Microsoft ESB and OSLO

Today I browse around some RSS feeds about BizTalk and came across two interesting things. First I interesting thing I found was a discussion on MSDN about ESB Guidance for BizTalk Server. I recently wrote an article together with Wouter Goedvriend about ESB Guidance package to be publish hopefully in Dutch Software Release Magazine coming fall. We posted a question: Is Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) a well known (super)pattern and if so in which scenario's does one apply it? On linked-in we got a couple of answers back. These were as follows:

"My understanding of the concept of an ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) is that it is a way to bring all of the technologies within a company, entity, or enterprise together. Depending on the magnitude of what that could encompass, it *could* mean a simple product that "maps" everything together.Usually, though, it is a way -- and therefore, an architectural pattern as you stated -- to bring all of the different softwares, databases, and knowledge within an entity together to allow mutual communication..."

"...ESB by itself doesn't provide any business value as explained very nicely by Bobby Woolf, it is a capabaility you must have to implement an SOA strategy. Especially when services you are enabling are over many disparate legacy systems..."

"The most important concept is that an ESB is a architecture pattern (mostly related with SOA technologies) and not a tool.”

"As a bus, the ESB is primarily a routing pattern, although, most of the market is selling it as a messaging exchange pattern. The concept of the bus is an abstraction for invocation of services based on either content or endpoint semantics. The value is mediation of service invocation interfaces from the business process, thus simplifying their creation..."

If you talk about capabilities we like Richard Seroter/Leonid Ganeline states in this discussion are:

• Message transformation
• Message routing (often on subject/itinerary or content)
• Quality of service and reliable delivery
• Message validation
• Environment/application adapters
• Support for a variety of communication patterns (pub/sub, sync/async, etc)
• Service aggregation
• Rich web services support
• Unified error handling
• Unified message format

And most vendors offer these capabilities even Microsoft with their ESB Guidance Package. Which is a toolset to be used to implement a full ESB solution or take some components out of this package like error management. But I also agree with Richard that ‘full ESB solution’ is open to interpretation. Very interesting discussion and it probably will go on for a long time. I do think that providing guidance like Microsoft by giving a toolset for implementing an ESB or just extended capabilities of BizTalk Server is a good thing. By providing this package makes product evolve to a platform to create different solutions (based on business need and criteria) with different deployments with the product.

The other interesting thing I found was bloggers guide for Oslo by Alan Smith. It has not much content yet, but that will surely change as PDC starts. Read this interview to learn more. That’s it, now I going to listen to Metallica’s new album ‘Death Magnetic’ again.

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