Overview of the Microsoft ESB Guidance

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Microsoft ESB Guidance uses Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2 to support a loosely coupled messaging architecture. Most developers are familiar with code-oriented, procedural, or object-oriented development paradigms. However, when starting to develop BizTalk solutions, they often overlook the BizTalk Server message-oriented capabilities.

BizTalk Server includes a powerful publish/subscribe mechanism that works by creating and filling subscriptions. When a new message arrives in the BizTalk Message Box database, a message agent looks for subscribers and sends the message to any endpoints that have subscriptions. Subscriptions can be set up in several ways, including binding an orchestration to a receive port, having a correlated receive waiting for a message, or creating a send port with a filter condition that matches a property of the message (such as the type, the receive point, or the value of a routable property).

This is an efficient and scalable approach. Developers can create a series of discrete sub-processes, define the types of messages that trigger their invocation, and not worry about the sequence. A process activated by the appearance of a message performs its processing on the message, and may then deliver this or another message to the Message Box database, which, in turn, may activate one or more other sub-processes.

Microsoft provides key building blocks that are required for building comprehensive Service-Oriented Infrastructures, including Windows Server 2003, the .NET Framework 3.0, and BizTalk Server 2006 R2. The Microsoft ESB Guidance is founded on BizTalk Server 2006 R2 because it provides the basis for the most common ESB services, including the following:

  • Message routing
  • Message validation
  • Message transformation
  • Extensible adapter framework for connectivity
  • Service orchestration
  • Business rules engine
  • Business activity monitoring
  • Web service and WS-* integration (WCF adapter)

The Microsoft ESB Guidance extends the functionality of BizTalk Server 2006 R2 to provide a range of new capabilities focused on building robust, connected, service-oriented applications. The following are some of the core capabilities that the ESB Guidance provides to enhance BizTalk Server 2006 R2:

  • Policy driven mediation:
    • The ESB Guidance provides itinerary-based service invocation that supports lightweight service composition at the time of message publication. The Itinerary mechanism dynamically resolves service endpoints and mediation requirements, and routes messages using a registry or the rules engine. This approach allows developers to implement loosely coupled patterns such as VETO/VETRO.
    • The ESB Guidance support dynamic resolution of endpoints and maps using the Microsoft ESB Guidance Resolver and Adapter Provider Framework. This supports dynamic resolution of endpoints and transformation requirements, effectively decoupling the consumer from the services.
  • Connecting systems:
    • The ESB Guidance can perform namespace normalization of messages.
    • The ESB Guidance provides JMS/WMQ connectivity.
    • The ESB Guidance supports messaging patterns that enable dynamic service aggregation, message routing, message validation, and message transformation.
    • The ESB Guidance incorporates service registry and repository integration using UDDI and WS-MetadataExchange.
  • Management and monitoring:
    • The ESB Guidance implements exception mediation and fault management.
    • The ESB Guidance supports message repair and resubmission.
    • The ESB Guidance implements exception alerts and subscriptions.
    • The ESB Guidance provides BizTalk endpoint and registry integration, management, and publication.
    • The ESB Guidance supports reporting and analytics for exceptions, alerts, and registrations.
    • The ESB Guidance includes the sample management Web portal.
  • SOA governance:
    • The ESB Guidance integrates with third party SOA governance solutions, including embedded management agents for BizTalk Server 2006 R2 from AmberPoint and SOA Software.

For information about Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2, see the Microsoft BizTalk Server site.

For the latest news, forums, and support for the Microsoft ESB Guidance, see ESB Guidance on CodePlex.