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An enterprise service bus (ESB) is a centralized, logical, architectural component that operates in a distributed, heterogeneous environment to facilitate the requirements of a highly scalable, fault-tolerant, service-messaging framework. An ESB acts as an open and implementation-independent service messaging and interfacing model that isolates application code from the specifics of routing services and transport protocols, and allows substitution of service implementations as needed.
An ESB acts as a shared messaging layer for connecting applications and other services throughout an enterprise computing infrastructure. It supplements its core asynchronous messaging backbone with intelligent transformation and routing to ensure messages are passed reliably. Services participate in the ESB using either Web services messaging standards or Java Message Service (JMS). Originally defined by analysts at Gartner, ESB is increasingly seen as a core component in a service-oriented infrastructure.
In this article, I discuss the open source ESB ServiceMix and its relationship to the Java Business Integration specification.
The minimum requirements of an ESB, as a message delivery system, are often referred to by the acronym TRANS, which defines an ESB as a software entity that does the following:
The Java Business Integration (JBI) specification and API defines a platform for building enterprise-class ESBs using a pluggable, service-based design. JBI builds on the TRANS foundation with normalized messages and component-based interactions.
JBI is a specification and an API for a normalized messaging service along with a component framework and management model for deploying integration services such as routing engines, rule engines, and transformation services. A JBI-based design specifies a standards-based pluggable architecture with a JVM-based runtime component called the normalized message router (NMR).
The high-level interactions of JBI can be seen in Figure 1 below.
Figure 1. High-level view of JBI. Click on thumbnail to view full-sized image.
JBI embodies a messaging model based on Web Services Description Language (WSDL) for easy mapping to Web services, HTTP, email, and JMS. JBI integrates with legacy systems, binary transports, document-oriented transports, and RPC (remote procedure call) systems.
Figure 1's binding components deal with protocol-oriented relationships and components. And service-engine components in JBI support content-based routing, orchestration, rules, transformations, custom augmentation, etc.
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