Dutch BTUG meeting with the BizTalk product team

By jpsmit
January 15, 2013

Yesterday we had a special Dutch BizTalk User Group meeting. The guys from the BizTalk product team were in The Netherlands because of the BizTalk summit tour and they came by to talk about BizTalk.

Three presentations were given about the upcoming release of BizTalk Server 2013: one overview and two deep dives. Much of the overview stuff was already known. If you’re curious about the features and want to download the BizTalk 2013 beta, you can take a look here. One important take-away is that BizTalk will be available as Azure virtual image, and pay-per-use will bring BizTalk closer to smaller companies because the licensing costs will no longer be a barrier.

The other presentations were deep-dives about BizTalk 2013 adapters and the Azure BizTalk Services.

The adapters talk discussed the new SharePoint 2013 adapter, which is using the SharePoint Client Object Model (COM Winking smile ). No longer do we need to install something on the SharePoint server if we want to use the WSS adapter. Also the cloud adapters were discussed and demoed. More details can be found in this blog post. It is clear that the focus will be more and more on cloud connectivity.

The next deep-dive covered Azure BizTalk Services. This was formerly known as Servicebus EAI/EDI. Like discussed in this blog post it is the next step to bring BizTalk to the cloud. It is clear that BizTalk and Servicebus still are separate products. Both have transformation capabilities, but BizTalk is focused on XML-to-XML transformations using XSLT, where the Servicebus is capable of much more. It is likely that both products will merge.

The evening ended with Q&A. Some nice discussions about the direction of BizTalk. I asked a question about a long time rumor of replacing BizTalk’s XLANG/s engine with Workflow Foundation. Answer: currently there is nothing that you can’t do with the XLANG/s engine that you can do with WF, but the developer experience of WF is much better. It is unlikely that the XLANG/s engine will be replaced by WF soon, but the product team is working on enhancing the developer experience in future versions of BizTalk. Another question from the audience was about low latency scenarios. Because every message travels through the messagebox, it is difficult to implement a low latency scenario. The response of the product team was clear. BizTalk is designed with guaranteed delivery in mind, not low latency. Of course they’re working on improving performance, in BizTalk 2013 and SQL 2012 the team managed to improve performance of for example ordered delivery with 700%, but the motto is guaranteed delivery over guaranteed performance.

It was great talking to the guys that actually build the product and know every edge of the product!

Didago IT Consultancy

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