Business integration continues to be one of the top IT concerns for many companies. The main focus is on achieving this integration quickly and effectively while at the same time maintaining attractive levels of return on investment. Integration approaches have been refined over the last ten years, resulting in the emergence of architectures that offer a flexible and adaptable platform for integration while at the same time making high levels of application component reuse possible.
ESBs offer an excellent basis for integration, delivering a flexible and adaptable environment that enables integration projects to be put in place productively, effectively and in a staged manner. They leverage many of the developments made in integration technology over the last ten years, packaging them in a standards-based and affordable approach. It is therefore essential that a thorough selection process is in place when choosing the most suitable ESB.
The author of the paper, Steve Craggs, EAIIC Vice Chair for Europe, comments "This ESB paper is the first in a series of research articles that will investigate the latest initiatives occurring in the EAI industry. By writing these from an independent standpoint we aim to provide end-users with a no-nonsense checklist of best-of-breed characteristics and functionality. We hope that companies will use the checklist as part of the product selection process to ensure that the ESB can become a key element of integration strategy; this can provide real business value to organisations looking to operate and compete more efficiently and effectively."
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