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The difference between EAI and ESB

A SearchWebServices.com member asks one of our experts, "What is the difference between enterprise application integration (EAI) and the enterprise service bus (ESB)?" Read the response or pose a question of your own to any of our experts.

What is the difference between enterprise application integration (EAI) and the enterprise service bus (ESB)?

EAI, by the way, is a term based on my book by the same name written almost 10 years ago now, if you can believe that.

Included in EAI is the notion of service-oriented, information-oriented, process-oriented, etc. Thus, the notion of EAI is really a complete stack, encompassing all types of integration patterns. It's really a concept rather than a class of technology.

In fact, I defined EAI as: "EAI encompasses approaches, methodologies, standards, and technologies allowing very diverse but important systems to share information, processes, and behavior in support of the core business."

I defined the concept of ESBs in the EAI book as what it is: An enabling technology for EAI. EAI is a larger notion, where ESBs are a mere instance of technology. It's almost like saying "Automobiles are better than the concept of transportation."

This was last published in August 2005

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