For a number of years at Solidsoft there has been the in house joke around the existence of the ‘Psychic Adapter’ for use in BizTalk projects and more recently Azure (Cloud) based application integration projects. The theory goes that if all else fails when integrating with a new system that has no clear API or means of connecting to it the Psychic Adapter will be used and it somehow allows connection to this target system without the necessary angst of the developer/consultant to discover a solution to the problem.
Of course in reality the Psychic Adapter doesn’t exist but what does is experience, experience of a group of BizTalk consultants that are able to solve the supposedly unsolvable. It is the necessary apprenticeship that we go through with BizTalk that allows us to become the Psychic Adapters as it were and what separates us from those that have ‘done a couple of things’ with BizTalk.
As CTO I am involved with many pre-sales calls around the use of BizTalk. To be honest I’d rather be involved with calls around ‘we have this business problem can you help?’ but as Microsoft is product centric the recommendation to us usually comes because someone is looking for ‘help with BizTalk’. So the conversation starts along the lines – ‘We have decided to use BizTalk and Microsoft recommends you guys’ or ‘We are trying to install BizTalk to do a pilot and hit a snag, can we have a couple days to get us up and running’ – both are coming at us with a solution rather than a problem and both, obviously have no real understanding of BizTalk. So we are almost back to being ‘Psychic Adapters’ again.
We have to try and ‘get them real’ and onto the problem they are attempting to solve, try to almost double guess how they got here. Finally we have to remove the notion that BizTalk (or should we really say – integration) is just another simple developer task. Strangely enough this brings me back full circle to ‘The Psychic Adapter’ – having established the problems and then learnt a little about the edge systems involved we get to that nirvana moment where we ask ‘does XYZ have a documented API?’ invariably that’s where the answer is ‘No, that’s what we want BizTalk for!’ – Ah ha! Let’s get out the Psychic Adapter!
Now on reflection looking back at the hundreds of BizTalk projects and more recently Cloud based integration projects we have completed I can honestly say I have found there is a ‘Psychic Adapter’! It’s the skills and experience of the Solidsoft consultants who day in and day out solve the unsolvable be it with BizTalk or cloud based application integration. So I can now say: Solidsoft Provides Psychic Adapters Cloud and BizTalk based application integration!