I’ve just wrapped up creating a 20-plus page enterprise service bus (ESB) evaluation framework. The framework presents criteria with required (and suggested) capabilities in 6 areas:
- Integration Scenarios. Integration scenarios represent the functional requirements for the enterprise service bus. Specifically, the types of scenarios you can deliver, the types of resources you can connect, and the building blocks (integration patterns, integration services) provided to facilitate scenario delivery.
- Design, Development and Deployment. Design, development, and deployment looks at how you deliver integration scenarios. This includes tools for integration providers, integration consumers, and testers. Feeding the integrations tools is a repository.
- Management and Monitoring. Management needs to occur on two levels: the integration scenario (application) level and the ESB infrastructure (systems) level. Monitoring needs to occur on three levels: the integration scenario, the ESB infrastructure, and the business level.
- Architecture. The objectives of the architecture evaluation are to understand how the ESB works, its fit in the target (your) environment, and with your architecture. To do this, you need to look at the ESB’s organization, the interoperability of its parts, deployment environment requirements, enterprise infrastructure dependencies (and conflicts), and its capabilities for quality of service and quality of protection. In addition, to provide insight on architectural direction fit, look at the architectural premise of the solution––in other words, what are the ESB creator’s views on the challenges of integration and the future of services?
- Product Viability. Product viability criteria consider the business aspects of enterprise service buses and their suppliers.
- Company Viability. A company’s history and current financial statistics are key markers for its future viability.
Anyone who has ever evaluated and purchased software knows this is an important tool to have, but a drag to create. So, since I did the work, and it’s available free, I want other people to use it. (Re-use is good).
Feel free to download the ESB evaluation framework from the PSGroup site, pick out the criteria that are important to you, and ask vendors how their capabilities match up.
In all cases, try before you buy!