OSB vs. OESB – Making sense of OSB, Mediators, OESB, and BEA AquaLogic Service Bus

When Oracle aquired BEA, the two key motivations were 1) adopt the best run time engines, and 2) port all development into Oracle’s existing Unified Development platform of JDeveloper and Enterprise Manager to increase Developer Productivity. This post describes how Oracle transformed Oracle ESB and BEA AquaLogic Service Bus products into the 11g SCA Architecture that includes OSB and Mediators.

Comparing Oracle ESB 10g and AquaLogic Service Bus? The number one difference is performance. AquaLogic ESB blows away Oracle ESB making it the strategic engine. From a functionality perspective, a Service Bus is really expected to do Routing, Translation, and Enrichment of messages. AquaLogic ESB was more advanced in all three areas, particularly dynamic routing and xquery transformation support. Strategically, Oracle realizes the value of the OSB engine but not the Eclipse based development environment which Oracle has now spent 2 years porting to the Oracle way of things.

How did Oracle Port products into the 11g SCA Paradigm?

In the end, Oracle kept the engines from both service bus offerings.
Oracle ESB —> 11G Mediator Engine + Brand new SCA based development environment  = 11g Mediators
AquaLogic ESB –> OSB Engine + Brand new JDev/ SCA/ EM based  development environment (coming soon) = Oracle Service Bus (OSB)

The 11G Offering, Mediators and OSB:
11G Mediators are SCA Components that allow you to set up simple routing rules, xslt translation, and limited enrichment(through assign statements). With a Mediator, it is very easy to develop a simple message routing service by dragging a Mediator onto the Service Composite, and setting xpath based routing rules and a transformation file on a single form.

OSB development is being ported from Eclipse to an SCA component with a free form development environment within JDeveloper. OSB will still have its own engine on the application server.  The development environment  will look more like BPEL or 11g business rule flows to help with complex/ dynamic routing scenarios as well as complex enrichment. It supports xslt and xquery for translation.

Which to Use? Sadly, until OSB is ported to JDeveloper, adoption costs will be higher as it is adding an additional development environment (Eclipse) and experienced OSB developers are hard to find. If the OSB is not absolutely needed, it makes sense to use mediators and wait for the OSB port to JDeveloper which will neatly plug into an 11G SOA Composite to play side by side with BPEL and numerous Adapters.

Oracle’s grande vision of Fusion is to have a full disk to application enterprise solution, with a unified development environment,  where a unified Fusion Middleware will be the base for the entire suite of Fusion Applications. EBS, Peoplesoft, and Siebel will finally be converged once they have figured out a migration plan for each to Fusion, and they expect a lot of people to buy Oracle Servers, Oracle Databases, and Oracle Support Contracts along the way. Oracle has placed an enourmous bet on Fusion, and our consulting firm M&S Consulting has ramped up to provide consulting services and managed services to extend our Fusion Middleware expertise to Fusion Apps as they are released in the next year. Mediators will likely be moved to use the OSB engine under the hood, and the OSB SCA Component will make Fusion Middleware that much closer to being a single fully-converged Middleware product.

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