This is next part of What is BizTalk Server blog article.
Why do people still use BizTalk?
In Microsoft stack, when it comes to Integration BizTalk Server is the key product. These days the existence of isolated applications are diminished, every single application needs to talk to other applications.
If you don't have something like BizTalk Server, soon these applications integrations are going to create lot of point to point connections creating a spaghetti mess in your organisation.
BizTalk Server is not the only player in the market, there are various other competitors like Tibco, Oracle ESB, IBM WebSphere Message Broker, IBM ESB etc. If you are primarily Microsoft focused company, then BizTalk Server will be your key integration solution.
Microsoft is continuing it's investment in BizTalk Server, since 2000 it released one major version every 2 years once (2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2006 R2, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2013R2 and 2016). In last few years, the cloud became one of the key topic for discussion. It's natural for integration products to talk to cloud in the future. BizTalk Server 2016 rightly position itself to make it seamless to talk to cloud, example out of the box it comes with set of Cloud related adapters to talk to Windows Azure Service Bus and logic apps.
Why can BizTalk be considered the best?
Below are few points that can be considered for considering BizTalk as one of the best Integration tool :-
- Declarative Programming Model i.e. in contrast to Imperative Programming which implements algorithms.
- Adapter Based Communications, BizTalk provides multiple adapters to connect to almost all the applications/systems(like SQL,SAP, SharePoint, FTP etc.)
- Strong support for transformation, Maps in BizTalk are used for message transformation where it provides functions zipped into a method box called functoids.
- Flexible and easy deployment of BizTalk applications, we can also achieve silent deployment using power-shell script. BizTalk applications can be deployed with use of BTDF, .bat files/command prompts, MSI packages.
- BizTalk gives the developer flexibility to create custom components which can be pipeline components, functoids, adapters, bindings etc.
- BizTalk provides Business Rule Engine for automation of Business process and Business logic .
- BAM, helps in real time monitoring can be used with BizTalk for tracking data following through multiple applications.
- BizTalk transfer data in XML format, it is also user friendly.
Which are the companies using BizTalk?
These are the figures :
- 10,000+ BizTalk customers worldwide
- 23 of 27 EU member governments use Microsoft BizTalk to provide more efficient government services
- 81% of the Fortune Global 100 use BizTalk
- 6 of the 8 largest U.S. pharmaceutical companies
- 4 of the 5 largest electronics parts manufacturers
- 9 of the10 largest U.S. telecommunications companies
- 9 of the 10 largest U.S. Aerospace and Defense Companies
- 5 of the 8 largest U.S. chemical companies
- 4 of the 5 largest railroads in the U.S.
- 9 of the 10 largest insurance companies in the world
- 12 of the 15 largest Retailers in the World run Microsoft BizTalk
- 5 of 10 largest Hotel Chains in the World with over 2 Million rooms use Microsoft BizTalk
How is the future for BizTalk developer?
Any technology is evolving one, you need to be prepared to adapt changes.
As someone who is working on BizTalk, your primary skill set is solving "integration problems", BizTalk is just a tool to achieve it. Yes you’ll know in-depth about how BizTalk is working, you’ll be able to build solutions faster using BizTalk, however the core competency you’ll be gaining is how to solve Integration problems, that’s something no one can replace.
As a next step you need to keep your eyes open on how Integration technology is evolving in the Microsoft stack, you need to expand your horizon with evolving technologies like Azure LogicApps, API apps, Service Bus, Event Hubs, IOT suite etc which are all related.
Slowly the world of integration is moving from connecting just bunch of on-premise legacy systems to much wider scope of SaaS/PaaS connectivity, connecting Salesforce cloud to Office365.