IBM: Model and build ESB SOA frameworks

Summary:  Application integration is the biggest challenge today for many enterprises. Building an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) is probably the quickest and most cost-effective way to address this challenge. In this article, you gain insight on ESBs, and how to model and construct ESB service-oriented architecture frameworks.

Capabilities of the Enterprise Service Bus

An Enterprise Service Bus exhibits these minimum, or mandatory, capabilities:

  • Communication
    Supports routing and addressing for at least one messaging style (such as request/response, or publish/subscribe), and at least one transport protocol that is or can be made widely available. This enables location transparency and service substitution, which enables the decoupling of the consumer view of services from their implementation.
  • Integration
    Supports several integration styles or adapters. It enables the provision of services based on these integration capabilities, and decouples technical aspects of service interactions and the integration of services in the enterprise.
  • Service interaction
    Supports an interface definition format and associated messaging model (such as WSDL and SOAP) to allow the decoupling of technical aspects of service interactions.
  • Management and autonomic
    Provides a consistent administration model across a potentially distributed infrastructure, including control over naming, routing, addressing, and transformation capabilities. This enables the management of services in the enterprise.


More advanced ESBs typically offer a number of additional value-added features, including:

  • Adapters, to enable connectivity to packaged and custom enterprise applications, as well as to leading technologies.
  • Service orchestration engines, to support both long-running (stateful) and short-running (stateless) processes.
  • Quality of service and service-level capabilities.
  • Presentation services, to enable the creation of personalized portals that aggregate services from multiple sources.

Typical architecture of an Enterprise Service Bus

The architecture of an ESB is centered on a bus. The bus provides message delivery services based on standards such as SOAP, HTTP, and Java™ Messaging Service (JMS). It is typically designed for high-throughput, guaranteed message delivery to a variety of service producers and consumers. The ESB enables the use of multiple protocols (such as synchronous and asynchronous) and performs transformation and routing of service requests. The ESB enables services to interact with each other based on the quality of service requirements of the individual transactions. It also supports different standards such as SOAP, XML, WSDL, JMS, J2EE, JAX-RPC, and so on.

Figure 2 illustrates component types that can connect to an ESB:

  • Custom applications, based on standards like J2EE and Struts, which plug into the ESB to provide a user interface to enterprise services.
  • Service orchestration engine, which hosts long running business processes, based on standards like Business Process Execution Language (BPEL).
  • Adapters, typically built to the Java Connector Architecture (JCA) specification, enable integration with a wide variety of enterprise applications.
  • Presentation and portals enable the creation of personalized portals that aggregate services from multiple sources.
  • Data services which provides real time view of data from heterogeneous data sources.
  • Web services provides a standard means of connectivity to legacy and proprietary integration technologies.

Figure 2. ESB architecture
ESB architecture



I am a technology and business consultant who provides state of the art software design services to rapidly growing and mature organizations using cutting edge technologies. Information Technology Professional with over 20 years of industry experience as a Software Architect/Lead Developer and Project Management Coach using service oriented (SOA/EIB) view of the software development process (Use Case/Story View, Class Design View, Database Design View, and Infrastructure View) and software design (Model-View-Controller based (MVC pattern/framework)). Coached PMs on various aspects of task and resource management and requirements tracking and tracing, and even filled in for PMs. Led teams of varying sizes mainly from the architect viewpoint: translating non-technical requirements into concrete, technical components and work units, identifying and creating reusable frameworks and design patterns, creating skeletal IDE projects with MVC wiring and config files, assigning app tiers or horizontal components to developers, making sure test team members have use cases and other work unit inputs to create an executable test/quality assurance plan, organizing meetings, ensuring enterprise standards and practices are adhered to, enforcing any regulatory and security compliance traceable from requirements/Solution Architecture Documents (SADs) all the way down to core classes in code, and so on Expertise includes designing and developing object-oriented, service/component-based software systems that are robust, high-performance and flexible for multiple platforms. Areas of specialization include Internet (business-to-business and business-to-consumer) e-commerce and workflow using Microsoft.NET technologies (up to current Visual Studio 2010/.Net Framework 4.0, MVC3/Razor View Engine, LINQ), TFS, Sharepoint 2007 (Task Mgmt, Build Script), Commerce Server 2007/2002 (basket and order pipeline), ASP.NET, ADO.NET, C#, Visual C++, Visual Basic.NET) and Java EE/J2EE, service oriented architecture (SOA) and messaging (MSMQ, MQSeries, SAP message handling) and more abstract enterprise service bus (ESB) designs, best patterns and practices, telecommunications and the offline processes of the enterprise. Provide detail estimates on budgets, guided design and development tasks with offshore teams, technical assessments of third party software tools and vendor selections, project/iteration planning and spring product backlogs, and level of effort for statements of work (including for offshore based development teams), including executive summary presentations as needed.

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Posted in ESB, General SOA
2 comments on “IBM: Model and build ESB SOA frameworks
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