Microsoft Announces Azure BizTalk Microservices Platform as Part of Cloud PaaS Strategy

Microsoft unveils new Azure BizTalk Microservices platform.

David Hamilton

December 5, 2014

2 Min Read
Microsoft Announces Azure BizTalk Microservices Platform as Part of Cloud PaaS Strategy
A building on Microsoft’s headquarters campus in Redmond, Washington. (Photo: Microsoft)



This article originally appeared at The WHIR

Microsoft has unveiled its new Azure BizTalk Microservices platform, which will involve the use of small services or “microservices” to be combined like building blocks to form a platform for cloud applications.

In a typical microservice architecture (as defined by James Lewis and Martin Fowler), microservices are independently deployable, run their own processes, and communicate via lightweight mechanisms such as an HTTP resource API. Also, centralized management of microservices is kept at a bare minimum.

In the Azure model, these microservices will run in scalable containers.

Saravana Kumar, founder and CTO of BizTalk Server software developer BizTalk360, noted in a blog post that Azure BizTalk Microservices will likely co-exist with BizTalk Server for the time being rather than replace it. BizTalk Server, after all, has a major update coming in 2015, and guarantees support of BizTalk Server 2013 R2 until 2023.

“In my view, both BizTalk Server and App Platform are going to co-exist together as married couples for quite some time in the future,” he wrote. However, he notes that BizTalk Services (such as business rules, validation, and authentication) could eventually evolve into microservices. As well, Microsoft mentioned that it will provide support for migrating from BizTalk Server to BizTalk Microservices.

Kumar also stated that microservices could offer many cost advantages for integrated services over the BizTalk Services model given its greater granularity of resource use. “One of the main disadvantages of BizTalk Services was that (in order to support extensibility and custom code) each BizTalk Service instance resulted in a set of dedicated virtual machines (compute) behind the scenes. And that setup resulted in a billing model that was far off the pay-as-you-go promise of cloud,” he wrote.

“Azure [BizTalk] Microservices provides and offers a high density, scalable runtime that is built for scalability and that will probably allow a better consumption based billing model.”

In October, Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich mentioned that Azure Platform-as-a-Service would be more microservice-oriented.

Microsoft said Azure BizTalk Microservices will be available through the Azure Pack, and a preview of Azure BizTalk Microservices is expected in Q1 2015. Pricing details have not yet been disclosed.

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