April 25, 2007

The Internet Service Bus

Yesterday, Microsoft released the first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of a new range of BizTalk Services. By building on the idea of an Enterprise Service Bus and leveraging Microsoft's Internet-ready Web Service technology in .NET 3.0, this creates an Internet Service Bus (ISB) to combine hosted services "in the cloud" working seamlessly with anyone's existing in-house private Web Services and Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) implementations.

The initial CTP service offerings cover hosted versions of technologies that Microsoft has been incubating within Connected Systems Division and the Windows Live Labs for the past year:

  • BizTalk Identity Services - federated identity technologies to help developers manage application identity and access control requirements (Available now)
  • BizTalk Connectivity Services - message routing technologies to help developers securely expose a service from behind a firewall or NAT- think of this as firewall friendly B2B messaging (Available now)
  • BizTalk ServiceBus Services - technologies to help create loosely coupled applications with eventing - think of this as Pub/Sub at Internet scale (Coming soon)
  • BizTalk Workflow Services - Simple templates for cross-organization integration and the orchestration of business processes interacting with multiple services (Coming soon)

More details of BizTalk Services can be found at http://labs.biztalk.net/ and technical info on how to start experimenting with this ISB technology is in this blog entry by Dennis Pilarinos. There is also some more background information in these two articles on eWeek.

What does this mean for businesses and in particular CIO's? Here are some comments from Burton Group that put the overall value proposition into perspective - basically lower IT costs through use of "packaged infrastructure".

"BizTalk Services will decrease the edge node footprint while maintaining application access to valuable infrastructure services," said Chris Haddad, an analyst with Burton Group who was briefed on the new strategy. "BizTalk services will increase reliability, scalability and security of service interactions while minimizing infrastructure investment and operational management overhead," he said.

Moreover, "BizTalk Services will eliminate in-house proliferation of infrastructure software while increasing a development team's ability to design and build secure event-driven services," Haddad said.

Posted by Jorgen Thelin at April 25, 2007 08:38 AM - [PermaLink]