BizTalk Server 2013

This must put an end to the debate going on for the past two years “BizTalk is Dead”. Both as a consultant in the past and founder of BizTalk360 I meet lot of customers who invested heavily on BizTalk server. For the past couple of years with the innovation going on in the cloud space, some of them got the impression Microsoft is moving toward the cloud and BizTalk is dead.This statement is not true, we been working with some of the top executives in the BizTalk product team and they themselves are sometimes puzzled how this message got into the market.

Keeping that message aside, it’s very clear from the commitment made by Microsoft to deliver one major release roughly every 2 years. They kept the promise going from 2000 (2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2006 R2, 2009, 2010 and now 2013), not sure what else you can ask for from a product vendor. BizTalk Server 2013 is not just a platform alignment, there are big investments in various areas of the product.

Core Features

BizTalk Server 2013 Core features

  • Integration with Cloud Services – BizTalk Server 2013 Beta includes new out-of-the box adapters to send and receive messages from Windows Azure Service Bus. It also provides capabilities to transfer messages using different relay endpoints hosted on Azure.
  • RESTful services – REST adapter that comes out of the box helps to both consume and expose restful services. We have couple of posts explaining this topic from the CTP releases REST (WCF-WebHttp) adapter in BizTalk Server 2010 R2, Consuming JSON endpoint with BizTalk 2010 R2 REST WCF-WebHttp adapter
  • Enhanced SharePoint adapter – Integrating with SharePoint using BizTalk Server 2013 Beta is now as simple as integrating with a file share. We have removed the need for dependency on SharePoint farms, while still providing backward compatibility.
  • SFTP adapter – BizTalk Server 2013 Beta enables sending and receiving messages from an SFTP server.
  • ESB Toolkit integration – With BizTalk Server 2013 Beta, ESB Toolkit is now fully integrated with BizTalk Server. Also, the ESB Toolkit configuration experience is vastly simplified to enable a quick setup.
  • Dependency tracking – The dependencies between artifacts can now be viewed and navigated in Admin console.
  • Improvements in dynamic send ports – BizTalk Server 2013 Beta provides the ability to set host handler per adapter, instead of always using the default send handler of the adapters.

Note: The above snippet is more or less from the download page.

Platform Alignment

Microsoft in general is a fast phased company, everything moves very fast (Windows, SQL, Visual Studio etc.) and BizTalk team has done a tremendous job in keeping to that phase and delivering the promises.  BizTalk Server 2013 is supported on the following platforms.

BizTalk Server 2013 Platform Alignment

Few weeks ago after Windows 8 release, I installed Windows 8 on my main laptop, with all the other tools like Visual Studio 2012 and SQL 2012. After that I was bit stuck, I can’t use the the laptop anymore for BizTalk development, because you cannot install BizTalk Server 2010 on that platform.  But now that problem is resolved, I can install BizTalk 2013 BETA in that laptop and carry on working with BizTalk stuff. Also it’s important to know, you can do an in-place upgrade from BizTalk Server 2010 to BizTalk Server 2013. You do not need to manually migrate your stuff to the new platform.

One of the mistakes I have seen companies doing is leaving their platform few versions behind. Example I’m sure there still customers out there on BizTalk Server 2004 and 2006 and when it comes to migrating to new platform it becomes a huge project in itself. Companies should come out of the mindset of “If it’s working, I don’t want to touch it” and try to be either current or only one version behind. Otherwise you are missing out on lot of improvements.

On-premise meets the cloud

“Ready for the cloud” is one of the main themes of this release. One of the biggest innovations in this release is the investments in seamless integration of your on-premise environment with some of the cloud innovations like Azure Service Bus (Queues, Topics etc), EDI capabilities. BizTalk server 2013 comes out of the box with Service Bus adapter.

BizTalk Server 2013 on-premise and cloud

Kent Weare has done an excellent job in going in detail about SB-Messaging adapter.

BizTalk Virtual machines in the Cloud (IaaS)

One of the biggest announcement in BizTalk Server 2013 is the supportability of BizTalk Virtual machines in the cloud. Moving in the direction of Infrastructure as a service (Iaas). From my experience I know lot of companies rely on some third party hosting companies to host their BizTalk infrastructure. But now you canrun your production BizTalk environment all in the Azure cloud without relying on some third party hosting services. Your SLA’s are governed by Azure VM SLA’s. Even if you are not planning to run your production environment in Azure cloud, it still provides a great opportunity to setup your development and QA environments taking away the pain of long procurement processes in organisation to provision such environments.

I’ve worked in larger organisations where it takes months to sort out a developer environments, procuring the hardware, sorting our various licenses, whether they need to assign MSDN or is it free etc.

There are already few good blog post covering this topic, in fact we have written an extensive 5 part post explaining how we moved our testing infrastructure to the cloud.

Download BETA

You can download the BizTalk Server 2013 BETA here http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35553

Download BizTalk Server 2013 BETA

About Saravana Kumar

Saravana Kumar is the Founder and CTO of BizTalk360, an enterprise software that acts as an all-in-one solution for better administration, operation, support and monitoring of Microsoft BizTalk Server environments.

Comments

  1. Mark Brimble says:

    Can you confirm that the download works on Windows 8. The downlload page does not seem to list Windows 8 as a supported OS.

  2. Prem says:

    Will Biztalk 2013 beta run on SQL Server 2008 R2 Express?

  3. Tahir Hemani says:

    is there any news on when BizTalk Server 2013 will be officially released? We are going to start a new project with the expected delivery to production in September/October, and we want to use BizTalk 2013 but for sure we can’t go in production with this Beta release. any recommendation which version we should try 2010 or 2013?

    • saravanamv says:

      Release date of BizTalk Server 2013 is not far off, even though I know the exact dates I’m bound by Microsoft NDA and cannot disclose it. But I can tell, it will definitely be released before your Sep/Oct time frame.

  4. Eric says:

    Any update on the release of BizTalk Server 2013 Developer Edition?
    Is it going to be a free download or will it require an MSDN subscription other than MSDN PRO?

  5. Subu Mysore says:

    Hello,
    We have BizTalk 2013 installed as a server. I need to develop apps on it. I have VS 2013 beta installed on my desktop. What do I need to install on my machine to get started? Is there a BizTalk Project Template I can install? if so, from where? Do I have to install the entire BizTalk DVD features on my machine (including SQL SERVER)?
    Please help. Thank you. (subumysore@gmail.com)

  6. DANIEL says:

    Hi All,

    My current solution is on BizTalk 2009 and my client is thinking of migrating to BizTalk 2013 . Please suggest me is it a good idea to migrate to BizTalk 2013.

    i need clear difference between BizTalk 2009 to BizTalk 2013,Please Help Out. Thanks in advance

    Thanks and Regards

    Daniel S

    • Sajith C P says:

      Hope you would have already checked this informative post http://blogs.biztalk360.com/biztalk-server-2013-r2-upgrade-reasons-upgrademigrate-previous-versions/

      In a nutshell you would want to upgrade when,

      1)Upgrade based on your platform requirements

      2)Upgrade based on current version – Microsoft has already ended support for 2009 on 08/07/2014.You can still buy extended support.

      3)Upgrade to utilize new features that keeps coming in the new versions

      4)Upgrade based on current projects – The best situation for you to plan for your upgrade and reduce the cost is do it along with your project plans. If you have a big release coming, and if you are already planning for lot of functional testing, use that as an opportunity to migrate to new version.

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