Thus, an overview of the various available alternatives will be given including a small practical insight. Almost every vendor of proprietary integration products, such as IBM and Oracle, offers a solution for every conceivable function. Regarding open source alternatives, in particular the Unified Platform of Talend and the WSO2 Platform are worth mentioning, because they also offer complete suites. Besides, several alternatives concentrate solely on ESB. It is a component of Oracle Fusion Middleware OFM stack, which according to the definition of this article is an integration suite.
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Thus, an overview of the various available alternatives will be given including a small practical insight. Almost every vendor of proprietary integration products, such as IBM and Oracle, offers a solution for every conceivable function. Regarding open source alternatives, in particular the Unified Platform of Talend and the WSO2 Platform are worth mentioning, because they also offer complete suites.
Besides, several alternatives concentrate solely on ESB. It is a component of Oracle Fusion Middleware OFM stack, which according to the definition of this article is an integration suite. The tools are very powerful and stable.
Graphical editors exist for most products. Support is also available for most conceivable service level agreements. If these powerful and SLAs are really needed, you are on the right side with Oracle.
This power comes at a price of course. The high complexity of the products should not be underestimated. Besides, you should be aware of high licensing and support costs plus a non-transparent pricing model. The products are proprietary and come from multiple acquisitions made by Oracle over time. Therefore different codebases are used, and different products often need different development tools. The sum of the downloads can quickly exceed 20 Gb.
The installation is tedious and can occasionally move over several days - even for a simple installation on your laptop. The products are rather heavy. Resource requirements at runtime are very high. The conclusion of this section is therefore that proprietary integration suites can offer almost every conceivable function and cover almost all SLAs. However, many of these functionalities or SLAs are not required in most projects.
In this case, be sure to also evaluate open source alternatives. The most important ones are described in the next sections.
It has a lot of qualities in common with the other previously mentioned open source ESBs. These include a very simple "one click" installation and intuitive, Eclipse-based tooling. Usually, open source ESBs are very lightweight and extensible solutions. Apart from the free open source version, a commercial enterprise version is available.
This offers additional functionality and support for the product. Even vendors of open source software have to make money and cannot develop products and offer support free of charge. However, the prices are much more customer friendly and not based on obscure price lists as most proprietary products. Nevertheless, the open source version can be used even in production without any licensing costs. Often, however, the open source version simply serves for playing around or doing a proof of concept to later upgrade to the enterprise version with additional features and support.
Important advantages in contrast to frameworks like Apache Camel or Spring Integration are the graphical editors for an efficient implementation of integration scenarios and the available connectors for B2B products such as SAP or Salesforce. However, the functionality of a suite is missing in Mule ESB. For such use cases, the ESB has to be combined with products from other vendors. Negative aspects of Mule ESB are the small community, a restrictive licensing model and limited availability of the source code.
Competitors have significant advantages at this. As a result, a great community is already secured from the ground up. The development environment is based on Eclipse and very intuitive. Fuse ESB is contained in the current road map and will continue to be supported.
Here, other open source vendors have already achieved better results. All components are open source and freely available. The enterprise version offers additional features and support. The difference to proprietary products is that all the partial components are based on the same code base and the same tooling is used everywhere.
All tooling of the Talend suite is built on Eclipse. The familiar "look and feel" and the intuitive use of Eclipse remain. Talend offers a visual designer for all product parts and uses a "zero-coding" approach.
This allows an efficient implementation of integration scenarios. Of course, you can still write and integrate custom logic to your project, e. You should not install Talend on a too weak laptop. Another disadvantage is missing SOA governance features. This is planned for next releases.
The entire WSO2 platform can be installed very easily and offers a lightweight, Eclipse-based development studio. Besides Talend, WSO2 is the only vendor that offers a full suite that is based on a single code base and a single development environment. Therefore, nothing stands in the way for an iterative development process, beginning with a small couple of features, and by adding more functionality later step-by-step.
A weakness is the graphical tooling. It supports all components of the platform, but it is not as intuitive to use as the tooling of its competitors.
A warning to the conclusion: The combination of several frameworks or products to build your own custom integration suite is usually unnecessary expensive and leads to many additional pitfalls. Since several solutions already exist, it is strongly discouraged to create one from various pieces. Vendors usually just refer to the other side, i.
So why should you care about all of these problems if other people have already cared, and an entire stack also open source is already available? Conclusion There is no silver bullet to solve integration problems. First, a decision must be made whether a framework is sufficient.
Be aware that most of the source code must be written by yourself, and tooling and support is scarce. Otherwise, an ESB is the better choice. However, if any additional features of a suite are required at some point later, it would be better to use the ESB of an integration suite from the beginning.
This secures sustainability without any problems and additional expense for the combination of multiple products. If an ESB or integration suite should be used, it must be decided whether a proprietary or open source product is a better choice. Proprietary solutions provide all possible features and strong support. However, this also leads to higher costs and a perceived higher complexity.
Contrary, open source solutions score with lower cost, ease of use and flexibility. Once this issue is settled, a shortlist can be created to evaluate the alternatives in detail.
It is strongly recommended to perform a proof of concept before making a final decision. Ensure that your team will implement this prototype from the first installation to final deployment and monitoring , and not just the consultants of the vendor. Your team will have to install the product in the future alone and implement the integration problems independently of any consultants which may not be available.
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Enterprise Integration with WSO2 ESB
An enterprise service bus ESB is a bus-like architecture that helps integrate diverse applications and services in an enterprise. It incorporates a messaging engine, data integration and routing capabilities, web services, and analytics capabilities. One of the easiest integration platforms for the integration of applications, data, and systems is WSO2 Enterprise Integrator. This integration platform consists of a centralized integration ESB with data integration, process integration, and B2B integration capabilities. This ESB can be used to manage both short-running, stateless integration flows and long-running, stateful integration processes. Its analytics capabilities provides comprehensive monitoring and even enables you to run microservices for your integration flows.
Compare IBM Integration Bus vs. WSO2 Enterprise Integrator