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BizTalk messaging vs. own customized solution

Posted on 2007-11-23
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Hi,
The company I am working at is creating a common project with another company. There will be an intermediate server (most probably SQL server 2005) where the data between us is communicated. The other company mentioned that they will be implementing BizTalk as a messaging system to know when the data we send is available so that they copy it to their own server. The interfaces are done in ASP.NET. My questions are:
1.      To what extent is BizTalk facilitating the communication process?
2.      Can’t this be done using flags (database fields) instead of BizTalk?
3.      What are the benefits in using BizTalk?
Best Regards,
Eng. Manal Shihab
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Question by:merhi2405
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by:PaultheBroker
ID: 20338719
If all they are doing is copying the new data across, then you might consider MSSQL Replication.  If however, they need to trigger some additional ASP.NET processing on the data when it comes in, then BizTalk here is being used as a Queue.  Just updating a datbase field isn't going to initiate the ASP.NET process of course!!!  More cludgy implementation methods would be to peridoically poll the database for changes.  Probably BizTalk is overkill in this situation - there are no doubt simpler ways to stick a message on a remote queue - but if they have a BizTalk installation anyway, then it will reduce overhead on the administration of the messaging.
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by:merhi2405
ID: 20348727
Can the replication process be done automatically when new data is received? As I mentioned previously: "The other company mentioned that they will be implementing BizTalk as a messaging system to know when the data we send is available so that they copy it to their own server."
Is it necessary to have BizTalk to inform them that the data is now available?
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by:merhi2405
ID: 20348729
Oh one more thing, you said that BizTalk is overkill in this situation, in what sense? Bandwidth usage? Processing time?
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PaultheBroker earned 250 total points
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$$$$$ (but if you've already got it - who cares ???!!!

Simple datareplication can be done automatically if the level of trust exists between you - though I'm not 100% HOW much trust - what ports etc need to be open - and there is no additional processing required.   Look up Replication in the SQL Books Online.
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by:MattNield
MattNield earned 250 total points
ID: 20508154
I wodul add that the nice thinga bout using BizTalk to take care of the integration is the level of separation between the two parties.  I've just spent a while correcting a BizTalk implementation that crossed boundries too much in to other system using direct DB connections.  With something link BTS as Messaging solution, you can make a system that is very easily extended.  

That being said, with Windows Communication foundation adn Windows Workflow foundation you can achieve the same sort of rthing at a fraction of the cost.  The downside with tha approach is that BizTalk is already proven at enterprise level and can hold ist on in scalable deployments.

YOuc an simply use SQL, but I would argue that it is rather tightly coupled.
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