BizTalk 2006 deftly connects enterprise apps
Boasting across-the-board improvements, BizTalk 2006 carries on product line's rich EAI heritage
The BizTalk 2006 component for business users is called BAM (Business Activity Monitoring). From the business user’s point of view, this is most often a customizable Web portal or Excel dashboard. These are just the two out-of-the-box presentation layers for what is a quite complicated and capable component.
BizTalk 2006 offers amazing scalability, which will make enterprise IT departments very happy. You can scale out by adding more systems to run BizTalk components and/or SQL Server components, or you can scale up by running components on multi-way servers. BizTalk 2006 can take advantage of 64-bit processors, offering a major speed improvement over BizTalk 2004. The components can also be clustered and the network load balanced.
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Several of the WS* standards support security. BizTalk Server 2006 natively supports only the WS-I Basic profile stack, but the WSE (Web Services Enhancements) 2.0 adapter adds WS-Security, WS-Trust, WS-SecureConversation, WS-SecurityPolicy, and WS-Policy support. This allows a developer to connect secure Web services to BizTalk with moderate effort. When Windows Communication Foundation is released next year, along with the BizTalk adapter to support it, the effort required to create secure Web service connections will drop significantly.
The core BizTalk 2006 product supports the EDI standard for b-to-b connections. BizTalk “accelerators” available at additional cost support GDS (Global Data Systems), HIPAA, RosettaNet, HL7 (Health Level 7), and SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), which apply to manufacturing, health care, supply chain, patient information, and financial information, respectively.
Competitors to BizTalk include Bostech ChainBuilder, Contivo VMS, IBM WebSphere MQ, Iona Artix ESB, Magic Software iBolt Business Integration Suite, SeeBeyond eGate Integrator, Tibco BusinessWorks, webMethods Fabric, various products from iWay Software, and CastIron Systems integration appliances.