BizTalk: E-Commerce the Microsoft Way II (1/2) - exploring XML
BizTalk: E-Commerce the Microsoft Way II
Welcome back to the second part of our BizTalk tour. While we focused on the framework in our last installment, we are going to examine the BizTalk server and Web site now.
The BizTalk Server
The BizTalk server implements the BizTalk framework. It offers business-document routing, transformation, and a rules-based tracking infrastructure. The server has features that enable the construction of dynamic business processes by integrating applications and business partners using public standards to ensure interoperability.
Dynamic Business Processes
The BizTalk server comes with a lot of tools to set up, manage, and execute business processes across the Internet.
- Business Process Orchestration
- Distributed business processes can be designed and built dynamically with a visual tool called the BizTalk Orchestration Designer. It brings together business analysts, IT professionals, and developers in one common design environment.
- XML Schema Generation
- XML document schemas can be created and edited with the BizTalk Editor.
- XML Document Transformation
- The BizTalk Mapper transforms one schema into another with XSLT.
- Trading Relationship Establishment
- BizTalk Messaging Manager automates the process of setting up trading profiles and agreements to exchange business documents with applications and trading partners over the Internet. This technology is also a nonprogrammatic GUI application.
Integrating applications and business partners
The Biztalk server is an integration server that is itself modular, in that adapters can be developed for different transport mediums and data sources.
- Extensive XML Support
- All BizTalk Server document exchanges are done in W3C-standard XML. All document transformations are done in W3C-standard XSLT.
- Multiple Transport and Protocol Support
- BizTalk Server supports Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), HTTP, HTTPS, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), and Networked File Shares.
- BizTalk Framework 2.0
- An open industry framework for reliable document exchange and routing, BizTalk Framework version 2.0 is compliant with SOAP version 1.1.
- Open Binding Architecture
- The open binding adapter architecture enables any developer or independent software vendor (ISV) to build adapters that enable their products to be accessed from BizTalk Server.
Interoperability through open standards
While Microsoft usually strives to deliver software tools with proprietary document formats to maintain its market position, this is difficult to attain for an integration server that by its pure definition has to interoperate with non-Microsoft systems. In this space success can only come with open standards, even for Microsoft.
- BizTalk Server enables secure communications with trading partners over the Web. It uses operating system security features, including full support for public-key infrastructure, digital signatures, and encryption. It offers support for Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) versions 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0, plus a pluggable architecture for third-party security products.
- Document Delivery
- Enabled by BizTalk Framework 2.0, BizTalk Server ensures that messages are sent and received exactly once. It supports synchronous and asynchronous interaction.
- BizTalk servers can be clustered as needed to meet demand. The BizTalk Administration Tool handles clustering and replication of servers.
- Robust Document Tracking and Analysis
- Track documents that pass through the system, which is useful for pinpointing and fixing messaging problems. BizTalk Server integrates with SQL Server, or later online analytical processing (OLAP) tools to perform analysis.
All in all the server is a reliable message broker for XML business documents, with neat graphical tools for those steps in the process that still need human intervention, from setup, and management, to execution.
On to BizTalk.org.
Produced by Michael Claßen
Created: Jan 21, 2002
Revised: Jan 21, 2002