An Enterprise Service Bus or ESB standardizes the integration platform for coupling enterprise-wide applications. It empowers the SOA by reducing complexity and allows a business to focus on its core operations.
An Enterprise Service Bus or ESB is an architecture which unifies the communication capabilities between different systems and applications inside an organization. An ESB describes a set of rules and principles for integrating different applications for communication purposes through an underlying Bus-like infrastructure. It decouples different application from each other in order to understand the protocols and language followed during the transmission.
A point-to-point integration also serves the same purpose of an ESB, however, as the network size increases, managing a point-to-point integration approach becomes difficult. ESB, on the other hand, resolves this issue of management and also handles various functions. There are plenty of other advantages which enable an enterprise to effectively solve the compatibility issues between its workstations and its intra-network. Some of the advantages of deploying an ESB are:
- Routing: An ESB routes the data packets between services and application according to type of application or service. It also serves as a mediator, for routing the correct information to the correct service based on the type of content to be transmitted, version of the service or application or any other user-defined parameter.
- Support for complex Message Exchange Patterns (MEPs): ESB can support multiple message transfer protocols so as to improve the overall efficiency of the machine communication . From point to point connection type message transmission to broadcasting messages, different MEPs are supported in ESBs.
- Data transformation: Each node on the network need not to understand the standard message syntax instead each node or workstation can transport the data in its local format and the ESB will transform the data in the local format of to the destination.
- Standardization: Though each workstation uses its own syntax or format for data encapsulation and transportation, ESB unifies all these syntaxes to standardize the communication method inside an intranet. These assist in easy integration of applications services and system despite the standards they follow.
- Reliability: Fault tolerance, load balancing and high availability are efficiently handled using an ESB, making it a more reliable solution in enterprise network architecture. During any network failure condition, messages are redirected to a backup service provider which provides high availability of network for the users. During high traffic conditions, messages are distributed between the providers so as to balance the network traffic and load.
An ESB reduces the “time to market” for organizations in achieving agility and promotes the objective of implementing a simple, well-defined and “pluggable” system which can be scaled as the requirements change. Most of the ESBs are stateless so the state of the message is embedded into the message itself before passing it onto the bus for transportation.
The concept of ESB is an analogy of Bus architecture used in computer hardware with a component-based modular design for high performance. This allows different machines and applications to communicate without being dependent on each other so as to integrate the services they provide and improve the overall productivity of operations, collaboratively.