In the digital age, service-oriented architecture (SOA) has become popular. There are many companies and organizations that build their entire systems upon SOA (i.e., businesses reuse their existing software in new applications). Enterprise service bus (ESB) tools are needed to allow seamless integration within the existing architecture.
These tools became the go-to solution for improving business functionality as they are designed to make the integration process more simple and easy. ESB solutions are highly agile solutions that save a lot of time as businesses introduce new elements into existing IT infrastructure. In fact, these tools can optimize businesses' existing systems and allow you to get more out of the applications that are already in use.
This guide will give you a glimpse of the enterprise service bus landscape so that you can better understand which choice is right for your organization.
Here’s what we'll cover:
What is enterprise service bus software?
Enterprise service bus (ESB) software acts as a middleware platform to allow applications to communicate and transfer data within a service-oriented architecture (SOA).
ESB tools also facilitate secure data transfers between internal components or between computers and they have the ability to add new data capabilities to applications that already exist. These tools are helpful in integrating data between complex IT systems as well as managing system configurations for IT departments.
A view of data integration flows in Integrator Software (Source)
Common features of enterprise service bus software
|Enterprise service bus
||Integrates miscellaneous applications on a bus framework.
|Data source connectors
||Acts as a switch to connect one system to another or to big data sources.
|Electronic data interchange
||Transfers documents in specific, standardized formats from computer to computer.
|Enterprise application integration
||Facilitates communication between multiple applications.
|Enterprise integration patterns (EIP)
||Helps businesses design and build distributed applications, or integrates existing applications via 65 integration patterns.
||Identifies which applications need to exchange data and enables these data connections.
||Routes, monitors, and controls messages exchanged between services.
What type of buyer are you?
Before purchasing an ESB solution, you should assess what kind of a buyer you are. The majority of buyers fall into these categories:
- Small and midsize businesses: Small and midsize businesses typically have a less complex IT environment as they use fewer software applications. They also often lack an extensive IT workforce and budget. If you fall under this category, look for an ESB vendor that has the capability to provide hybrid integration (be it cloud to cloud, on-premise to cloud, or on-premise to on-premise integration), codeless integration, and automation interfaces. This kind of cloud adoption approach reduces the dependency on one cloud service provider, which ultimately helps you reduce operational costs.
- Large businesses: Generally, large businesses have complex IT environments and thus require integration with a wide variety of applications. These users produce a large amount of data in different formats and would benefit from being able to view these in a single dashboard. If you're a large-business buyer, look for a solution that seamlessly integrates with other applications and provides robust security over data flow, data transformation capabilities, and customizability of the connectors.
Benefits of enterprise service bus software
Below is a list of benefits you can expect from deploying an ESB system:
- Better productivity: ESB solutions communicate with different applications and transfer data so your IT team does not need to switch between systems to look for the information they need.
- User friendly: Prebuilt connectors are easy to use and save time as they don't require coding. This allows even non-technical users to integrate applications.
- Ease of integration: ESB solutions allow you to integrate data in real time. This way you can gather knowledge about your business as transactions occur and quickly detect any fraudulent activity.
With so many ESB solutions on the market, choosing the best fit for your business is very important. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when choosing an ESB provider:
- Ease of use: Choose a product that is simple and easy to learn and understand. This includes an intuitive user interface, user-friendly portals, and easy configuration for data auditing.
- Deployment: While evaluating ESB software for your business, be sure to look for a product that aligns with the deployment method of your other systems. There are solutions that offer hybrid deployment options (i.e. on-premise, private, or public cloud). This would be a right choice for users looking to integrate on different processors.
- Scalable architecture: Due to growing IoT (internet of things) requirements, scalable architecture in an ESB solution will allow you to increase and handle more complex data integrations. The software should support a host of connectors that you may need in the future when you decide to deploy more applications.
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.