When to use the ESB

27.06.2018 Angelika Siczek

Before starting the implementation, define the most important issues and bottlenecks as well as analyze the current situation, make sure you check what kind of problems occur in the flow of information with the infrastructure currently in use. The basis of implementation is always a specific goal, which most often is to improve the flow of information allowing for better data presentation and analysis. The ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) is not only a mechanism for data transfer – the range of its use is much wider. On one hand, the data exchange bus introduces some flexibility in data transferring between systems, on the other hand, it allows for organization and a proper segmentation. However, the most important factor is its correct and well thought out implementation, otherwise, it can cause high maintenance and modification costs. Therefore, the planning stage is the most important and shouldn’t be overlooked. The correct description of goals, range and the method of data exchange will later affect the functioning of all the enterprise’s systems.


The most important thing in the ESB implementation is analysis and elaboration of the company’s information model, that shows what kind of information is created and stored as well as where is the duplicated data being used. At the next stage, systematization of the process is necessary along with a description of users’ access. Additionally, the analysis should be backed by an optimization which allows for recognition of the enterprise’s actual problems and the discovery of unused and doubled functionalities. The whole analysis and preparation processes should result in the creation of documentation which with a proper level of maintenance and updating can work for us in the future for next optimization tasks.


In other words, the implementation of the ESB means linking many systems storing data for one project, that is responsible for the exchange of information between components. Although it may sound simple, data exchange implementation is a highly complex process. The integration requires creating specific adapters and API for every component subject to integration. During the planning stage, communication scenarios are created to define the future system structure. At the time of implementation, the most important thing is avoiding the architectural mess, which can be a result of lacking a coherent IT system. Therefore, it is important to carefully think everything through during buying or adding new components or applications to the IT system, otherwise, the implementation can be unreasonable.


The use of a large number of applications

The use of ESB makes the most sense in cases of a complicated IT system in an enterprise, when we are dealing with a large number of applications that have a diverse configuration, with many integrations and a developed data conversion. A particular reason of use can be having old systems that do not possess the proper interfaces for data exchange via modern systems e.g. SaaS.

Sharing data with external entities

The data exchange bus works great when you are sharing information with external entities or systems. Thanks to ESB we can effectively set up new interfaces for communication or share temporary ones. Adding the new service is quite quick and it is easier to control and modify it.

The necessity to integrate various IT systems

In the case of using one data exchange protocol, ESB implementation will not bring many advantages to the organization. To support a simple data exchange using protocols such as SOAP or REST it is usually not necessary to use such a complicated tool because the construction itself is not as complicated and is simple to implement. In cases where we use many different technologies, like JMS, or other protocols the communication becomes much more complicated. In such situation, implementation of the ESB should be considered. It will simplify the communication itself while lowering the costs and increasing the elasticity of the information exchange system.


It is one of the most important reasons to implement the bus. In cases where the system is not efficient, implementation of the bus allows to organize the data exchange structure and as a result lower the costs of system maintenance. It is important that the implementation of a solution was a result of a real need. It does not make sense to create solutions for the future. A project of new architecture should be created based on real processes existing at a given moment at an enterprise, working for the future can create unnecessary costs and a system in which a big part of the functionality is never used.

There is a need for an integration of more than two applications

The use of ESB makes sense in cases of 3 or more applications, however, it’s important not to integrate all systems at the same time but 3-4 at one moment and then adding next ones which will allow for gradual problem solving and effective implementation of the whole system.


Data exchange bus is a solution allowing for the achievement of an incredible flexibility and effective development of communication between systems. Scalability of the solution allows adding, removing and switching certain systems in the architecture without the need for immobilizing others. Thanks to it, there is no need for creating all integrations from the beginning every time, but simply plug in the additional system to the existing architecture. The ESB arranges the way of information exchange and allows for better data control as well as maintenance, modifications and system management in an enterprise. It’s good to know that the bus is not a software which we install on a server and will simply be working, its implementation always should be preceded by a thorough analysis needing a lot of the workers’ engagement. Thanks to a properly thought out implementation, the bus will become a center of information exchange and a basis of architecture for every enterprise having many systems exchanging information.

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