Marriage between BizTalk360 and Azure AppFabric Service Bus – Result: Birth of http://demo.biztalk360.com

|  Posted: June 27, 2011  |  Categories: BizTalk360 Microsoft Azure

This is an open invitation for all of you to access/manage one of our test BizTalk environment, running in our premise protected by NAT/Firewall.

http://demo.biztalk360.com

Note: The first time loading will take sometime, once the SilverLight application is downloaded, it will be quick.

Why do we need AppFabric Service Bus integration for BizTalk 360?

Even before shipping the V1.0 of BizTalk360, we started on some of the cool features requested by potential customers (coming in V2.0). Ability to manage their BizTalk environment remotely, securely, and with less investment in infrastructure changes.

There are various scenarios why a company may want to do this. One of the main reason is outsourcing your Microsoft BizTalk Server support/operations to some third party companies. Previously providing something like this required heavy investment on infrastructure like setting up VPN connections, Citrix/RDP access to your production environment etc. But thanks to BizTalk360, which by default comes with lot of features targeted for production support, things like fine grained authorization, complete governance/auditing, ability to give read only access etc. Now with the support for AppFabric service bus, it’s possible to allow third party companies to securely manage your BizTalk environment. It’s important to mention, you’ll be able to audit/govern who did what!!.

Technology behind the scene

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Majority of the hard work here is taken by Microsoft Azure AppFabric Service Bus (SB from now) infrastructure. Basically AppFabric SB takes care of all the challenges around establishing the connection with the on-premise infrastructure crossing through NAT/Firewall securely. This was possible also because of the BizTalk360 architecture. The front SilverLight application merely displays the data provided by the back end 8+ WCF services. We simply introduced AppFabric Service Bus layer in-between the SilverLight front end and the WCF backend as shown in the above figure. All of our recent blog posts were related to this. There were few challenges, but once we understood the challenges and how the whole thing works, everything went very smooth.

As you can see from the picture above, the original BizTalk Environment is running in one of our internal environments. The front end is hosted on Windows Azure as a web role. The Azure AppFabric service bus puts the plumbing in-between and takes care of all the communication.

There is also a CNAME mapping, which maps http://demo.biztalk360.com to the actual Windows Azure Webrole application http://biztalk360.cloudapp.net

All the communication from the Azure Web role to the on premise BizTalk environment is fully encrypted using “https” traffic.

User simply come and hit the URL http://demo.biztalk360.com without knowing what’s going on behind the scene.

Author: 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.

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