The recently published two-part series “The benefits of lightweight integration” explores the approach that modern integration architectures are taking to ensure they can be as agile as the applications that they interconnect. The pattern of the centralized enterprise service bus (ESB) has served its purpose, and still has its place, but many enterprises are exploring a more containerized and decentralized approach to integration architecture.
- Part 1: The fate of the ESB explores the history of the ESB pattern in relation to subsequent technology advances. It looks at how and why the centralized ESB pattern arose in the era of service-oriented architecture (SOA), but also at the challenges that came as a result of it. It also considers where APIs fit into this picture and what relationship there is between all this and microservices architecture.
- Part 2: Moving to lightweight integration describes lightweight integration itself. It looks at how integration architecture can benefit from the technologies and principles behind microservices in order to ensure that new applications can perform the integration they need at the pace and scale of modern innovation. It also explores how integration could be more fundamentally decentralized in order to enable greater autonomy and productivity to lines of business.
A fair bit has been published on the lightweight integration topic already, and a regularly updated list is available on the lightweight integration – useful links page.
From a product standpoint, it is worth noting that it has been possible to run IBM Integration Bus in Docker containers for many years now, and since 2015 it has been fully supported in production. At IBM we have from the beginning used this as the basis for our managed service IBM Integration Bus on Cloud, the Enterprise plan (currently in Beta status) of the IBM Cloud App Connect service, and we use it internally to enable efficient parallelisation of our product testing. Furthermore, there are some significant refinements that we are putting into the next release of the product (under a new name IBM App Connect Enterprise ) that enable much deeper alignment with cloud native deployment and microservices principles.
There is plenty more to come too as we delve into the detail of the practicalities, and explore related new features in the integration portfolio. All of it will get a mention on this blog, so do ensure you’re subscribed for updates.