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Getting Started

Microsoft® BizTalk™ Server 2002 provides a powerful development and execution environment that integrates loosely coupled, long-running business processes from the enterprise to the Internet. BizTalk Server can handle transactions that run as long as weeks or months, not just minutes or hours.

BizTalk Server 2002 features include the ability to design and execute state-full business processes in the form of XLANG schedules, integrate existing applications, define document specifications and specification transformations, and monitor and log run-time activity.

BizTalk Server provides a standard gateway for sending and receiving documents across the Internet, as well as providing a range of services that ensure data integrity, delivery, security, and support for the BizTalk Framework and other key document formats, such as Extensible Markup Language (XML), electronic data interchange (EDI), and flat files.

For information about BizTalk Framework 2.0, as well as information about BizTalk Server product resources such as community services, a large library of schemas, and white papers, go to the Microsoft BizTalk Server Web site (www.microsoft.com/biztalk).

Why use BizTalk Server?

Because it makes hard problems easier to solve. BizTalk Server integrates two key features—orchestration and messaging—into a single product. While a powerful messaging engine handles message transport and mapping, BizTalk Orchestration Services can orchestrate business processes composed of components, and messages that are sent and received using the BizTalk Messaging Service.

For example, BizTalk Server enables you to:

  • Build dynamic business processes. The BizTalk Server infrastructure helps you to quickly integrate, manage, and automate dynamic business processes by exchanging business documents among applications, within or across organizational boundaries. With all the tools you need for business process orchestration, BizTalk Server helps you build processes that span applications and businesses over the Internet.

  • Integrate applications and business partners. BizTalk Server makes it easy for developers to integrate applications and businesses together. Business analysts and application developers benefit from graphical tools for building schema for business documents, performing schema transformation, establishing trading partner relationships, and tracking and analyzing data. With support for XML and standard Internet technologies, BizTalk Server extends the features of traditional e-commerce and EDI to entire e-commerce communities.

  • Ensure interoperability using public standards. With extensive support for public standards and specifications, such as XML, EDI, Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP and HTTPS), and security standards, such as public key encryption and digital signatures, BizTalk Server ensures the highest level of interoperability and security with your applications and business partners.

BizTalk Server uses XML internally to define the data and structure of your business documents, and it uses standard Internet protocols like HTTP and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) to deliver these documents to their destinations, enabling you to interoperate with various applications running in any environment as long as those applications support Internet standards. You can send documents to BizTalk Server as XML, EDI, or flat files.

What specific problems does BizTalk Server solve?

Problems associated with internal and external integration.

Historically, businesses have purchased enterprise applications from different vendors over several years, resulting in a variety of applications running on several platforms. Because each application was designed to fulfill a specific task, such as warehousing or customer relationship management (CRM), integration with other applications was not common. As a result, a company that decided to integrate its internal applications found it an expensive and time-consuming task.

Consider these common integration complaints:

  • Disparate applications: "It's too difficult to integrate dissimilar applications within my company."

  • Programming overruns: "It takes too long to develop integrated solutions for my company's enterprise resource plan."

  • Dissimilar reports: "There is no way to generate integrated, timely reports from my various applications because the data is stored in so many places."

  • Modification difficulties: "Once my internal applications are integrated, changing them is arduous and expensive."

  • No set procedure: "My company does not have a consistent method for implementing our critical business processes."

  • Partnering headaches: "It's too difficult to integrate my company's business processes with my trading partner's."

  • Changing partners: "If another business offers me a better deal, it's too difficult to take advantage of this with all the IT infrastructure that is required."

Today, the popularity of the World Wide Web has brought with it the prospect of e-commerce—doing business over the Internet. However, while integrating in-house applications is difficult, trading with customers and suppliers through the Internet is far more complicated, primarily because of increased security and reliability issues associated with online transactions. BizTalk Server is designed to help you solve these problems. Using graphical tools like BizTalk Orchestration Designer and BizTalk Editor, BizTalk Server lets you design your unique business processes in a visual design environment. BizTalk Server then executes the visual diagram, providing rapid application development (RAD) for business processes.

Tutorials

You can get immediate hands-on experience with BizTalk Server 2002 by going through the tutorials provided in this manual:

  • Learning BizTalk Server 2002 helps you better understand how to use BizTalk Editor, BizTalk Mapper, BizTalk Messaging Manager, BizTalk Administrator, and BizTalk Orchestration Designer to configure BizTalk Server to run a business-to-business automated procurement process.

  • The BizTalk Server 2002 Tutorial explains step-by-step how to configure BizTalk Server processes.

  • The E-Procurement Sample is an end-to-end sample that uses BizTalk Server, the Internet, and correlation to demonstrate how to automate the procurement process that takes place between your company and its suppliers.

Samples

BizTalk Server 2002 includes more than 20 samples that illustrate much of the BizTalk Server functionality. Samples provided in the BizTalk Server Software Development Kit (SDK) are located in the folder \Program Files\Microsoft BizTalk Server\SDK on the installation drive.

BizTalk Server samples are organized into two categories:

In this section

The following topics are covered in this section:


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