Enterprise Initiatives

This blog focuses on Enterprise IT topics such as Enterprise Architecture, Portfolio Management, Change Management, Business Process Management, and recaps various technology events and news.

A colleague of mine uses a great analogy to explain the purpose of an ESB (Enterprise Service Bus). He starts by reminding us of how PCs work. The PCI Local Bus within the PC is a high speed channel for providing a centralized mechanism for connecting multiple hardware components within a PC. Without the bus, the inside of your PC would look like a spider web of wires with each component having to connect to all other components. The following diagram shows a simplified view of a PCI local bus.

The ESB performs a similar function within a service oriented architecture (SOA). When architected correctly, the ESB becomes the centralized mechanism for controlling all messages and events that occur between the various layers of the architecture. The ESB centralizes security, routing, transformation, invocation, and service management. Look at the diagram below and see how it looks similar to the PCI local bus.

I have seen a lot more head nodding and a lot less glass eyes when using this analogy to explain the role of the ESB. Give it a try.


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