Wednesday, November 7, 2012

BizTalk 2013 Beta–with Commentary !


Great news on the war of “BizTalk is dead”. Smile

The radio silence banner is lifted and we can freely talk around this beta. The source of a lot of this information is on the BizTalk Server team blog.

The 2013 is a great replacement for the 2012 R2 naming convention and I never liked the R2 names to the products, it tended to confuse a lot of the customers. The beta is available to download here.

Some of the more interesting features include (note commentary in italics):

  • Integration with Cloud Services – BizTalk Server 2013 Beta includes new out-of-the box adapters to send and receive messages from Windows Azure Service Bus. It also provides capabilities to transfer messages to relay endpoints hosted on Azure.  - This is a great move to cement the integration strategy of hybrid cloud. BizTalk provides the onsite integration, messaging and orchestration capabilities to the cloud.
  • RESTful services – BizTalk Server 2013 Beta provides adapters to invoke REST endpoints as well as expose BizTalk Server artifacts as a RESTful service. –again a move towards a more efficient infrastructure in the cloud.
  • Enhanced SharePoint adapter – Integrating with SharePoint using BizTalk Server 2013 Beta is now as simple as integrating with a file share. We have removed the need for dependency on SharePoint farms, while still providing backward compatibility.
  • SFTP adapter – BizTalk Server 2013 Beta enables sending and receiving messages from an SFTP server. –This was just needed Smile
  • ESB Toolkit integration – With BizTalk Server 2013 Beta, ESB Toolkit is now fully integrated with BizTalk Server. Also, the ESB Toolkit configuration experience is vastly simplified to enable a quick setup.
  • Dependency tracking - The dependencies between artifacts can now be viewed and navigated in Admin console
  • Improvements in dynamic send ports – BizTalk Server 2013 Beta provides the ability to set host handler per adapter, instead of always using the default send handler of the adapters. –This will help yield better scalability, uptime and extensibility design. I am anxious to see if there will be inherent speed improvements here as well.
  • XslCompiledTransform – BizTalk Server mapping engine makes use of XslTransform API for mapping needs. With BizTalk Server 2013 Beta release, the mapping engine makes use of the enhanced XslCompiledTransform API. This will provide improvements in mapping engine performance.
  • Ordered Send Port improvements – With BizTalk Server 2013 release, we have made changes to the BizTalk runtime engine which increases the performance of ordered send port scenarios.
  • BAM Alerts update – In previous releases of BizTalk Server, BAM Alerts feature had a dependency on SSNS (SQL Server Notification Services). With the current release of SQL Server (SQL Server 2012), SSNS is no longer available. However, we have made sure your existing BAM Alerts scenario work just the same even if your backend is targeting SQL Server 2012. If your backend is SQL Server 2008 R2, you will continue to require the dependency on SSNS. –This is great, not having to put in SSNS. This was always a bit awkward with customers having to install a separate component onto their SQL box that did not have SSNS.

And for the HIS fans, in  HIS 2013 Beta, we have made significant improvements in the following areas:

  • Data Integration – New OLE DB Provider for Informix and new Service for DB2 DRDA.
  • Application Integration – New Transaction Integrator runtime and web configuration-based administration and deployment.
  • Network Integration – New 3270 emulator and improved Session Integrator, both with direct TN3270 connectivity.  -This will be interesting, TN3270 is what most of my engagements fall back on if there were integration challenges.
  • Platform Support – Support for Window Server 2012, Visual Studio 2012, SQL Server 2012, BizTalk 2013 and new IBM Systems.

I am looking forward to playing with the new BizTalk box!

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