Microsoft is adding connectivity testing and publish-and-subscribe capabilities to its BizTalk Services platform for integrating services within and outside a firewall.
Announced just last week as an early-release Community Technology Preview for developers, BizTalk Services features internet-hosted services for running composite applications. An internet service bus capability that links applications across networks is highlighted.
Connectivity testing, called Direct Connect, ensures that a message gets to where it is supposed to go. "The connectivity service will allow now offer a Direct Connect feature, which will allow a developer to build an application to test the connectivity between two endpoints", prior to sending a message, said Steve Martin, director of product management in the Microsoft Connected Systems Division.
The publish-and-subscribe component lets developers build an application allowing the publishing of events accessible to multiple end points.
BizTalk Services features connectivity, identity, and access services. Workflow is planned, as is a web-based console for building process flow diagrams. A date has not been revealed for the general availability of BizTalk Services.
BizTalk Services leverages technologies from the Microsoft Connected Systems Division, such as the BizTalk Server platform for service oriented architecture and business process management.
Business scenarios applicable to BizTalk Services include, for example, a stock trading application where a trader tracks news feeds and other information and has connectivity to multiple brokerage services. BizTalk Services could aggregate those components and present them in a single console, Martin said.
BizTalk Services falls in line with the Burton Group's vision of boundary-less infrastructure for SOA, said Burton analyst Chris Haddad, vice president of application platform strategies."I believe that this is a revolutionary step for Microsoft to start providing service interfaces to traditional Microsoft-centric integration products like BizTalk, and BizTalk Services is a realiSation of the Burton Group infrastructure services model," he said.
Burton's concept involves enabling infrastructure functionality to serve as reusable services that can be accessed by all applications, Haddad said.
Microsoft, however, is not positioning BizTalk Services as an SOA platform by itself. BizTalk Services is part of a set of Microsoft technologies providing a platform for building service-oriented applications. This platform includes, in addition to BizTalk Server, the .Net Framework and Visual Studio application development platform.
BizTalk Services and BizTalk Server together serve as a platform for a full range of SOA and software as a service services, according to Microsoft.
The BizTalk Services software development kit is available