Tying systems together is expected, and has become the norm. As organizations move toward a service-oriented world, the real goal—creating effective business processes that unite separate systems into a coherent whole—comes within reach.
Microsoft BizTalk Server allows connecting diverse software, then graphically creating and modifying process logic that uses that software. BizTalk Server also enables information workers to monitor running processes, interact with trading partners, and perform other business-oriented tasks.
Key new features in BizTalk Server are:
- Better support for deploying, monitoring, and managing applications
- Significantly simpler installation
- Improved capabilities for Business Activity Monitoring (BAM)
Combining different systems into effective business processes is a challenging problem. Accordingly, BizTalk Server includes a range of technologies. The heart of the product is the BizTalk Server Engine.
The engine has two main parts:
- A messaging component that provides the ability to communicate with a range of other software. By relying on adapters for different kinds of communication, the engine can support a variety of protocols and data formats, including Web services and many others.
- Support for creating and running graphically-defined processes called orchestrations. Built on top of the engine’s messaging components, orchestrations implement the logic that drives all or part of a business process.
Several other BizTalk components can also be used in concert with the engine, including:
- A Business Rule Engine that evaluates complex sets of rules.
- A Group Hub that lets developers and administrators monitor and manage the engine and the orchestrations it runs.
- An Enterprise Single Sign-On (SSO) facility that provides the ability to map authentication information between Windows and non-Windows systems.
- On top of this foundation, BizTalk Server includes Business Activity Monitoring, which information workers use to monitor a running business process. The information is displayed in business rather than technical terms, and business users determine what information is displayed.