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Open for Business

Noam Tamarkin

ESB for small business

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Hello to the developers that also implement system integration,

This is your neighborly shop. It is a small business by any criteria.

Does it need integration?

It integrates to a Payment gateway for every Credit card payment.
It integrates weekly with the accounting system that it's accountant office recommended. The accounting system is even "On demand" that allows the Accounting office customers to work on it and upload data.
It would be nice to get electronic orders from business customers and from the web site this store has.
Let's stop here. The point is clear.

So where is the ESB? Why don't we sell millions of ESB's to small businesses?
The answer is simple, it is too expensive.
What is missing from the small business beside budget? What are the things that this business cannot afford?
  1. IT department
  2. Security expert
  3. System analyst
  4. Integration expert
So how this integration happens? Direct calls. The Internet is the middleware.
Small business integration enablement requires light and inexpensive solutions.
In most cases you could take out:
  • Publish/subscribe, because there is only a single subscriber.
  • A-synchronous communication, because it will handled by the other side or manually by files
  • Inbound messages, because there is not wish to expose the small business as a server and expose it to malicious attacks
So, what the small business does need in integration:
  1. Easy way to call web services
  2. Export data via web services or files
  3. Import data via web services or files

This is it for very small businesses from my point of view.

If you think differently, please comment.

Your truly,


1 Comment

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Have just got into the art of blogging and I noted this one with interest. It is my view that the concept of an ESB came from the larger vendors wanting to protect the crown jewels while showing an 'open' face to the world. In other words, if you implement our ESB, you can create services for anything but we will do the 'difficult' talking to the back end systems which are still expensive and proprietary because the larger vendors want them to stay that way.

If data and business logic can be delivered directly from the data source or using an existing piece of business logic, why stick an ESB in front ? Apart from the extra cost, in introduces complexity and an additional point of failure that is simply not necessary.

I would argue with your point that 'Small business integration enablement requires light and inexpensive solutions' in that I feel that any integration should be light and inexpensive :-) If I may be so bold as to refer you to a blog I recently wrote on the issue The Cost of Integration Software I believe it connects with a number of the points you have made above.

Best regards,

John Power - The SOA Gateway

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In this blog, Noam Tamarkin provides ideas for improving and better integrating your applications.

Noam Tamarkin

Senior software architect and CTO. Experience in solution design and implementation. Holds the ability to understand complex business processes and translate them to technology. Expert in Enterprise applications, integration, SOA, SaaS. Experienced in project management, technical infrastructure, procurement and manufacturing.


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