The Year of ESB-ability

Recently, I wrote about the ESB (enterprise service bus) maturing at a basic functionality level, and how the focus was swinging around to the ‘-abilities’ such as scalability, availability, usability, manageability, etc.

There is also a free paper on this subject, available from the Lustratus web store, available here.

I noticed my post generated a number of responses from various people. These were all on a theme which I found quite amusing. The accusation was that ESBs are NOT mature – but the posts then went on to demonstrate exactly what I was saying. Take, for example, the illustrious Jame McGovern’s excellent blog on Enterprise Architecture. In his wrap-up of links for 2007-08-05. James discusses my post :

Another industry analyst gets it twisted by stating: the ESB concept has matured, the functionality checklists are of less value – everyone ticks most of the boxes which holds true if you decide to ignore enterprise security considerations.

David failed to consider more carefully what I said about basic ESB functionality. My point was that now that ESBs in general can support the basic functions of an ESB – pass messages from component to component with mediation services available in-flight for enrichment etc, support key standards such as web services etc – that attention is turning to the functionality surrounding these basic operations. That is, the characteristics and all those functions to actually make the thing usable in a production environment. If David had gone on to read the Lustratus paper I referenced, he would have seen that security was classified as an honourary ‘ability’ and is indeed one of the types of functions that people are now demanding.

Other posters fell into the same trap. So, I think we are actually all in riotous agreement. I may not agree with the next bit of David’s post about the need to support such standards as SPML, XACML and WS-Federation, but that is largely because I can never keep up with the stream of new standards, and as most people know who read this blog regularly, I have a highly cynical view to many standards – particularly to WS ones outside of the obvious and more mature ones, as I outlined in my post on WS-Madness.


Posted in enterprise service bus, esb, Imported, Industry trends, SOA.