Having worked with Websphere ESB, one can not help considering whether one ought to switch to IBM’s new strategic integration platform, the IBM Integration Bus (IIB). I had a look at the latest version of the Integration Toolkit for the Integration Bus and would like to share my insights. The two issues that I will address are, (1) the main differences when building mediation and service integration, and (2) how to migrate from Websphere ESB to Integration Bus.


The main differences:

Let’s start with what is basically the same:

  • Both tools are Eclipse based, though arranged a differently (server now moved to the left), also you see different artifacts,
  • Mapping has the same look & feel; both can use xpath.

What is totally different:

  • No assembly diagram in IIB,
  • Different palette, some different icons and many more primitives with the IIB’s toolkit,
  • The IIB has no fan out / fan in to build aggregations; instead, it has a RouteToLabel. For data aggregation scenarios when calling several services, one needs to install MQ since the aggregation would be using queues,
  • View of data flow when testing: how far you have come is shown in flow, so you can see better where you are (I like the new approach).


The how-to:

DEVELOPER TOOLKIT | Good news: the developer toolkit is available for free.

Below are links for download, terms and conditions.


There is an integrated conversion tool to migrate from WESB:

Check here to set-up MQ for IIB:

Installing WebSphere MQ for use with IBM Integration Bus for Developers

NOTE | Don’t forget to apply fixes, e.g.:


HINT | Check out this lab (it helped me):

[iib10] Lab MQ: Build and run an integration solution that uses WebSphere MQ


My conclusions:

  1. The IIB is a very powerful platform,
  2. Converting complex mediation from WESB to IIB will take time,
  3. To be ready for the strategic platform, I suggest to start using it now for new applications, and see with that experience what you want to move from WESB to IIB.

Andreas Bühlmeier, PhD.

December 2017

Disclaimer applies:

Legal Notice / Impressum