Back in May 2018, we posted an article about a rumour doing the rounds the year before (2017), that BizTalk Server was about to be retired!
In the article, BizTalk Server is here to stay and this is why we outlined an investigation of our own. To clarify, it pointed to confusion relating to BizTalk Services; a different product and no longer available.
But, here we are almost three years later and BizTalk Server is still going strong. Furthermore, Microsoft has recently released another upgrade, BizTalk Server 2020, with new features that address some of the problem areas.
As an existing user, here are the key things you need to know about BizTalk Server 2020.
Microsoft BizTalk Server is often described as the middleman in integration applications. Essentially, it is a middleware system that enables business process automation.
For example, enterprise application integration, business process automation, business to business communication, message brokering and business activity monitoring.
It was originally released late 2000 and has had several updates since. The last one was in 2016 and as a result, we posted a comprehensive guide Using BizTalk Server for Business Automation.
The enhancements in that version included:
- Support for Visual Studio 2015, Windows Server 2016, SQL Server 2016 and Office 2016,
- Support for automatic deployment using VSTS, send tracking data to Azure Application Insights and Power BI, advanced scheduling options on receive locations, and more.
- Office 365 adapters to work with Email, Calendar and Contacts.
- Closer integration with API Management, Azure Event Hubs adapter, backup to Azure blob storage account, support for Service Bus partitions, and more.
The good news is that the BizTalk Server 2020 upgrade has retained all of those great features. Consequently, it’s one of the reasons we’re so excited about the latest version.
So, what are some of the new enhancements available in BizTalk Server 2020?
Core Feature Updates
First of all, the upgrade of BizTalk Server has addressed many of the issues of previous versions.
As a result, there is now increased alignment in the form of support for newer platforms, including:
- Visual Studio 2019
- Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows 10
- SQL Server 2019, SQL Server 2017, SQL Server 2016 SP2
- Office 2019, Office 2016
Also, a new range of adapters, including:
- The Logic Apps adapter which makes it easier to connect and extend integration with Azure Logic Apps.
- Service Bus/Events Hub adapters so you can send and receive messages with Azure Service Bus and Azure Event Hubs.
- Office 365 Mail/Schedule/Contact adapters that allow you to send and receive email messages, schedule appointments and define people and groups in contacts.
- Blob Storage Adapter to enable reading and writing binary files in Azure Blob Storage.
Additionally, another new feature is data backup to Azure blog storage. Also, auditing of management operations is now possible with the Audit Log and a read-only operator role to facilitate the dev-ops model.
Hardware and Software Requirements for BizTalk Server 2020 lists in-depth details including elective software options and supported versions.
However, the minimum requirements are below:
Intel Pentium-compatible CPU that is 1.4 GHz or higher
4GB or more of memory
10GB of available hard-disk
Microsoft .NET Framework (required for all BizTalk Server managed components)
Internet Information Services (required for EDI, BAM, Management REST API, and the SharePoint adapter)
Microsoft Visual C++ 2015-2019 Redistributable Package
Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server (required on all BizTalk Server devices)
Microsoft SQL Server: Required for BizTalk Server Runtime, EDI, and BAM
WinSCP (required to use the SFTP adapter)
LOB and enterprise systems (required when using the adapters in the BizTalk Adapter Pack)
Benefits of BizTalk Server 2020
As far as technology is concerned, businesses need to know that the technology they originally invested in has staying power.
That said, with BizTalk Server, there’s no question that it has stood the test of time. In other words, 20 years is considered a long time in the world of technology.
Consequently, the release of the 2020 version with all of its improvements and new features, points to one significant fact.
Microsoft is committed to its future and most importantly, businesses stand to benefit from many more years of product support.
To say it’s a mature legacy product with the benefit of proven technology is almost certainly an understatement. As far as the last two decades are concerned, it’s had multiple upgrades with additional enhancements.
Furthermore, its features are robust and can be scaled up to suit the growth of your business.
Also, it’s now even more closely aligned with Azure and boasts a new level of security. As a result, Microsoft says this is the safest BizTalk Server release and enables a seamless hybrid integration.
As one of only a few BizTalk development experts in the country, we feel very optimistic about the future of the latest 2020 version. And, we think, for good reason. For instance, as well as all the enhancements listed above, existing staff will not need further training because the new version looks the same.
If you’re an existing BizTalk user and want to know how the 2020 version will benefit your business, call us for an informal chat on 01342 410223.
With almost 20 years of experience, we like to think we know a thing or two about the Microsoft integration arena. Consequently, if your business is new to cloud and hybrid-based integration solutions, we recommend Azure Integration Services. We also have experience in migrating applications from BizTalk Server to Application Integration Services, and so can assist with this as required.
If you have any questions that you’d like answered by a software development expert, contact us here.