BizTalk Server Migration

BizTalk Server Migration – The Known and the Unknown

Published on : Jul 17, 2023

Category : BizTalk Server



The blog focusses on the following topics

  • Reasons to migrate BizTalk Server
  • Brief explanation about the features of BizTalk Server 2020
  • Preparing for the migration
  • Options to upgrade BizTalk Server
  • How difficult is it to migrate from the older versions
  • Overview of BizTalk360 v10.6 features

Reasons to migrate BizTalk Server

With the release of BizTalk Server 2020, for seamless migration, a strategy must be devised to take advantage of the features and enhancements. Let’s look at a few reasons why you might want to perform the migration.

BizTalk Server Migration

For easy support

Microsoft no longer supports BizTalk Server versions older than BizTalk Server 2016. Hence, for continuous support, especially the Enterprise clients, it is time for the migration.

Environmental constraints

Since BizTalk Server heavily depends on the performance of Windows and SQL Server, your servers must be upgraded for better performance.

Support for new features

As always, every release comes with a bunch of new exciting features

  • Support for TLS1.2
  • XSLT 3.0 Support which is a most asked feature
  • More security for GDPR
  • Azure Event Hubs and Blob adapters
  • Leveraging the power of Azure (Application Insight and Event Hub) for deep data storage and Power BI for reporting and viewing of data

Administrator and Developer productivity enhancements

New Visual Studio console features, a newer .Net version, Admin console features.

New and enhanced features of BizTalk 2020

BizTalk Server Migration

Let’s dive deep into some of the exciting features of BizTalk Server 2020.

With the new and improved scheduling capabilities in Adapters, users can enable scheduling in the receive locations by setting the time zone or a recurrence service window for a specific day in a month.

There is a new extensible model available for runtime map execution to work with XSLT 3.0, and moreover, a custom XSLT transform engine can also be plugged in.

The receive locations can now be configured to recover from transient errors instead of getting disabled. They can be disabled in specific host instances and continue to run in other host instances. BizTalk will try to recover these locations in the configured intervals.

BizTalk Server 2020 now allows the administrator to enable audit trail for management operations on the application artifacts, host instances, and on the service instance operations.

New adapters are now available to send and receive messages between BizTalk and Azure using the Logic App adapter, Event Hub adapter and Azure Blob Storage adapter.

There is a new User Group introduced called the Read Only Operator where the members of that group can only view the application-related information and do not have the ability to perform any administrative operations.

When deploying BizTalk Server to Azure VMs, the BizTalk Server databases can be backed up to Azure blob storage.

Using the new Event Hub Adapter, BizTalk Server can send and receive messages with Azure Event Hubs, where BizTalk Server can function as both an event publisher and subscriber, as part of a new Azure cloud-based event-driven application.

Preparing for the migration

In any software product or service, when a new system is introduced or an existing one is being moved to a new one, there are few things that need to be considered and planned before the migration happens. For the BizTalk Server migration, the Evaluate, Plan and Implement (EPI) approach helps the user to complete the upgrade in a controlled and timely manner. In the evaluation phase, the technical documentation with the details of the BizTalk environment is gathered and the actions required for the upgrade is defined. After this phase, choosing of the upgrade approach leads to the implementation phase. The BizTalk Documenter is an excellent tool for creating this kind of documentation. Some of the important aspects that need to be considered for the migration are:

  • Operational configuration
  • External dependencies in the system
  • Prioritization of the solutions that must be migrated
  • Testing strategies
  • Hardware and Software requirements

Options to upgrade BizTalk Server

There are two options available to migrate to the latest BizTalk Server 2020.

  • In-place upgrade
  • Migrate solutions to the new environment (Side by side)

In-place upgrade

This process mainly focuses on upgrading an existing environment to BizTalk Server 2020. From BizTalk Server 2013, it is a direct upgrade to 2020, whereas from the older versions like 2010, you need to be upgraded to 2013 R2 and then perform the upgrade to BizTalk Server 2020 version, which is a two-version upgrade. The supported OS and the SQL servers also need to be upgraded as per the requirement. This approach is very risky due to the amount of upgrades that must be done, may take more time than business-wise is possible, and the production environment will be non-operational during the upgrade.


  • Any system that depends on message-tracking history and BAM history will continue to work.
  • No additional hardware required
  • No additional cost involved for hardware


  • Requires significant downtime, which might be undesirable for the production environment.
  • The source code of the BizTalk solutions is not upgraded.
  • A rollback plan might be difficult to implement.

Migrating to the new environment (side-by-side)

The components are first upgraded in the development environment and then moved to production. This calls for a longer testing and migration period because the integration solutions would be migrated from the old environment to the new environment, and multiple teams would need to work together. The advantage of this approach is that there is an easy fallback available in case of any issues.


  • Minimal downtime in this approach
  • Since both environments are live, downtime is possible without any breaking changes


  • Additional cost required for creating new environments side-by-side for hardware and licensing
  • The tracking data and BAM historic data would be hard to maintain consistent in the live environments

How difficult is the migration from older versions to BizTalk Server 2020

Though we might not have a better understanding of the complexity, structure, architecture and dependencies of the solutions that need to be migrated, the below points would give a glimpse of the difficulty in migrating to BizTalk Server 2020 from the older versions.

BizTalk Server 2013 to 2016 – These are easy migrations.

BizTalk Server 2010 – Depending on the features and solutions, it can give you some work. But normally, if everything is well done, it is easy.

BizTalk Server 2009 to 2004 – It is a little difficult. For the normal and basic stuff, it could be fine. It requires some work to do the EDI and Maps.

BizTalk Server 2002 to 2000 – All the stuff need to be rewritten from scratch. As a better option, you can consider migrating to Logic Apps.

BizTalk360 v10.6 is out now!

BizTalk Server Migration

BizTalk360 is the one-stop monitoring tool for efficiently managing and monitoring the BizTalk environments. Every quarter there is a public release available for BizTalk360 with a bunch of new exciting features, enhancements to the existing modules and certain bug fixes as well. The features are all taken based on customer feedback and suggestions. Currently, it is BizTalk360 v10.6 that is made available to the public. The list of exciting features includes:

  • IIS administration and operating capabilities to manage the IIS websites and application pools.
  • Export and Import options for the EDI parties and agreements.
  • BizTalk360 activity logs can now be viewed directly from the UI instead of going to the installation server.
  • SQL queries added to the Data monitoring schedule configuration.
  • Support to generate access token using Azure synapse resources in web endpoints.
  • Knowledge Base article links are now included in notifications.
  • Attach the ESB message content in email notifications.


It’s time for the upgrade of both BizTalk Server and BizTalk360 to the latest version to enjoy the new features and enhancements. BizTalk360 supports all versions of BizTalk Server from 2009 to 2020. Why not give BizTalk360 a try and see how efficiently you can manage and monitor your BizTalk environments. You can also signup for a free trial and explore the features. We welcome our customers to post their feedback and suggestions in the feedback portal. Happy monitoring!

To know more about the BizTalk360 features, try out the free trial or book a demo.