Enterprise Service Bus by David Chappel Book Review

This past week I finished Enterprise Service Bus by David Chappell.

ESB by David Chappell

First I must mention that I read the book via O’Reilly’s fantastic Safari online book service that I have access to for being a Professional member of the ACM (only $99/year). I can’t recommend this service enough. The selection of books is amazing and to be able to add a book and begin reading immediately gives you great ability to get knowledge if the mood strikes.

David Chappell is a vice president and chief technologist for SOA at Oracle Corporation. Though this book was written back in 2004 it is still quite relevant today. It provides a very good introduction to service oriented architectures. I first heard about the Enterprise Service Bus back when I attended JavaOne back in 2005. At that point it didn’t seem like the idea was fleshed out all the way based on the presentations I heard (though this book disproves that since it was written prior). I just couldn’t wrap my head around how something like this would fit in my company’s current tech model.

Many years of learning and experience later, reading this book gave me a new perspective on this model and how it could integrate into our environment. One of the best things about this book is that it approaches this integration in a realistic manner. It doesn’t recommend ripping out your complete architecture (like most pay by the hour consulting shops come in and recommend). It proposes adding these concepts in at the edge of your operation. The first steps actually involve adding them in so transparently that the applications that begin conversing across the ESB don’t actually know anything has changed.

Then as time allows and as experience with this style of architecture grows, you can kudzu the bus across the organization. Many of the scenarios and specific patterns that Chappell demonstrates and models are exact copies of problems that I’m encountering first hand at work. Reading this book has caused me to start looking at all of our applications with an eye towards how I can apply SOA principles as we make changes to existing code.

The book was a very quick read and the writing style and diagrams helped me get through the book with ease. I highly recommend reading it if you are looking for a great introduction into the Enterprise Service Bus concept.

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