What is integration middleware?
Today, any company is dependent on a large amount of data. This data travels back and forth between the different departments within your company, so they can communicate with each other.
For your business to run smoothly this communication needs to be efficient, and this is where the integration middleware comes in. It functions as the glue that holds all the different software and systems that exist in your company together, and constitutes a platform that allow them to communicate.
BizTalk 2013 R2 is Microsoft’s latest version of an integration server. It gives integration facilities as a part of the MS Application platform. MS boasts of 12,000 plus customers worldwide.
What is Microsoft BizTalk?
The Microsoft Application Platform is a host of products that make it easy to host packaged applications, composite applications and custom applications. All this functionality, in your very own data center, hybrid scenarios or in the cloud.
In the application platform stack, the center tier contains the Enterprise Integration facility and this is where BizTalk Server has its greatest role. This provides functionality for Enterprise Application Integration, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Business Process Management and Business-to-Business communications. These functions are by far the most commonly used according to the principles of an Enterprise Service Bus.
All that sounds wonderful, but what is the business value of BizTalk?
In the majority of businesses and organizations, automated business process functionality isn't provided by one application only. The nature of many organizations means that a single application does not suffice to support the business process. If a company does not grow organically the chances of ending up with many different applications are big.
For many businesses to survive during poor economic climates, they have to continually improve business processes. To help this process many companies rely on automated systems. Most of these systems are hosted in your own data center, but more and more IT solutions are these days also running in the cloud.
The following can help improve business processes:
- Creating value add on top of SaaS applications: Using these applications with other applications provides more value.
- Using your business partners such as suppliers, large customers, directly and electronically, in your business processes, means great efficiency gains can be made by eliminating manual processes.
- Composite business processes: Combining functionality applications and (cloud) services into even better business processes will allow overall usability and efficiency, without the need for changes to existing applications.
How the BizTalk Server can help you
Implementing BizTalk Server as an Enterprise Service can eliminate direct, hard coded integration lines between applications and make a more manageable integration platform by using a loosely coupled, service oriented design.
- EAI (Enterprise Application Integration): Connects several different applications, hosted in their own infrastructure and using their own databases. This helps event driven data streams between applications and processes.
- B2B (Business to business) Integration: Integrate your customers, logistic providers and suppliers in your end-to-end business processes. This will create a more efficient supply and demand chains by standardizing electronic business transactions
The key is integration in very complex application landscapes. BizTalk provides the means to improve your time-to-market and business processes as efficiently as possible and at the same time it improves the manageability of your processes.