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Unpacking the Relevance of Enterprise Integration Patterns in Today's Tech World

Are enterprise integration patterns still relevant? That is a question that many want to know, especially since 2023 has been the year of disruptive tech. If you want the short answer, we at futuretechskills.com believe the answer is still YES! Continue reading, and we will tell you why.

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Table of Contents

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What are enterprise integration patterns?

Like design patterns, which many application frameworks and coded solutions are built on, integration patterns provide foundational designs (or patterns) for frameworks and coded solutions in the integration space. Companies like Boomi, MuleSoft, Tibco, Wokato, WebMethods, Zapier, and more have built large companies solving enterprises' integration needs.

​So, enterprise integration patterns are battle-tested designs for successfully implementing solutions.

History repeats itself like a for-loop

Like fashion goes off-trend and comes back roaring years later, old technology may go into the background and return to the foreground at full speed. For instance, remote procedure call (RPC) was introduced in 1976. Since then, other communication methods have come into the spotlight, like SOAP and REST, causing younger developers to not be familiar with this style of communication until Google introduced their implementation of RPC called Google Protocol RPC (gRPC) in 2016.


Another example would be the evolution of messaging systems. Messaging systems, like the Java messaging system (JMS), have been around for a while. However, with the microservices and API hype, these patterns took a backseat, only to emerge again. And this time, paired with the idea of the event-driven API. A design that mixes API and event-driven designs.


Integration Platforms incorporate integration patterns.

The enterprise service bus (or ESB) is an acronym commonly thrown around. Over the years, companies have relied less on this term and have used Integration Platforms and iPAAS (integration platform a service) to market their products. With the boom of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), microservices, APIs, and other features like API management, API discovery, monitoring, CI/CD support, and more have become vital components in these integration platforms. However, these platforms are built to help you connect to systems using integration patterns. For instance, scatter-gather, splitter, and aggregator are common message-routing integration patterns that integration engineers use daily. These integration platforms have made them easy for developers to use.


Are integration patterns relevant or not?

But the question is still? Are they relevant? The answer is still YES. You should focus on learning them if you choose the integration career path. If you are breaking into an integration engineer role, you can learn them as you go. If you are applying for an integration architect role, you should know common integration patterns. This is important because you are in a design position and leadership role. You are getting paid to know this. Also, these integration patterns are a part of your integration toolbox. Knowing them helps you guide the development team in choosing the correct integration pattern for the use case. Trust us: Knowing when to start an asynchronous process vs. using the scatter-gather integration pattern is important.

Integration Patterns Resources and Recommendations

Here is a short list of resources you can use to start your integration patterns learning journey.


Enterprise Integration Patterns Designing, Building, and Deploying Messaging Solutions

As the name suggests, this is a 14-chapter book on enterprise integration patterns. This is the ultimate reference guide for integration. It provides a list of 64 patterns, breakdowns, and pictures to explain how these patterns work. This book does not cover security, complex data mapping, rule engines, scalability, and robustness, distributed transaction processing, and workflow [1]. Despite that, this is still a must-have reference.

​Note: There is a second book called Enterprise Integration Patterns: Vol-2 Conversation Patterns first edition.

Let us know in the comments section if you want an in-depth review of this book.


Modern Examples for Enterprise Integration Patterns Blog Article

This article is hosted on enterpriseintegrationpatterns.com under Gregor's ramblings section. Gregor Hophe is one of the two authors of the Enterprise Integration Patterns books. This particular blog post lists implementations of Modern software based on integration patterns.


Enterprise Integration Patterns Companion Website

This website is a companion to the Enterprise Integration Patterns books. Use this for supplemental information.


Patterns for API Design Website

APIs and microservices are the building blocks of modern architecture, so we must list a book and website that could help you. The website introduces patterns by scope and provides resources and tutorials to help you get started. Each pattern explained has a context, problem, forces, solution, consequences, known uses, and more information section. Patterns are broken into the foundation, responsibility, structure, quality, and evolution patterns. This website is also paired with the Patterns for API Design is a book with a supporting website. We have not personally read the book yet. However, we have reviewed the website and found it very beneficial to anyone designing APIs. Due to this, we believe the book will follow.


Let us know in the comments section if you want an in-depth review of the Patterns for API Design book.


Conclusion

In conclusion, integration patterns are still relevant in 2023. Integration patterns help us not to reinvent the wheel and leverage battle-tested designs for integration solutions. Your favorite modern software utilizes enterprise integration patterns. Books and websites provide an excellent place to learn and implement these patterns in your software and integrations.


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Citations

Gregor Hohpe, and Bobwoolf. Enterprise Integration Patterns : Designing, Building and Deploying Messaging Solutions. Boston Addison-Wesley, 2015.


API DESIGN PATTERNS : Simplifying Integration with Loosely Coupled Message Exchanges. Addison Wesley, 2022.


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