I was recently doing some research into the latest state of play in the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) market, and decided to take a look at Microsoft’s ESB – or rather its pretend ESB.
I had never been sure about Microsoft and SOA- it tends to focus instead on BizTalk and the Microsoft world. However, recently I have heard a lot of encouraging noises from Microsoft about its belief in SOA, and how it sees BizTalk as a key component in an SOA architecture for application design and deployment. But I must admit I had not realized that Mircosoft gave any credence to the ESB concept.
With an element of hope I delved into Microsoft’s ESB stuff – only to be disappointed to discover it is not an ESB product at all, but ‘ESB Guidance’, a collection of samples, templates and artifacts to deliver ESB functionality. In essence, Microsoft does not yet acknowledge the existence of the ESB class of product, preferring instead to take the old IBM line of a few years back pretending that an ESB is a style of implementation rather than a product. However, I thought, this doesn’t really matter as long as Microsoft offers ESB functionality, however it packages it.
But then sad reality dawned. Microsoft ESB Guidance is not even supported. It is a collection of samples and pieces offered on an ASIS basis, take it or leave it. Use it if you like, but don’t come to us with any issues or problems. How disappointing. See the Microsoft Guidance notes –
The Microsoft ESB Guidance for BizTalk Server R2 is a guidance offering, designed to be reused, customized, and extended. It is not a Microsoft product. Code-based guidance is shipped “as is” and without warranties.
So, it looks like Microsoft isn’t really on the ESB bandwagon yet. The new release of BizTalk Server this year may introduce a ‘real’ ESB, but at this point in time Microsoft appears to be paying lip-service to SOA compliance, but not actually doing much about it.