This article is part 1 of a 6 part series on BizTalk Migration to Azure iPaaS.
Part 1: BizTalk Migration to Azure iPaaS – Why Should we care
The traditional way of integrating our systems and partners was to build custom integration solutions on-premise with middleware like Microsoft BizTalk Server, SSIS or custom developed solutions. Most of these integrations start as point-to-point integrations between two systems and expands to have many to many integrations between various systems. The solution development on middleware platforms like BizTalk Server requires specialized skills, longer development, and testing cycles, and requires upfront resource provisioning to handle high load scenarios and restricted by limited monitoring capabilities of BizTalk Server.
With the expanded capabilities of Azure Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) offering, which consists of Service Bus messaging, Logic Apps workflow, Integration Accounts for Partner management and Azure functions to extend the platform with code, we can now reduce our dependency on middleware solutions like BizTalk and upgrade the middleware to Cloud and connect directly to many SaaS products like Dynamics 365, Salesforce, SharePoint etc.
Here are a few reasons why we should use Azure iPaaS as our Integration layer replacing BizTalk Server or any other on-premises Middleware.
Improve time to market with reducing development cycle, automated environment provisioning, and deployments.
Azure Serverless iPaaS frees the developers from the BizTalk environment installation and configurations. The developers can provision infrastructure and develop workflows from browser-based Azure Portal. Logic Apps makes creating workflows simple with its interactive, drag-and-drop design interface using Logic Apps Designer. Available in Azure Portal via standard Web browser, we can build automated business processes and system integrations with minimal coding using hundreds of pre-built connectors.
Azure DevOps platform helps faster feature rollouts by agile planning tools, source control and automating environment provisioning, build and deployments.
Azure Logic Apps is one of the most cost-effective enterprise integration platforms. The service requires zero upfront setup costs and we do not have to pay for infrastructure maintenance because it’s fully managed by Microsoft.
We do not pay for resources up front in Serverless platforms like Logic Apps or Azure functions, Azure charges for resources by consumption – i.e. we only pay for what we use. If we have a connector to Office 365 with a ‘When a file is modified’ trigger, you are only charged when files are modified and subsequently trigger the action.
Another benefit is that all users of Logic Apps can develop and test integration features prior to deploying their workflows, without worrying about any added licensing costs. Logic Apps brings down the cost of enterprise integration, lets you reduce manual administrative tasks and focus more on deploying your code and refining your business logic.
Scalability & Reliability
With traditional enterprise application development, we plan about hosting and scaling the solution to handle peak loads and provision resources in advance.
With serverless iPaaS architecture, the platform automatically scales up and out to meet actual load requirements, and there is no need to provision extra hardware upfront. The Application does not need to know about how scaling works or needs to handle it. The Cloud can scale from processing normal load to handle tens of thousands of concurrent transactions within seconds and without any manual steps from platform administrator. we can configure and deploy services across multiple cloud regions to enable service resiliency and improve latency for geographically dispersed clients.
200+ enterprise connectors out of the box
Logic App Connectors replace BizTalk Adapters and reduce and eliminate potential integration challenges in connecting apps, data, devices and services together. Azure Logic Apps provide one of the most extensive lists of connectors out of any integration platform, with over 200+ connectors currently available for popular SaaS apps, including SharePoint, Dynamics CRM, Outlook, and Salesforce.
B2B and EDI integration
Azure Logic Apps provide business-to-business (B2B) integration features via its Enterprise Integration Pack that allows users to set up trading partners and exchange messages electronically (EDI). B2B exchanges use industry-standard protocols, such as AS2, EDIFACT, and X12, and Logic Apps provide message validation and transformation capabilities for XML and JSON messages.
In part II, I’ll share and write about the two available migration paths in this case i.e. Lift & Shift vs. Hybrid Integration. Part III will cover key things you need to take care of while migrating to Azure iPaaS.