GCN Insider | Enterprise service bus products: Tale of two technologies

As service-oriented architectures generate ever more buzz, the market for enterprise service bus products is starting to heat up as well. An ESB begets an SOA, so the gurus tell us. Now one ESB vendor, Cape Clear Software of Waltham, Mass., has drawn a line, one that it says separates true ESB vendors (like, er, Cape Clear) from those that are merely re-branding their enterprise application integration (EAI) platforms as ESB solutions.

That line comes in the form of a helpful (and much-discussed) white paper, 'The Two Faces of ESB' [www.gcn.com, GCN.com/503]. In a nutshell, the EAI-oriented products provide a messaging layer for applications'or services in SOA speak'in order to exchange data. In contrast, true ESBs, according to Cape Clear, are structured around services. With ESB, you should be able to use not only an EAI-based messaging but other communications protocols as well.

'Message-centric vendors such as Sonic [Software Corp. of Bedford, Mass.] and Fiorano [Software Inc. of Los Gatos, Calif.] have taken to packaging their messaging implementation [sic] as an ESB,' the paper accuses. The advantage of Cape Clear's approach is that you build services directly on its platform. So you deploy only one platform for your SOA, not two.

Of course, as always, you must find the software that most closely meets your requirements, not some third-party definition. Caveat emptor, as they say.

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