Enterprise Service Bus for Building Integrated Enterprises

Enterprise Service Bus for Building Integrated Enterprises

M. Antonia Martínez-Carreras, Francisco J. García-Jiménez, Antonio F. Gómez-Skarmeta
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0146-8.ch028
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Lately, the building of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) where different legacy-applications may interoperate between them has gained the focus of business research. In this sense, the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), and particularly the utilization of Web services standards, has attracted the attention of several researchers and practitioners for implementing the needs of EAI. More concretely, the emergence of Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) has brought a layer for favouring the mediation, transformation, and thus, the communication between these diverse applications, services, or business processes in a decoupled way. Indeed, the ESB technology integrates a wide range of current technologies and business standards. The aim of this chapter is to offer the design and necessities of Future Business Environments comparing how open ESBs fulfils these requirements. Furthermore, this chapter compares six of the most well-known open ESBs considering the characteristics provided in the design of Future Business Environments.
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Nowadays the utilization of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is an important trend in current Enterprises for increasing interoperability between different systems and legacy applications. The main purpose of this architecture is to allow the building of coarse-grained components and loosely coupled frameworks. Through this communication of services, interoperability can be achieved fulfilling some of the needs of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). The main purpose of EAI is to “integrate applications systems that are designed for different business functions” (Deng et al, 2008), providing in turn, new business processes and services and allowing the cooperation between them with the aim of fulfilling some objectives in the organization.

One of the leading technologies for implementing SOA are those based on WS-* standards such as SOAP, WSDL and WS-BPEL (Erl, 2005). Furthermore, the Web Service Business Process Execution Language (WS-BPEL), also known as BPEL, emerged with the aim of enabling the service composition.

According to Beimborn and Joachim (2010) the study of SOA has been carried out during several years, however researchers have started recently to investigate about the impact of SOA in the performance with regards to enterprises. Moreover, with the aim of obtaining the benefits of SOA effectively, organizations are currently using the approach of the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) (Ortiz, 2007).

Considering the definition of Chappell (2004) “an ESB is a standards-based integration platform that combines messaging, web services, data transformation, and intelligent routing to reliably connect and coordinate the interaction of significant numbers of diverse applications across extended enterprises with transactional integrity”. Therefore, what ESB provides to SOA is the communication layer and integration logic between the client and server modules (Papazoglou and van den Heuvel, 2007). In this line, Fulton (2009) stated that “an ESB is usually the core infrastructure for SOA”. Indeed, ESB improves the ability to change between different implementations of the technology infrastructure without affecting to the business layer (Beimborn and Joachim, 2010). In fact, ESB provides some fundamental functions such as support of multiple protocols (HTTP; SOAP, REST, JMS) and data transformation or message routing.

With regards to the building of integrated business systems there exists several works (Bagheri et al., 2007; Beimborn and Joachim, 2010; Du et al., 2008) which indicate the benefits of using message broker architectures for communicating the different services, applications or resource in the enterprise, and additionally some of them point to the use of ESB as the core for the integration of the disparate applications and resources managed by the enterprises.

Such is the relevance of this technology that several ESB platforms have appeared concerning both commercial, such as IBM WebSphere Message Broker (WebSphere ESB), TIBCO Business Work (TIBCO Business Works) or Oracle ESB (Oracle ESB), and open-source implementations, such as Fuse ESB (FuseESB), Mule (MuleESB), Petals (Petals ESB), JBoss ESB (JBoss ESB), WSO2 ESB (WSO2 ESB) or OpenESB (OpenESB). Due to the fact that some business and research is based on open source systems, our chapter is centered on them. All the above-mentioned ESB products manage different kinds of technologies for transforming, integrating or delivering information on it. Thus, the choice of different ESB products influences in the developments or integrations carried out on it (García-Jimenez, Martinez-Carreras & Gomez-Skarmeta, 2010).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Business Intelligence (BI): Techniques used for identifying, extracting, analyzing data generated in the business environment with the aim of obtaining knowledge from the events occurred in the organizations. Some of these techniques consist on the application of data mining algorithms to the amount of information generated in the business.

Future Business Environments: Business platforms which provides key features for achieving interoperability between the different resources, applications or services connected in them, providing as well features such as BPM, BRE, monitoring and Business Intelligence.

Enterprise Application Integration (EAI): This term refers to the process for creating architectures and principles for the integration of diverse applications or resources belonging to business area.

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA): SOA is an architecture that follows a set of design principles in order to facilitate system development and integration. Essentially it consists of a collection of loosely-integrated services where these services may communicate with each other.

Business Rule Engine (BRE): This term describes a platform for managing the rules which governs the requirements of organizations, affecting to all the applications and resources in the organization, including business processes.

Enterprise Service Bus (ESB): Standard based platform for the integration of diverse applications, resources or services. This integration is carried out due to this platform provides capabilities for transforming, mediating and routing messages between the different resources integrated in this platform.

Business Process Management (BPM): Discipline for the design and implementation of business processes. These business processes are composed by a set of activities that are executed in a logical order and which provides an added-value to the different stakeholders of any organization adopting it.

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