This week BizTalk 360 held a really exceptional conference in London which had many great speakers. I was disappointed to have to withdraw from being a speaker a few weeks ago and I was unable to attend the full conference, but there was some really good content in this event. One of the things I got thinking a lot about was based on the talks by Guru and Jon about the current BizTalk Services offering and what's coming. In this meeting Jon held up the old BizTalk diagram from a few years ago which is often used to explain how the inner working of BizTalk work. Let's take a moment to reflect on that.
In the event, one of the common things to do is to consider how the new world of Azure related offerings over lays on the original features of BizTalk. This is my attempt to do that.
It's interesting to see that the more modular feature set offered by various Azure offerings which exist now or which are proposed can overlay on the original features to some degree. It is important however to note that this is not a 1:1 mapping. For example while bridges are conceptually similar to the pipeline/port model of the BizTalk Server product they can work in isolation without the rest of the product being there. This conceptually offers some great opportunities and I think in the future this integration offering is going to be about being able to offer an integration solution which can scale not only in terms of being able to increase the amount of messages it can process but which can also offer a multi-tenanted capability which helps customers to scale in terms of complexity too. Perhaps you can start small with just some bridges offering the functionality you need, then you add Service Bus and are in an EAI and messaging world. Then you grow to add workflow and service mediation capabilities and then all of the added value features. Perhaps you go the other way and use the rules engine on its own because that's all you need.
Conceptually exciting times ahead and hoping to see what opportunities these products could give us integration folks.