Next Generation ESB – The Internet Service Bus

Microsoft made available the first version of it’s Bitzalk Services as Community Technical Preview (CTP).
Biztalk Services serve as the basis for the next generation ESB the so called Internet Service Bus (ISB).
Unlike the name suggests it is not dependent on Biztalk Server.

The ISB offers functionality in the following areas:
– Identity management
– Connectivity
– Workflow

It supports point-to-point and relayed connections to improve performance.

Why ISB?

Quote:”The name Enterprise Service Bus reflects the historical focus of ESBs within the enterprise. But as business requirements expand to include interconnectivity between enterprises, and as enterprises factor out portions of their information systems to hosted “solutions, traditional ESB approaches become inadequate.

Microsoft offers the ISB infrastructure as a hosted service that helps to get started with the technology within no time.

Although it seems to be a good idea to have an internet wide service bus, it raises questions that have to be answered before this technology will be accepted.

– How reliable is this infrastructure? As reliable as the internet itself?
– Will it be a free service? What are the costs?
– Does my organization accept the Microsoft dependency? Especially for B2B connectivity?
– How can my organization integrate it’s own security profiles?

Nevertheless the idea of having an internet wide bus infrastructure is interesting and worth to keep an eye on.

Microsofts ESB Offering

If you asked IT professionals about Microsofts offerings in the area of Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) you did not get an answer.
It is not that they had nothing to offer it just seemed that Microsoft did not think that from a marketing perspective it was the right strategy to sell an ESB as a product.
But in fact with Biztalk Server they had the infrastructure whose functionality would be best described as ESB functionality (adapters, message subscription, content based routing, transformation, etc…).
The strategy changed now as Microsoft offers ESB Guidance.
It comprises guidance, components and services that allow to use Biztalk Server as a pure ESB.

Features are:
– Intelligent Routing
– Message Transformation
– Itinerary Processing
– Legacy and LOB Application Adaptation
– Service Orchestration
– Metadata Lookup
– Exception Management
– Distributed Deployment
– Centralized Management
– Business Rule Engine
– Business Activity Monitoring

After skimming through the documentation it seems that the EBS Guidance does not introduce any ground-breaking changes. It is more a description of Biztalk Server from the ESB perspective. It is an example of the modularity and extensibility of Biztalk Server.

Quote: “Many of these components and services rely on features implemented by BizTalk Server 2006, such as the Orchestration, Transformation, and Business Rules engines and the Message Box database.”

If someone asks today about Microsofts ESB offerings, the ESB Guidance is the place to look at.

Legacy Integration with JBI

In the article Integrating CICS with the Jbi4CICS Component Amedeo Cannone and Stefano Rosini describe how to integrate a CICS system using a JBI component.

To me it shows two things.

1. How standardization (JBI) helps to create reusable components.
2. The power of the modularization with clearly defined responsibilities.

The result is that you can integrate your legacy assets with minimal effort.

The Future of Java

In his newsletter What’s Next? Life After J2EE David Chappel writes down some interesting thoughts about the future of Java.

“…. Given this reality, what will the dominant Java application platform look like in the next few years? One possibility is that no leading choice will emerge, that JEE5 and Open SOA and various open source technologies will all gain a reasonable number of adherents. While technology fans might rejoice at this, enterprise decision makers

QuickModeler 2.1 released

When Visual Studio 2005 was released, I thought that there wouldn’t be the need for a reverse engineering class designer anymore. So I did not migrate QuickModeler to VS.NET 2005. But in the recent months I got many requests for this add-in. This is probably due to the fact that Visual Studio Express does not contain a class designer. So I decided to migrate it and finally it

Free BPEL 2.0 Designer

Active Endpoints, Inc., the leading provider of SOA orchestration products and services, today announced the availability of ActiveBPEL 3.0. The ActiveBPEL product family includes open source and commercial SOA orchestration solutions that are standards-compliant and platform-neutral, forming the foundation for fast, cost-effective business and systems integration. Among other important capabilities, ActiveBPEL 3.0 comprehensively supports the forthcoming WS-BPEL 2.0 standard, which will be officially published early in 2007.
The Eclipse based ActiveBPEL Designer is free.