This week’s issue of eWeek features a comparative review of ESB products, including open-source offerings. eWeek Labs Director Jim Rapoza summarizes: “The Sonic ESB platform defined the ESB category, and Version 7.0 is the most mature and capable ESB available; Sonic ESB, coupled with the Sonic SOA Suite, is a powerful services platform.”
The feature can be found online at http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1997940,00.asp. It has nice things to say about each product, but also has a few digs for each one. I have included some excerpts from the article that I found interesting -
From the summary -
Cape Clear Software’s Cape Clear ESB 6.6
This ESB offering provides good developer and BPM tools, as well as strong standards support (www.capeclear.com)
Iona Technologies’ Artix 4.0
An ESB platform that provides simple-to-use tool sets with powerful integration capabilities (www.iona.com)
Sonic Software’s Sonic ESB 7.0
The Sonic ESB platform defined the ESB category, and Version 7.0 is the most mature and capable ESB available; Sonic ESB, coupled with the Sonic SOA Suite, is a powerful services platform (www.sonicsoftware.com)
From the Article -
Cape Clear -
…Cape Clear also comes with a Web-based management console for viewing activity on the ESB server and for performing actions such as defining routing options. While we like this interface for the areas it works in, it could use more options for BPM (business process management) and routing.
Sonic ESB -
…It’s often great to be a pioneer, and Sonic Software can certainly make that claim in the areas of messaging, Web services and ESBs.
…Over time, one benefit of being a pioneer is accrued experience in the field and a set of mature and time-tested products.
…Like its competitors, Workbench now includes improved interfaces for creating BPEL-based process orchestrations, and it also has some very nice, almost-BPM-level features for managing and testing processes within the ESB environment…
Iona Artix -
…With an Eclipse-everywhere philosophy, Artix now also bases its management console on Eclipse. Using this interface, we were able to access all of our containers and messaging options, but it was not the most user-friendly ESB management interface we’ve ever seen. It’s possible that Eclipse is better suited for development than management.
…Another big improvement in Artix 4.0–necessary to catch up with other ESBs–is the addition, by default, of the ActiveMQ open-source JMS. [DC - This is a good thing? All JMS implementations are not created equal.]
Open Source ESB (Celtix and Mule)
…Celtix is backed by and uses code provided by Iona, though it is completely unrelated to Iona’s Artix ESB.
…However, both Celtix and Mule are mainly engines, and organizations looking for advanced interfaces such as those provided by commercial ESBs will probably be disappointed. Both products offer plug-in options for the Eclipse development environment, but we found the plug-ins fairly basic in form, serving mostly to assist in accessing the ESB during services development.