How Does BizTalk Server Work?

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2002 consists of two main services: BizTalk Messaging Services through which you send messages between business processes, and BizTalk Orchestration Services through which you create your business processes.

The pain of integration

No question about it, integrating applications within an organization has always been far too painful. You have seen these challenges firsthand—different applications sitting on different operating systems, written in different languages, based on different programming models. And your job is to get them all talking.

The e-commerce world, however, has made integration tasks considerably more complicated. Not only are you faced with integrating your internal systems, you must also integrate their processes with those of external customers and key suppliers—requiring open technologies such as XML Web services, HTTP or SMTP for delivery, and XML for data formatting—and it all has to be done over the Internet.

Companies that want to remain competitive need to do a fundamentally better job with internal and external integration. Historically, the differences between internal and external integration challenges have been seen as different sets of point-to-point connections. But connections are just a means to an end; the real end is integrating business processes.

Internally, businesses typically use proprietary data formats, and have historically employed a synchronous remote procedure call (RPC) mechanism. However, as you integrate more internal applications, the synchronous model leads to concerns about reliability and availability. To counter this, businesses today are moving toward an asynchronous model that appears synchronous—so called "sync on async."

So where do you begin? Business process integration sounds great, but it is often a full-time job just keeping your connections working properly. And at the end of the day, your job is to get the right information in the right place at the right time.

That's where BizTalk Server can help.

BizTalk Server enables you to integrate business processes

Using BizTalk Server, business analysts, IT professionals, and developers can work in a common environment where they can rapidly define, design, and deploy integrated solutions that work across applications, platforms, and organizations.

BizTalk Server makes it easier to orchestrate dynamic business processes within and between organizations.

More specifically, BizTalk Server enables you to:

  • Simplify application integration. Easily build, manage, and track distributed business processes that cross the boundaries of applications, organizations, and time.

  • Decrease time to market. Quickly establish reliable, secure business-to-business (B2B) trading relationships with customers and key partners over the Internet.

  • Leverage existing IT investments. Cost-effectively integrate disparate legacy applications using standards, independent of platform.

The following topics are covered in this section:

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