Essential Functionalities and Extraordinary Capabilities of ESB Demystified
Complexity runs rampant in enterprise IT.
18:37 12 August 2020
Though technological solutions can introduce complexity in the system, surely they are the standalone catalyst for change. For example, Enterprise Service Bus (ESB). Though it appears complicated, it can play a significant role in executing several key functions that assist the developer in application integration.
Fundamentally, ESB is an architecture that is specially designed to integrate applications over a bus-like infrastructure.
An Enterprise service bus is placed between the framework as well as a suite, and it is responsible for performing application integration with ease and precision. It acts as a middleware tool that divides tasks among components that make up an application.
ESB application integration architecture is meant to do a number of tasks, such as:
- Connection to the “bus”
- Data transformation
- A blanket way to move tasks
- Other integration capabilities
The idea of ESB was introduced to dodge the impact of point-to-point integration, which becomes brittle and hard to manage as time passes. So, the primary reason why point-to-point integration needs replacement is that it results in a complex, unscalable custom integration code, “spaghetti code” that is hard to manage.
ESBs are primarily designed to simplify the mess that can arise when a lot of formats whether services, mainframes, applications, etc. want to integrate with each other. It has a unique way of functioning. For better understanding, take a look at its two most essential functionalities.
- It encompasses a set of switches, which allows a direct message to be sent on a specific route between applications and components.
- Enterprises have a unique business policy that determines which way the ESB will take these messages.
Anything that is connected to an enterprise service bus, whether a client or a process, do not communicate directly but via a bus. ESB offers a single point of access that evades disruption and complexity. In addition, when companies communicate with their clients and business processes using an ESB, they have access to a single location. So, if a process switches servers, one needs to reconfigure the ESB.
ESB architecture functions as a transaction manager to boot. Meaning, companies can use it to coordinate distributed transactions. When a multitude of business processes as well as services work in unison while a transaction takes place, a configuration is needed to coordinate the transaction. One can employ an ESB to get past with this need and handle the transaction smoothly.
Additionally, an enterprise service bus functions as a security manager. It centralizes processes including authorization and authentication to save organizations from the risk of a breach or theft.
ESB also works as a service proxy. It functions as a gateway for applications that aren’t exposed to a standardized service interface. For example, suppose an application exposes a JAVA RMI service and the rest of the network runs on .NET, it is clear that RMI service cannot be connected directly. In such cases, ESBs can act as service proxy servers that expose a web service interface including SOAP and WSDL to .NET applications.
Practical Uses of ESB
ESB application integration architecture allows companies perform different tasks if it is used correctly. Its core functionalities include:
Decoupling: This one of kind capability of ESB revolves around the decoupling of clients from service providers.
Transport Protocol Conversion: ESB enables users to accept one input protocol and communicate with a different service provider albeit the service provider is on a separate protocol.
Message Enhancement: ESB also allows users isolate clients while they are busy making some general changes to messages.
Message Transformation: ESB enables user transform messages into desiredformats and structures.
Apart from these capabilities, enterprise service bus architecture offers another feature called security. It provides security against unauthorized access, improving quality and integrity greatly.
Grease the Wheels of Success with an ESB
Now, that you are aware of ESB and its uses, you must know how to pick the one that suits your business the most. Though the features that you want will mostly depend on your requirements, there are some common integral ones, such as routing, message transformation, protocol transformation, message enhancement, service mapping, message processing, service orchestration, transaction management, and security, that one needs to run an enterprise efficiently.