Welcome BizTalk 2013 beta

Microsoft recently released the beta release of BizTalk Server 2013. The first good news is that the initial name (BizTalk 2010 R2) has changed to BizTalk 2013, indicating it will be a major release, providing longer support to our customers!

The beta contains the following capabilities:
Integration with Windows Azure Service Bus – these are mainly out-of-the-box adapters for Windows Azure Service Bus (both messaging & relay)
Support for REST – seeing the web- & device-world move to a REST-oriented approach, it is a very good thing to see support for REST in BizTalk 2013. And this is not only for consuming, but also for exposing RESTful services!
SFTP adapter – this has been a request for years and it’s with great relief that a true SFTP adapter will be part of BizTalk 2013
ESB Toolkit – The ESB toolkit has been one of the most unclear parts of BizTalk since its inception. From guidance over toolkit and now ending up as part of the product. The configuration experience is much better, which is already good.
Dependency tracking – the administration console now shows the dependencies between artifacts
Other changes – enhanced SharePoint adapter, improvements in send ports…
Host Integration Server- that comes with the BizTalk license, also has some improvements in the following areas: DB2 integration, TI management, Support for MQ v7.5 & v7.1

Download Link:

 http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35553

What first looked like a pure platform update (aligning with SQL Server 2012, Windows Server 2012, .NET 4.5) now has changed to a big upgrade with a lot of enhancements to the product.

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Creating a BizTalk 2010 R2 VM on Azure

If you have been wondering how to create a Biztalk VM on Azure, there is a very good article recently posted on The BizTalk Server Team Blog. Check it out here.

This post will walk you through the steps involved to create a virtual machine running BizTalk Server 2010 R2 (CTP) in the cloud.

More cloud based integration posts coming up

As we move towards the cloud, we need to be able to expose endpoints on the cloud for integration that follows a hybrid model (see my previous post that describes what a hybrid model is) . In the next few days, I will be writing posts that demonstrate how BizTalk can be used to talk to Azure service bus and other cloud based services.
Meanwhile, msdn has avery interesting article on this and can be found here.

 

 

How the absence of MSDTC can affect the implementation of BizTalk in the cloud

As announced in the PDC, the virtual machine role feature was added to Azure with the primary goal to move existing applications to the cloud. This allows us to upload our own VHD with the Operating System on it (Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise). This machine could have your application pre-packaged and installed. After doing this, you are now able to spin up multiple instances of that machine.

As stated in most discussions,

“MSDTC is not enabled on the cloud machines. There’s no workaround. But, in the cloud environment, there’s indeed no need to use MSDTC. The load balance is done automatically. In SQL Azure, when you use a normal BEGIN_TRANSACTION statement, the transaction may automatically be distributed, or it may not, depends on what the load balancer thinks best suits the operation.”

What this means?

◦BizTalk Server relies heavily on SQL Server and uses MSDTC to keep transactional state across databases and with the adapters.
◦SQL Azure does not support distributed transactions and also introduces more latency to the database queries.

So….

◦It won’t be possible to build a multi-machine BizTalk Server Group through the VM role.