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Post By Admin Last Updated At 2020-11-04
Why the BizTalk Server is useful for business?

There is a lot of competition in the business market due to the growing complexity of the business environment. Diverse automated systems and applications have taken place in this competition with business growth. In this regard, to enhance business efficiency, performance, and agility, Microsoft launched a dynamic product “BizTalk server”. This is a great product that integrates different systems and applications for enhancing various business processes with automation.

It aligns flawlessly with all the business systems and varied data to simplify the business processes and enhance productivity. Microsoft’s BizTalk Server is a Middleware system that helps business organizations to automate their processes. Moreover, the BT application is a BizTalk Server feature that makes it faster and easier to implement, manage, and troubleshoot BT Server business solutions. Besides, it’s a logical grouping of the items, called "artifacts," useful in a BizTalk Server solution.

The BizTalk server not only does process automation but also provides B2B communication channels and other services. It connects different software and builds various business logic by changing processes. Furthermore, this server also helps information workers to monitor processes and execute other business jobs.

There is a lot to know about this server which we will cover in this blog in the following paragraphs.

What is BizTalk Server used for?

The main purpose of using the BizTalk Server is to enable companies to automate their business processes with the help of adapters. They communicate with other software systems within the organization effectively to smoother business functions.

There are two important components of BizTalk server architecture, such as- messaging engine and orchestration engine.

The messaging engine works to move the business documents as messages throughout the applications with an integrated path.

Here, “receive functions” within this engine allows this framework to get documents from the source for processing using various network protocols. It also includes HTTP or other mechanisms in this process. Moreover, there are many more things that help in this process.

The “Channels” converts various documents from the source app to the format that the target application requires. It also converts Log information into the BT server.

Finally, the “message ports” send the documents to the target application after the above processes. They usually use adapters or AICs that deliver business documents to a specific class of apps. There are more than 300+ adapters available to connect to the destiny applications.

The second component, the Orch engine makes sure that the processed business documents through the messaging engine are perfect. It ensures that they followed a defined process in this regard. Later, the business analysts work to build graphical images of the business process and work closely with developers. They link the various steps involve in the business process with the server resources.

Moreover, these process images are defined in XLANG, a special dialect by the orchestration engine. We will also learn about these components in detail further.

Get more insights on this subject through the BizTalk Online Course at OnlineITGuru with experts.

BizTalk Server Architecture

BizTalk server components

Hereunder, we will discuss the BizTalk server components in more detail as we discussed above.

Receive Port:

In this, the framework gets messages from source systems through the “Receive Ports” component.

Adapters:

Usually, information interchanges with external systems. There are various types of in-build adapters that are useful to send/receive messages to applications from the BizTalk server. Such as file, web service, FTP, etc.

Pipelines:

The pipelines are generally useful to turn the message into an XML format and assist the message “content properties” upon it. In this regard, subscribers can get the message for further activity. Moreover, this framework plays a message within XML format only for the user’s visibility. In case, a message is in another format, then it should be turned into XML format within the pipeline and then proceeds further. Besides, this also offers a built-in pipeline component for converting it into XML from text & JSON files. Furthermore, if the format is different from XML, text, or JSON files. Then it needs writing custom pipeline components to change the same into XML format.

Schemas:

Well, schemas are useful to set the format of the message within the XSD file format.

Maps:

The map is useful to alter the message format from source to target system or file. The modification allows the application to map one message configuration to another and turn data as it is processed. These messages are XML documents within the system and such as changes are built from Extensible Style sheet Language (XSL). Microsoft has offered some mapping tools inside the framework development. This tool has a rich set of functionality that helps in message changing. Moreover, this framework also supports custom XSLT for mapping purposes.

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The above video will help you know about the BT server basically.

Message Box:

This Server uses architecture like a publish-subscribe messaging engine and the heart of this structure is the BT MessageBox database. This message box is accountable for storing the messages, its properties, subscriptions, tracking data, and other like data. Further, the Message Box includes two different components in it: a) One is Microsoft SQL Server databases & b) the Second one is Messaging Agent.

The SQL Server database offers the resolution store for many products. This also includes messages, message parts and properties, subscriptions, tracking data, routing host queues, and others. The BT Server group may include more than one MessageBox databases into which it publishes messages. And from where subscribers to those messages get messages.

Send Port:

A “send port” is a location or place to which MS BT Server sends messages or receives messages from the BT Server messages. Moreover, it also provides the technology that BT uses to apply the communication activity. The name of the port locates the location in a unique format.

Send Port Group:

This port group is a collection of send ports of BT server. Here, the BT Server uses to send the same message to different targets within a single configuration.

BizTalk Orchestration:

These are the various executable business processes that can subscribe to get and send messages using the MessageBox database. In addition to this, orchestrations can build new messages also. When a message is sent from an orchestration, it gets published to the “Message Box” in the same manner as a message coming on a “receive location”. This is with the suitable properties getting placed into the database for routing purposes.

Moreover, this is a flexible and powerful tool for displaying an executable business process based on XLANG. An XLANG/s also viewed as a messaging language having a few of the expression capabilities of C#. Users can design flow, explain and produce data, call custom code, and arrange the whole process in an intuitive visual drawing. Later, at run time, the BT Orchestration Engine (BTOE) executes XLANG/s files. These are the executable business processes generated by BT Orchestration Designer.

Role Links: 

The role links component is an abstraction layer between the orchestrations and trading parties. Further, role links enable users to perfectly ascertain the trading party for interaction based on message content, database values, etc. that a user thinks of. Besides, a role is a collection of many port types that either uses a service or applies a service. Also, a role explains how other parties connect with orchestrations.

Party:

Finally, the party connects with “send port” using the role link component. This will explain at run time where a message processes based on Party configuration specifically.

BizTalk Server benefits

There are many benefits of using BizTalk Server out of which we will discuss a few of them below.

  • BizTalk Server offers the business enterprises the best solution to integrate, automate, and manage their various functions. This could be inside or outside the organization and through multiple channels and environments.
  • The maintenance and updating of the information is an easier and simpler task within BizTalk Server.
  • It connects various systems and applications in one place through HTTP and other network protocols. This connects the users and the information they are searching for.
  • Moreover, the BizTalk supports EDI or Exchange data information and B2B communication as well.
  • It also manages the negative effects upon the system like server down or disconnections. The system offers a retry mechanism to its users to recover the data/information.
  • The Server also includes the ESB architecture tool that supports its messaging services dynamically. This architecture is useful to manage the existing service and other service interactions.
  • BizTalk Server establishes a great bonding between the business lines through adapters. These adapters help the inflow of information across organizations and the globe.
  • It works as a business hub within an organization that directs workflow smoothly. Moreover, it enables the exchange of information and data between different systems across the business unit.
  • BizTalk Server also helps the systems regarding communication through a common language.
  • It helps in establishing collaboration between the systems through effective communication channels.
  • Further, it supports an SOA that helps businesses to build a service enabling system across the business.
  • Besides, it provides users with a dynamic information sharing platform that helps them to run processes on multiple systems.

It uses an active API that helps to monitor business processes and workflow into the systems.

BizTalk Server administration tools

There are some tools available for administration and performance evaluation purposes within the BT server. The following tools will help to manage BizTalk Server groups, to deploy BizTalk Server apps, etc. Moreover, it helps in interaction with business partners, and to observe the status of BT Server.

BizTalk Server Administration console

The BT Server Admin console (BTSAC) is the fundamental management tool for BizTalk Server. This tool offers a GUI interface for executing all of the deployment operations for a BizTalk app. For instance, users can begin the Import, Installation, and Export Wizards and can add & remove an application's artifacts also. Moreover, he can make any other changes necessary to the application.

Using the BTS Administration console, users can use live view or archived message incident or service instance data. This helps users to track the health of the BT Server implementation, locate bugs/issues, and monitor the BizTalk Server ecosystem. Besides, users can also view the technical details of a specific orchestration, pipeline, or message, etc. They can also look into the message flow of a specific message that comes into the system.

BTSTask command-line tool (CLI-tool)

BTSTask allows users to execute many admin tasks through the command line. They can also use BTSTask to execute various application deployment works from the CLI. Such as follows:

  • By using the “AddApp” - command users can add a BT application to the BizTalk Management database easily.
  • They can also add an artifact to a particular application by using the command - “AddResource”.
  • Users can export an application and its artifacts to a .msi file by using the command -“ExportApp” within the BT Server task.
  • “ExportBindings”-command is useful in exporting binding information of the task to a .xml file.
  • The “ImportApp”- command is useful to import an app from the MSI file.
  • The command- “ImportBindings” useful in importing binding information from a .xml file.
  • Users can delete an application from the BizTalk Management database (BTMD) and the BizTalk Administration console with the help of the “Remove App” - command.
  • It is possible to delete an artifact from an application for a user through the command- “RemoveResource”.
APIs with scripting and programming ability

Here users can use MS Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Object Model to build and run scripts to put the admin tasks on automation.

Operational Data Service

This feature offers data on the instances and messages flowing via the BizTalk Server ecosystem. The operational data is the same data that the user looks at Group Hub within BizTalk Server Administration. Moreover, this data is accessible and queried using data visualization tools like Power BI.

Business Activity Monitoring or BAM

The BAM uses an MS Excel workbook that offers business users a way to have a real-time view of the various business processes.

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BizTalk Terminator Tool

This tool was built by the BT support team that resolves common database integrity problems usually found within the BT Message Box Viewer output. The common tasks consist of removing instances and cleansing big tables.

Visual Studio

Here the developer can build BT assemblies within VS and use the “Deploy” command to automatically deploy them into an application.

Summing Up

Thus, we have gone through the BizTalk Server uses in a business environment where the enterprise gets the benefit of automating tasks. It connects to various parts of the Org. systems to operate different tasks. This makes the business users much intuitive in using various tools and techniques in their processes. Microsoft BT Server enables the user to link the different software and graphically change the logic used that software later. Using BT data workers to run the process and connect with the trading parties and perform the various business-related jobs. To become a BizTalk professional, get into the BizTalk Online Training with IT Guru experts to acquire great skills.