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How ESB Ruined Integration Diagrams

        posted by , July 28, 2011

Before Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) came along integration diagrams were generally point to point. Point to point diagrams are messy and terrible — but at least they provide valuable information.

point to point integration

Where ESB Integration Diagrams Go Wrong

These days, integration diagrams often look like this:

enterprise service bus

The problem with this diagram is that data flow information is not captured. The diagram captures the fact that a bunch of systems talk to a bunch of systems — and that's about it.

A Better Alternative

The following diagram captures the flow of information and frequency of transfer.

integration architecture

Real life diagrams rarely line up as well as in this example. In fact, if you try to represent more than 20 integrations — the diagram often comes out looking like spaghetti. A integration chart is often preferable to a diagram.

esb architecture

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