IBM Integration Bus Review

Simple to use in the data stage and good for moving a file from one location to another

What is our primary use case?

We are trying to use IBM Integration Bus in our organization. We have multiple things to do. Like DataStage, we also have SAP BODS as another ETL. We are also using JAM Server and Java. 

Instead of separately writing the Java code and restful web service and then using the ETL and JAM Server to call on a file basis, I am thinking of using IBM Integration Bus. I have a message flow. Once I drop a file, IBM Integration Bus will pick up all the functions, do everything on the MQ Server, and finally fit it with the web service, which is also created in IBM Integration Bus. I would have the complete message flow in one architecture site. I can apply it by using ETL, Java, and the JAM Server. However, it is failing at the data mining stage itself. It could be because of my lack of knowledge of IBM Integration Bus.

What is most valuable?

I use the integration of Kafka and the message flow, which is really good. It is also good for moving any file from one location to another. 

Using IBM Integration Bus in the data stage is pretty simple. You can see the preview and other things.

The MQ server integrated with IBM Integration Bus is really great. I don't have to do a lot of configuration from that side. It is really good.

What needs improvement?

It needs improvement in terms of technical support as well as in terms of integration of data mining. I am not convinced about many things in this solution, such as the conversion of the DFDL or copybook file, which is the conversion from a text file to XML. It is very complex.

They should also provide more information about this solution in the IBM Knowledge Center. I can get a lot of information from the IBM Knowledge Center about DataStage, but I don't get that much information about IBM Integration Bus. There is hardly any information even on the internet and various channels such as YouTube. They can provide good step-by-step documentation based on a company's requirements. It would be really helpful.

My company is mainly looking for data mining and communicating with multiple servers. IBM Integration Bus is good for communicating with multiple servers, but it needs improvement for XML conversion and data mining. We have a lot of old systems that use XML.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using IBM Integration Bus for two to four months.

How are customer service and technical support?

I contacted technical support, but I wasn't able to get the correct answer. I feel I wasn't given a good response. I was communicating with a person from technical support, and he took two to three months to help me with the support. Finally, he delegated that ticket to some other person, and he resolved my issue in one week, but the solution was not convincing. 

I wanted to know how DataStage does one-to-many and many-to-one mapping because it was failing in IBM Integration Bus. I have a DFPL file, and I have an XML Schema. I want to map the added element from the DFPL file to the XML Schema. The technical support person was saying that you have to write the ESQL code for mapping, but I don't know how many elements are there. Suppose I have 100 elements for one area at present, but next time, I might have 90 elements. He was saying that you should know somehow where IBM Integration Bus is failing, but there was no way to find that out. The mapping for that element was not there in the dynamic run-time query.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is complex. It is not user friendly. When you have a file in the MQ Server, it moves to the next directory, which is the output. It is very complex to call a web service. It should just give the setup of the endpoint and do some basic stuff so that it can be consumed by the web service. It might be complex because of my less experience in using IBM Integration Bus.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution if you are not doing any XML conversion or data mining and just want to use a message flow, such as reading a file and transporting to another location and then calling some message and integrating it with an existing system such as Salesforce.

If you have a lot of integration, I would recommend hiring some experienced people for it. IBM Integration Bus is a very big product, and people don't know even 20% of this product. If people have good knowledge of it, they can really do a lot of stuff. Based on my understanding, its complexity is the reason why people don't have good expertise in this product. I am an experienced Java professional, but I am facing a lot of difficulties in understanding IBM Integration Bus.

I would rate IBM Integration Bus an eight out of ten. It needs improvement for data mining, DFDL, and schema converter. There should also be more documentation and information in the IBM Knowledge Center.

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**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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