Comments and reactions to my previous post have been interesting. Rather than responding to comments by adding more comments to that post, let me address them here:
- Mark says what I’m recommending isn’t entirely new. And you know what: he’s exactly right! What might be interesting, though, is why he’s right. I pushed these ideas surrounding REST and dynamic languages for a number of years in my former position before finally leaving that position, partly because those ideas were not getting the level of attention I felt they deserved. So yes, the ideas are certainly nothing new today, but they were reasonably new back then.
- REST is unproven. Sigh. I can’t decide if people say this because they’re just trying to stir up an argument, or they’re so heavily biased toward their non-REST approaches that they just can’t even consider that there might be viable alternatives, or they really have no clue about what REST is, how it works, and why it works, and they’re not interested in learning it, so they just react badly whenever they hear it, or all of the above. If you’re anti-REST or REST-ignorant, and you haven’t read RESTful Web Services, then don’t even talk to me about REST. The book is absolutely wonderful, and its explanations and answers are extremely clear. If you consider yourself informed and capable when it comes to distributed systems and integration, but you don’t know REST, then there’s simply no way you can read that book and not have it lead you to seriously question your core beliefs regarding how you think such systems should be built, unless you’re completely close-minded of course.
- Are you saying we should throw everything out and redo it with REST and dynamic languages? No, not at all. I would never advocate wholesale rip-and-replace, because the cure is almost always worse than the disease. I’m simply saying that many integration projects can be done easier and with less expense if you use those tools and approaches (and please notice I said “many,” not “all”).
- Steve’s thrown out the baby with the bathwater. It seems that people might not have read my entire post, because a number seem to think I said that ESBs should never be used at all. That’s not what I said; if you read all the way to the bottom, you’ll see that I explained some conditions under which I thought they can come in mighty handy.
- What do mono-language programmers have to do with ESBs? It’s all part of the same culture, the “one size fits all” approach, where you have answers looking for problems rather than the other way around, and where people intentionally wear blinders to less expensive, more productive, and far more flexible and agile approaches because “it’s just not the way we do things around here.”
- Are you seriously recommending dynamic languages for enterprise integration projects?! Hmm, that’s mighty enterprisey of you to ask that. Yes, that’s exactly what I’m recommending, because they’re solid, fast, flexible, smaller and therefore less buggy, easily deployed, easily maintained, and the solutions you get by using them will be in production well ahead of your traditional compiled languages.
At the end of the day, if you want to ignore my advice on using REST and dynamic languages, that’s your own problem. You won’t get any arguments from me, because I’m not in that business anymore. All I know is that I’m using them very successfully as part of what I’m working on these days, and it’s simply glorious.