Why ESBs are your answers to integration and connectivity drawbacks

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In the modern industrial context, connecting systems and processes has become a key business imperative today. Within this interconnecting scope comes the complexity which can often cause havoc on enterprises if remained unchecked. However, validating if something is complex or not isn’t necessarily a standalone justification for change, what matters is whether or not these interconnected systems and processes run the way that they should. Therefore, the technologies that facilitate this integration are fast emerging as the No.1 priority for most enterprises.

Introducing Enterprise Service Bus: 

The recent rise in utilizing an Enterprise Service Bus or ESB has taken its peak with the increase in demand for application integrations across organizations. As of 2020, it was estimated that the ESB market was valued at USD 0.8 billion and is expected to reach USD 1.2 billion by 2026 with a Cumulative Annual Growth Rate of 7.05%. As of now, North America has taken the leading role as the largest market for ESB utilization, while Asia Pacific has been considered as the fastest growing market with End-user industries such as IT, Telecom, Healthcare, and BFSI utilizing this platform.

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Source: Mordor Intelligence

Enterprise Service Bus – a brief explanation: 

In comparison to a P2P architecture, an ESB can eliminate a number of pain points a P2P provides. In order to understand the concept of an ESB, it is better to first recognize its predecessor, Point to Point or better known as P2P.

In the context of P2P, the applications recognize one another exclusively, which means the applications recognize each other’s data models and capabilities. These tightly coupled applications would seem fine if they were between a small number of applications. However, as the number of applications scales up, the infrastructure becomes delicate, difficult to maintain and thereby prone to failure. The primary reason behind this is due to its everchanging infrastructure style whenever new applications are introduced which becomes very complex in the long run. The real value of ESB architectures shows the limelight by eliminating these P2P pain points.

An ESB is a standardized integration, which consists of a combination of messaging, web services, data transformation, and routing, that would coordinate the interaction of heterogeneous applications through a bus-like infrastructure. In simple terms, the applications are indirectly connected through the ESB, rather than being directly connected to one another. The ESB is responsible for all the embedded logics for distributing information across an enterprise quickly and ensuring the smooth delivery of information.

This in turn benefits the scope for a flexible integration, thereby eliminating the need for custom coding and providing a centralized management of application communication.

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P2P Architecture

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ESB Architecture

What to expect:

As industries scale up towards the demand for effective application integrations, there are factors to be considered when implementing an ESB to an organization as most enterprises are now driven by the form of cloud adoption. This in turn, facilitates in expanding channels, as well as improved access to client data, allowing for better tailored engagements and services. Furthermore, given the current context in the rise of online engagements (online adoption within healthcare, retail and BFSI has risen to an all-time high), organizations are required to provide efficient solutions with minimum effort that would result in faster time to market.

In order to cater to these demands, ESBs are required to be beneficial based on 3 main concepts.

  1. Efficiency – How easily can the applications be integrated with the ESB. Furthermore, how effectively do the applications communicate with one another through the mediation of the ESB.
  2. Better user experience – This would define how effectively developers could create endpoints with minimal effort. An approach to low code/no code will be the new normal for platforms such as ESBs that are usually recognized for its demand for developers with certain technical skill sets.
  3. Cost – Given the current pandemic, organizations are searching for the most cost-effective ways of producing solutions within a reduced time to market.

With the rising development of IoT projects, the growth of connected devices will only keep increasing. These connected devices may present numerous integration and messaging challenges. Thus, organizations will have to invest in efficient application integration solutions that checks off the 3 concepts described above. Nevertheless, ESBs have proven to be useful to facilitate the transparency and sharing of services and processes across enterprises.

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