The Devoxx organisers scheduled quickies during our lunch hour. These 15-min sessions covered a topic briefly but, in most cases, was enough to whet the appetite. Nicolas Martignole (of Le Touiller Express fame) presented one such session based upon his experience comparing and evaluating ESBs.
He started by talking about the large number of systems that needed integration and compared this to Facebook – “My applications all have friends who should receive updates about changes”. This is a unique way of talking about integration, I found 🙂
Most businesses operate under quite a few pressures these days, as those of us who read the news know, so the onus was on for Nicolas to show that we can get the job done with less resources (i.e., money) which is why open-source ESBs were on top of his list. He argued, correctly, that using an open-source solution means that you can identify problems with a specific product within weeks. If you need to get approval to purchase a closed-source product, it will take longer to find the same problem purely because you’ve added a lengthy step.
World events mean that there will certainly be changes to the operating parameters of any company (especially financial institutions) – possibly legal changes – and this means that 2009 will be the year when these new legal requirements need to be encoded inside existing code. The need to have something that can be rapidly and easily changed and updated is important.
The conclusion is that open-source ESBs are best positioned to take full advantage of the ever-changing operating environments in the marketplace today. Nicolas stressed that, while he cannot predict the future, he feels that using open-source ESBs like Mule will help companies become more agile and responsive to change.