John Carney wrote this short post about complexity in the architecture at his workplace.
@johncarneyau: You know your architecture is too complex when your arrows cross over
A little later someone else chimed in:
@tvars: @johncarneyau surely you need an ESB?!?
This was a cruel joke (despite the lack of emoticon) but it did get me thinking – this is a fundamental problem in the ongoing fight against the inappropriate adoption of ESBs. The level of complexity shown on the board in John’s photo can be daunting. When ESB advocates (or vendors) sell bus integration, they can make that diagram look so nicely clean and ordered – with nice square lines that never intersect. This appeals to the obsessive compulsive pointy haired boss types. The Enterprise Service Bus will guarantee to make your whiteboard diagram 42.4% less complex.
The reality is that the architecture on the whiteboard is relatively simple and consistent compared to most ESB architectures, and an order of magnitude more productive.