Articles that supports the subject of this post are :-

Application Integration Futures: The Road Map and What’s Next on Windows Azure

Building Integration Solutions Using Microsoft BizTalk On-Premises and on Windows Azure

Key Highlights :-

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 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

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


What I liked:

  • REST support event if it is only Send
  • Cleaner integration with SharePoint.  The Adapter Web Service is gone.  No more installs on SharePoint servers.  Also, no more consuming SharePoint’s legacy “Lists.asmx” web services.
  • 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 is expected

  • 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.   For those that think BizTalk is dead – better think again.  The operation was successful and the patient is still alive.