We were oversubscribed for the two webinars on February 3rd by 25%. We can accommodate only a maximum of 100 people per session. Looking at the demand, we decided to do 3 more webinars next week. Register soon and mark your calendars. Hurry! as seats are already filling up pretty fast.
We’ve been working on BizTalk360 8.0 for nearly 14 months now. 9 developers, 2 UI/UX designers, 2 document writers, and 5 QA people. We spent over 30,000 man hours into BizTalk360 version 8.0. Based on your country, you can multiply the hours by consultant hourly rate and get the feel for the investment we have made.
After working in BizTalk for 15+ years, I can confidently say BizTalk360 version 8.0 is the biggest innovation that has happened in BizTalk Server area in the last decade. I have been personally waiting for this day, and it’s time to reveal some of the backstage stories.
We were demonstrating the early preview version of the product to our partners, some of our existing customers and we even presented in few major events like Azure Hybrid Integration Day, Calgary and BizTalk user group in Netherlands. Here are some of the comments we noticed in the social channels
The last time we did a drastically big change to BizTalk360 was back in November 2013 when we did the switch from Version 6.0 to 7.0 (i.e.) moving from Silverlight to HTML 5 interface. Since then, we have released 7 major versions of BizTalk360 (7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.5, 7.8, 7.9 and 7.10). The new version 8.0 is bigger and better at multiple magnitudes.
Dismantling everything and assembling it back
Around October 2014, we had already released 4 versions of 7.x and collected lot of feedback from customers, partners, and community. They were real feedback from real people who use BizTalk360 day in and day out. When we went back to the drawing board, it became clear that – if we are going to bet on BizTalk360 for a long run, the only way to do it is by doing it properly.
We decided to dismantle the entire user interface. We went through multiple iterations of UI/UX design thinking, we eased the navigation style, we redesigned every single page to make it more intuitive and appealing. We introduced some clever usability techniques like in-line actions, extensive investment in dashboards, pinning navigation links for easy access, etc.
The goal is very simple – we just want to make sure BizTalk support people feel energetic and awesome to work with BizTalk. Here is our new operations dashboard page.
Analytics – BizTalk is Not a Black Box Anymore
From our personal experience of working with BizTalk for 15+ years and additional 4+ years working with 100’s of BizTalk server customers, we understood one thing very clearly. Many times, people treated BizTalk server as one big black box. Something goes inside and comes out on the other side and they really didn’t know what’s going on inside BizTalk since there was no visibility. Some companies invested in their own analytics solution by using BAM + custom portals.
We understood it’s not practical for every organization to do such investment. Hence in BizTalk360 version 8.0, we decided to bring a brand new capability called “Analytics”. This feature visualizes all the important metrics in your BizTalk environment. You can understand the various messaging patterns, construct various dashboards to understand different metrics like transaction volume for specific message type, failure rate at ports, performance characteristics of BizTalk and SQL servers, understand CPU/Memory utilization at process level (rules, EDI, SSO, host instances) and so on. We also provide ways to correlate different metrics in a single graph so that you can visualize the correlation of the events at different points.transaction volume for specific message type, failure rate at ports, performance characteristics of BizTalk and SQL servers, understand CPU/Memory utilization at process level (rules, EDI, SSO, host instances) and so on. We also provide ways to correlate different metrics in a single graph so that you can visualize the correlation of the events at different points.
BizTalk360 customers can get all these benefits with “ZERO” coding or changes to your environment. The new analytics dashboard view
Business Rules Composer for Business Users
When we did our research, we understood that many BizTalk server customers do not take advantage of the Business Rules capability that comes with BizTalk server. The main reason being the dependency it creates with IT whenever a rule needs to be changed. Let’s take an example. Just before a festival season, an organisation decides to give 30% discount to their premium product. If this change needs to be implemented, the business user needs to inform IT about the change. Then, a developer would open the standard “BizTalk Rules Composer”, make a new policy, implement the 30% discount, and coordinate with operations and QA team for deployment of the new change.
In this case, the rule change is pretty much treated like a code change, and it’s a time-consuming process. Many time, you just miss the deadline and hence the business opportunity.
To tackle this challenge, we have a built a brand new web based “Business Rules Composer” that will allow business users to directly change the rules and even deploy them into production directly. Of course, we have taken care of the security and governance side! You can restrict the business user(s) who have the permissions to make these kind of changes and everything is audited. This gives the business a great agility.
We worked with one of the biggest US based insurance company for the past 9 months in implementing this feature. You can imagine the scale of this task – 2 of our developers were fully utilized for the past 9 months just for this activity.
A sneak preview of how the BRE composer looks in BizTalk360 version 8.0
There are lots more in stock coming in BizTalk360 version 8.0. It wouldn’t be possible to cover everything in one single blog. Stay tuned. We will showcase more and more in the coming days.
We were oversubscribed for the two webinars on February 3rd by 25%. We can accommodate only a maximum of 100 people per session. Looking at the demand, we decided to do 3 more webinars next week. Register soon and mark your calendars. Hurry! Seats are already filling up pretty fast.