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Jason Bloomberg on ESB usage

Jason Bloomberg answers questions of ESB usage.

Can use of an ESB introduce a single-point of failure possibility for the enterprise? Sometimes? Often? Is it an implementation issue?

Yes, using an ESB can introduce a single point of failure, but that's like saying a circular saw can cut off your finger. Any powerful tool can be used improperly, but that's not necessarily the fault of the tool. The trick to using an ESB as part of a SOA initiative is to make sure the architecture drives the technology. It's more about knowing how to use the ESB -- and how not to use it -- than it is about whether or not to use the tool in the first place.

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The article @ http://thequintessentialinquisitor.blogspot.com/2012/07/esb-deployment-patterns-theory-in.html discusses the practical side of ESB deployment in details

The popularity of SOA and Cloud solutions has also helped ESB penetrate deeper into the enterprise architecture landscape. Not only does ESB enhance SOA and Cloud experience but it also helps address the security related concerns to a great extent, for entire enterprise/LOB by working in a “Brokered Authentication” pattern and becoming single point of authentication & authorization. Though the mechanism varies vastly between offerings and also between enterprises, the underlying principle remains the same.

However the advancements and refinement in the ESB products in last couple of decades do not necessarily guarantee higher ROI and lower TCO for the enterprises that chose to use ESB solutions. At the end of the day it all depends on how one deploys the ESB within the EA landscape and how the EA lays down the road-map for ESB within IT organization. Please remember that ESB is just a mean to more robust EA, just an enabler.