ITIL "society" seems to have jumped on the SOA bandwagon; which will become another management-driven headache I'm sure.
I think that if you talk to any vendor who is being HONEST with you, you will find that ESB really is a better orchestration of old (or reasonably modified existing) technologies. It is about a vendor really offering you an entire stack that plays together and can be coded, tested, debugged, tooled and deployed in a particular manner. Its not really a Paradigm shift though, we've been trying to do this forever and vendors in different spaces have been trying to solve the entire problem with a technology which only truly addresses a piece of the problem.
Sonic, Fiorano, Cape Clear are "low-end" "BEA's AquaLogic Service Bus (ALSB) was the Editor's Choice during a vendor lab test of eight ESB suites, with Oracle being the runner-up" "ALSB is a comprehensive enterprise grade ESB, which could serve as the heart of your SOA infrastructure. " "Their current incarnation of ESB is Websphere ESB. Because IBM has a number of hardware platforms to support, IBM tends to make a market for their technology well in advance of a viable product being shipped." "IBM eventually delivers a robust system that can be used for enterprise-wide deployment." "If you are an Oracle DB shop and your basic SOA system Use Case revolves around integration with disparate data sources, Oracle Fusion Middleware appears to be a solid platform." "Oracle is now in position to acquire several of the more nimble SOA pure-plays in order to augment and complete its SOA offering."