The Lazy Architect's Guide to Enterprise Softwareposted by John Spacey, February 04, 2011
At first sight, the world of enterprise software appears complex and daunting. An endless parade of buzz words and three letter acronyms such as cloud, SOA, ERP, ESB, BPM — that many people use but few can explain.
There are many sources of information: vendor marketing sites, white papers, developer guides, forums and blogs. But few of these ever says directly what SOA, ERP, ESB etc... do.
The lazy enterprise architect views Enterprise Architecture in terms of architectural patterns and business functions. A good description of enterprise software does not need to be longer than 10 words.
Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)Architectural Pattern: decoupling of message consumers and producers
Related Design Patterns: publish/subscribe, request/reply, synchronous/asynchronous
Analogies: postal system, the internet
The main alternative to ESB — point-to-point messaging generally results in more complex solutions.
Extract, Transform, Load (ETL)Architectural Pattern: copies data from one data store to another
Related Design Patterns: batch, data discovery, job scheduling, data validation
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)Architectural Pattern: building software from discoverable, loosely coupled, reusable services.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)Business Function: manage core enterprise information and processes
Business Process Management (BPM)Architectural Pattern: automatic process coordination
Analogy: American football playbook
CloudArchitectural Pattern: make many resources appear as one
Analogy: black box
VirtualizationArchitectural Pattern: make one resource appear as many
Analogy: time share vacation property
Customer relationship management (CRM)Business Function: manage interactions with customers and prospective customers
Web PortalArchitectural Pattern: self-service
Analogy: self service gas station
Content Management System (CMS)Architectural Pattern: self web publishing
Unified CommunicationsBusiness Function: instant messaging (IM) with voice, video and information sharing tools.
Business Intelligence (BI)Architectural Patterns: data analysis, decision support system
Data WarehousingArchitectural Pattern: data archive optimized for general purpose reporting
DatamartArchitectural Pattern: data archive optimized for reporting for a specific line of business
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