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UnderStanding BizTalk Server

Posted on 2010-09-22
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This week my company send me to a BizTalk 2006 Design class to learn  more about the product to see if we could use it. I have new used Biztalk before nor do I know anything about it. I'm the sys admin and manage about 120 servers 98% of which run Windows 2003 or 2008 and two server running Aix and As400. And use Netbackup 7.0
- I understand Biztalk is basically a big translator that can connect mulitple different platforms together. But how can BizTalk really help me as as sys admin
1) Can it he me to monitor all of my server health?
2) CAn is help with D/R?

please help I'm very lost!!!!!!!!!
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Question by:compdigit44
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by:mcp_jon
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Hi,

Regarding your questions :

1) Can it he me to monitor all of my server health?
This is not the main use for BizTalk and it's not intended to be use like this.
For this, you can use SCOM that integrates with Linux and has active agents.

2) CAn is help with D/R?
If with D/R you mean Disaster / Recovery, then No, is the answer.

What is BizTalk Server ?
Microsoft BizTalk Server Product Overview
http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/en/us/overview.aspx

I advise you also to take a look at :
Microsoft BizTalk Server - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_BizTalk_Server

Features
The following is an incomplete list of some of the technical features in the BizTalk Server:

The use of adapters to simplify integration to Line of Business Applications (eg. Siebel, SAP, IFS Applications, JD Edwards, Oracle, Dynamics CRM), Databases (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, DB2) and other Technologies (Tibco, Java EE, etc)
An engine for modelling Business Rules in a pseudo-English format. This is a forward chaining rule engine.
Business Activity Monitoring (BAM), which allows a dashboard, graphical view on how the modelled Business Processes are doing.
A unified Administration Dashboard for monitoring deployments of solutions, etc on BizTalk servers in your environment.
Built-in EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) functionality supporting X12 and EDIFACT.(BizTalk 2006 R2)
Accelerators which offer support for standards like RosettaNet, HL7, SWIFT, etc.
Ability to do graphical modelling of business processes in visual studio, graphically mapping (with the assistance of functoids) between different message formats, and building pipelines to decrypt, verify, parse messages as they enter the system via adapters.
Users can automate business management processes via Orchestrations.
BizTalk integrates with other Microsoft products like Office, InfoPath and SharePoint to allow interaction with a user participating in a workflow process.
Extensive support for Webservices (consuming and exposing)
RFID support as of BizTalk 2006 R2

Hope this helps you :)

Kind regards.
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by:compdigit44
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Thanks for the information....
I understand that BizTalk is basically a big translator between different applications and OS's. What I'm having a hard time understand is NOW BizTalk and he me or my comapany this is the pressing question my boss keeps asking me.

Right now, if I understand things correctly BizTalk could do the following for use.
1) Receive an email from an vendor that contats specific files and transfer these files a a directory on a AIX servers via FTP automatically.

2) We have an application called Contract Manage which uses JBoss as the web services. Biztalk to provide use indept information on the inner working a performace of the Jboss services which is something that we lack right now.

3) BizTalk could possible replace our fax solution by having all faxes / emails received by the outside routes to different sources, mailboxes, folders, application "sharepoint" on the inside.

4) We us Sharepoint 2010 and what do start to ise Sharepoint for more document managemet how could biztalk help with Sharepoint?
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by:mcp_jon
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Biztalk will ease the document flow in order to import on Sharepoint.

Check this blog :

Kent Weare's BizTalk Blog: BizTalk 2009 + SharePoint/WSS 3.0 integration first look
http://kentweare.blogspot.com/2009/10/biztalk-2009-sharepointwss-30.html

Hope this clears your doubts :)

Kindest regards.
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by:compdigit44
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Thanks I'm reading the kink you posted earlier now..

Are the bullent items 1-3 correct statesment of Biztalk that I made?
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by:mcp_jon
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3) BizTalk could possible replace our fax solution by having all faxes / emails received by the outside routes to different sources, mailboxes, folders, application "sharepoint" on the inside.

Different scenario tha Biztalk is used to.

This is usually done by Exchange or other mail server and then it's processed to the workflow.

But my guess is, that with some Biztalk developing you can achieve this.

For the other statementes, 1 and 2, yes.

Kind regards,
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by:compdigit44
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after reading the article you sent before I'm still not undersanding how biztalk can help me iwith my Sharepoint 2010 enviroment
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by:compdigit44
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Also I'm trying to find an EASY beginner article on how Biztalk 2006 or 2009 can help me monitor my JBoss server services health
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by:mcp_jon
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Biztalk is not easy :(

It has a wide range of integrations.

For an easy beginner guide try the simple overview from MS page.

They usually have examples :)

Cheers.
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by:compdigit44
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Thanks but I have tried to search the net but not findung what I'm looking for so I was hoping that someone can anser this question for me.

Are the following statements about the Biztalk JBoss adapter correct?
1) The adapter will allow me to monitor the JBoss service / process itself. For exmaple: number of connections, number of open threads, which thread are being called by which process id's etc..

2) Produce a diagram or som type of flow chart that will show me how all the modules are interconnected. In other words have BizTalk show me the work flow of an applicatin that I did build instead of me building it. Reverse engineering.

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ChristopherTucker earned 500 total points
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BizTalk server is essentially a tool to connect systems.  These could be systems that generate data connecting to systems that process that data.  They can be just about anything you want.  

I do caution you though, that for what you are saying, you do not need BizTalk server, it would be technical overkill as well as financially challenging.

If, for instance.  You had an application, similar to snmp, that sat on every one of your machines, you could in theory use BizTalk to serve as an aggregator.  But, in this case, as simple script to pump csv or other files into a database would be sufficient.
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