Microsoft BizTalk Server is an enterprise-level integration server that allows organizations to integrate disparate applications, data, and systems across different platforms and technologies. It provides a framework for designing, deploying, and managing business processes across applications, services, and platforms. With Microsoft BizTalk Server, organizations can automate and streamline business processes, exchange data between different systems, and integrate with external partners and customers. The platform supports various communication protocols, including HTTP, FTP, and SMTP, and can communicate with different applications, such as ERP systems, databases, and web services.

Microsoft BizTalk for System Integration

In the era of diverse technological advancements, organizations employ a range of software products to carry out distinct functions such as finance, HR, transportation, and others. However, integrating these systems to develop efficient business processes takes time and effort. Microsoft’s BizTalk Server comes as a solution to address this challenge. With its seamless connectivity and automation capabilities, BizTalk Server enables customers to integrate mission-critical applications, making data exchange between different applications easy and hassle-free. As a result, businesses can streamline their processes and operate more efficiently, ultimately driving growth and profitability.

Microsoft BizTalk Solves Communication Challenges

Microsoft BizTalk Server efficiently resolves communication challenges arising from multiple systems by functioning as a publish and subscribe architecture. It utilizes adapters to transmit and receive messages and orchestrates business processes. All other systems will communicate with the BizTalk Server, which will act as a centralized system. BizTalk then handles the transformation of incoming requests, ensuring the delivery of messages in an understandable format to the intended recipient. This feature makes the BizTalk Server an optimal solution for businesses dealing with multiple systems that require seamless and efficient communication.

What is the reason for reconsidering Microsoft BizTalk?

Clients may consider moving away from the BizTalk Server for several reasons, including:

  • BizTalk Server comes with a 10-year commitment to product support, consisting of five years of mainstream support and an additional five years of extended service.
  • If a client is using a BizTalk Server version below 2013, its support has already stopped, and it is not advisable to run production systems on unsupported software.
  • The last version of BizTalk Server was released in 2020, and its extended support will end in 2030. Microsoft has no plan to release another BizTalk Server version.
  • Maintaining BizTalk environments can be challenging.
  • BizTalk Server is an on-premises application requiring maintenance costs even when moved to the cloud, where it needs to be installed on a VM (IaaS).
  • Additional licenses are necessary for development and testing.
  • Access to the latest social media and online platform connectors (e.g., Twitter, Facebook) and device communication using the Internet of Things (IoT) may be limited.
  • Scalability and high availability can be challenging in BizTalk Server.
  • Moving existing on-premises applications to the cloud is a sensible decision, as cloud computing is the future.

Factors to Consider Before Migration

Not all available data integration tools will answer the required business needs. Below are some criteria to consider while choosing a tool:

  • Target user
  • Usability, Flexibility, and Manageability
  • Type of connectors offered
  • TCO – Price & licenses
  • Scalability, availability, and elasticity
  • Coherence in platform & technology choice
  • Maintainability or availability of a large expert resource pool
  • Long-term support

Biztalk to Azure Migration: A Case Study on Order Management System

Project Requirement

  • Expose the post-trigger function API to provide B2B order service.
  • Secure the API by integrating with OAuth.
  • Process the insurance order and save the document copies in Cosmos DB..
  • Custom log trail for each pipeline steps execution.
  • Disconnect/Asynchronous architecture.
  • Re-start the process from where it stopped/errored/failed.
  • Make all the necessary contracts to enroll the order in the main policy system by calling secure internal on-prem service.

Benefits of Migrating from BizTalk to Azure Integration Services

  • Enables custom logging, monitoring, and trigger alerts to better control workflows and processes.
  • Provides a distributed architecture with new connectors for seamless integration with various systems and applications.
  • Offers access to a wide range of cloud services and resources as a platform for building and deploying applications.
  • Ensures high availability and elasticity to accommodate changing business needs and growth.
  • Allows a serverless environment, eliminating the need to manage infrastructure and reducing operational costs.
  • Offers a cost-effective approach to resource utilization with pay-as-you-go pricing
  • Supports multiple frameworks, languages, and tools for flexibility and compatibility.
  • Large expert pool.

Watch this webinar on BizTalk to Azure migration.

Areas to Consider for Azure Integration Services

Azure Integration Services is a powerful platform for building and managing integrations between various applications and services. However, like any technology, it has its limitations that users should be aware of. Here are the main limitations of Azure Integration Services:

  • Requires platform expertise to manage and operate effectively.
  • Improper management can lead to increased costs in the long run.
  • Lack of a user interface or designer for visualizing business processes as quickly as in BizTalk.

Migrating Existing Server (Migrating BizTalk Server to Azure)

BizTalk to Azure migration is a journey that requires careful planning and execution. While BizTalk Server is a mature and reliable integration platform, moving to Azure can offer numerous benefits, such as scalability, flexibility, and reduced maintenance costs. Migrating to Azure provides several benefits, including high availability when hosting across different regions.

Get expert help leveraging Nous’ Azure migration services.

Now that this blog has helped evaluate why considering a BizTalk upgrade or BizTalk migration to Azure is a smarter choice, Nous can be your expert partner and assist in addressing concerns during the Azure migration.

S K Guru Koushik
Technical Architect- Azure

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