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Thursday, August 11, 2005

ESB's -Past,Present & Future

Jason Stamper writing on the ESB technology origin highlights Roy Schulte's view that Candle's Roma product of 1998 that is the ESB's "most direct ancestor", but that it was Sonic Software that coined the term. Candle was acquired by IBM in April 2004 - an irony that will not be lost on either Tibco or Sonic Software, since IBM has only recently begun to claim that it too has an ESB of its own - IBM's Steve Mills holds the view that IBM has been delivering ESB functionality for many years. Roy recollects that Tibco started with an enterprise message bus in 1990'S, not an enterprise service bus.Tibco’s products in the 1990s were supersets of the first ESBs in many respects but their lack of web services support meant that Tibco had a subset of an ESB in some respects, but TIBCO today has a superset of ESB. Competition is getting stiffer by the day in the ESB space. With ESBs thought to play a key enabling role as the foundation for service oriented architecture or SOA - which is itself expected to be one of the most important trends in enterprise IT over the next decade -several want to claim pioneer status in this space. Dennis Howlett sees the role of ESB's differently and points out that:
- Firstly ESBs are a departmental solution that, cannot be meaningfully compared to an enterprise integration platform of the kind sold by TIBCO, IBM and others. There is no sensible cost/benefit comparison because the two solutions are fundamentally different.
- Second, ESBs are NOT the foundation for a service oriented architecture but a component.
- Finally, the ESB is yet to make any appreciable inroads into the enterprise integration market
The integration vendors are often solving some of the world's most challenging integration problems as most of their customers are using enteprise integration as a pathway to differentiated performance, and identifies companies like FedEX, Harrahs, BP, Vodafone, Fidelity, BBC, Associated News, Astra Zeneca, Pirelli, Audi etc who are using complex integration solutions to derive differentiated advantage.Each of these highly complex organizations has a USP/IP that cannot be readily replicated and these are accomplished by buying best-in-class solutions to each of their problems and then tying them together using an integration framework. He highlights that similar sucess stories need to come out from the ESB camp.I definitely feel that the ESB players shall have a good role to play in the emerging SOA landscape.

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