Thursday, June 14, 2012

Application Integration Futures – The Road Map and what's next on Windows Azure

This presentation has hosted by Bala Sriram and Rajesh Ramamirtham


Blog Update: I have added a conclusion where I have provided a summary and some of my thoughts on this release.  Also, this session has now been posted so feel free to take a look at it here.  You can also add any comments that you have regarding this session at the bottom of this post.

Key takeaway from Bala: We are innovating in BizTalk!

General Update

  • BizTalk Server “R2” release will be available around 6 months after Windows 8
  • CTP expect this summer
  • Commitment to releasing server for years to come. Publicly indicating there will be at least another release beyond “R2”
  • 12k+ BizTalk customers
  • 81% of Fortune Global 100 use BizTalk
  • 79% of customers are using BizTalk 2010
  • CU delivered every quarter with product enhancements
  • Best NSAT in the industry
  • 6 of 8 largest US Pharmaceutical Companies use BizTalk
  • Continue to bet on BizTalk – We will take your investments forward!
  • Enabling new Azure based BizTalk scenarios for EAI & EDI
    • Bringing together BizTalk on-premises and in Azure

What customers are telling us?

    • Keep me current with platform, standards and LOB changes
    • Reduce time and cost of developing of Integration solutions
    • Let me focus on business challenges, not technology infrastructure
    • Cloud advantages
      • Cost-effective, scalable infrastructure for easy deployment
      • Some scenarios like b2b are amenable to cloud
    • Cloud Challenges
      • Data privacy, isolation , control more integration
      • LOB assets will continue to be on-premise
    • Phased cloud adoption on my terms
      • One size does not fit all

How BizTalk will meet these requirements?

  • Upgrade to latest MS platform
  • Improved reach for B2B customers
  • Better performance and manageability
  • BizTalk on Azure IaaS
    • Eliminate HW procurement lead times
    • Reduce time and cost to setup and maintain BizTalk environments
  • BizTalk on Azure PaaS for EAI and EDI
    • Reduce partner onboarding and management cost
    • Leverage existing BizTalk artifacts
    • Rapid configuration-driven development for common integration patterns
  • All of these working together seamlessly as one BizTalk
    • Trying to work under “one umbrella” but no naming can be implied at this time

BizTalk Server On-Premise Update

    • Platform Update
      • Support for:
        • VS 2012,
        • Window 8 Server
        • SQL Server 2012
        • Office 15
        • System Center 2012
    • B2B enhancements:
      • EDI
      • HL7 2.5.1, 2.6
      • SWIFT 2012 Message Pack
    • Better Performance
      • In Order Delivery process
        • Serialization created delays
      • Improved dynamic send ports and ESB via host handler association of Send ports
        • Can configure a dynamic send port host handler in Admin Console
      • MLLP adapter performance
      • HIS DB2 client transaction load balancing, client bulk insert (15 times faster)
    • Better manageability
      • Visualize BizTalk artifact dependencies in BizTalk admin console
      • ESB toolkit as core part of BizTalk setup and product
      • HIS Administration using Config files with application metadata stored in XML
    • Improved connectivity
      • Consume REST Services directly in BizTalk
        • WebHttpBinding will be used when calling REST Services
        • ACS support
      • Simplified SharePoint integration experience
        • No more adapter web service installs on SharePoint
      • Improvements to existing adapters (HIS, SMTP)
        • improved macros
      • Easy connectivity to Service Bus Relay, Queues and Topics
      • CICS http client connectivity to Windows

BizTalk running in Azure (IaaS)

  • Use case :

    • First step in the cloud adoption
      • Eliminate hardware procurement lead times
      • Reduce time and cost to setup and maintain BizTalk environments
      • Move applications from on premise and back
    • Create a virtual network in Azure and enable connectivity to on-premise network
      • User logs into Azure Portal
      • User creates a new VM and selects BizTalk stock image
      • User specifics BizTalk environment topology and adds them to existing virtual network
      • New VMs are provisioned for user in Azure IaaS
      • User logs into the provisioned VM which has BizTalk installed and configured and starts using it.
  • Targeting same Windows 8 timeframe
  • Microsoft will provide guidance on performance
  • MSDTC support in Azure?
    • It is supported now in IaaS and was brought in to support BizTalk
  • All features that work on premise will work in IaaS


  • Seamlessly connect with Azure artifacts
  • Enable hybrid applications that span Azure and on-premises
  • Expose LOB services both on Premise and to the cloud


Wow…that was a lot of content in a short 1:15 h session.  There was actually more information released related to EDI support in the EDI Services (PaaS) but I just couldn’t keep up between writing this blog and tweeting with the European BizTalk community.

What I liked:

  • REST support event if it is only Send
  • Cleaner integration with SharePoint.  A similar statement was made with BizTalk 2010 but talking with the product team members after the presentation I know that this is not lip service.  The Adapter Web Service is gone.  No more installs on SharePoint servers.  Also, no more consuming SharePoint’s legacy “Lists.asmx” web services.  Yay!
  • Ordered Delivery performance.  It will be nice to have some improved performance while maintaining sequential integrity.
  • First class ACS support in selected “cloud enabled” Adapters
  • BrokeredMessage property/BizTalk Context property support
  • BizTalk IaaS – should open new capabilities
  • I can see the symmetry between on-premises and PaaS starting to materialize

What I would love to see:

  • Exposing REST end points
  • Single Mapper/Transformation experience between On-Premises and PaaS offering
  • Support for other sterilizers than XML (JSON, C#)  - stay tuned?
  • Service Bus Connect – Receiving requests from LOB systems (SAP IDOCS)


Overall the tone was extremely encouraging.  Personally, I haven’t seen this much innovation come from the BizTalk team since BizTalk 2006 R2 when support WCF/WCF LOB adapters was introduced.  Yep..I said it.  The next release of BizTalk is no longer “just a platform update” .  In my opinion, this is a full release and should be named accordingly.  For those that think BizTalk is dead – better think again.  The operation was successful and the patient is still alive.


João Pedro "jota" Martins said...

Hello Kent. Was this session at TechEd US?

Kent Weare said...

Hey Joao...yep teched north America

Steef-Jan Wiggers said...

Excellent summary. I promise I will not tweet next time when you are in an important session.
"For those that think BizTalk is dead – better think again." Statement well put. I myself said something similar two years ago ( that product will remain among us for a long time. Your post adds to that thinking and I think a lot people in community and business (those who run BizTalk in their day to day operations) will be happy.

Kent Weare said...

No worries Steef...i enjoyed tweeting back and forth with you guys.

Thanks for the comments.

Leonid Ganeline said...

Hey Kent,
Great post!
Can you, please, provide more information about the improvements in the ordered delivery?

Kent Weare said...

Sorry Leonid I don't have the specifics on how they have accomplished this

João Pedro "jota" Martins said...

I'll be on the lookout for it at TechEd EMEA next week :)