Integrate 2016

May 11-13, London

BizTalk 2016 Server: What’s new

Integrate 2016, May 11-13, London

install biztalk server

Video Transcript

Jon: I thought I’d start just a few minutes talking about my perspectives over the last nearly 12 months, I think, since I joined Microsoft. I know a few people, you know, are very curious. I’ve talked to this event a few times, I think, over the last few years. I was certainly here last year, and I was obviously in a very different capacity last year than this year. And one of the things that people kept asking me or always saying to Jim is, “Why did you join Microsoft?” I mean, for a long time on the outside, I was a MVP for I think 10 years. BizTalk Server first, and then Microsoft integration and I know a bunch of you in this room. So why did I join?

And I’ll give my perspective as well because I think, what we’ve managed to achieve in just a few months is pretty mind blowing. I think we went through a lot of change while we really figured things out, and did a lot of kind of looking at where we were across BizTalk, across a bunch of things. And we’ve really mobilized and energized, and built a team designed to succeed in this space. To Saravana’s point, opening the event, you know, there’s just no question on how integration has changed in the last few years. Ten years ago, I think, it moved pretty slowly. BizTalk was a groundbreaking product, you know, 2000 through 2004. Some really great innovation in that product, really, you know, moving the needle in terms of what you could do with an integration product, and we’re doing it again with Logic Apps.

So what this means is, you know, we’ve organized around a centralized integration strategy and how we can deliver across both these pieces. You’ve seen evidence of that this morning already, the way we’re integrating BizTalk Server and Logic Apps, and we’re going to continue to do more. To the point from Jim, we want to hear what you guys think. That’s why we’re here.

So that’s why I joined Microsoft. I saw the things that we could do and the great team that people were building, and I wanted to be part of that. And, you know, I’ll just throw in, because it’s a perfect opportunity. If you want to join us then, you know, we’re hiring. So, you know, just go and grab anybody. You still have plenty of opportunities left to join the team.

So with that said, let’s think about where we are with BizTalk. So 2016 is the 10th release of BizTalk Server. That’s 16 years of leading the industry, at least when you look at the way Gartner look at us and Forrester look at us, and even our competitors. I was in a meeting with SAP actually just before I joined Microsoft, and even SAP in a customer briefing to one of their customers, positioned us as the number one integration broker in the world, across all on-prem middleware integration products. So with that, I think there’s a lot of acknowledgment, you know, certainly Jim called this out, in terms of the, you know, responsibility that we have in that space, and how we can move the BizTalk agenda forward, along with the integration agenda in general.

So, you know, what you’re seeing that where we’re at now is we shipped CTP1 of BizTalk Server end of March. That’s available for anybody to download, use, try out. Give us feedback and tell us what you think. Hopefully, a whole bunch of people in the room here have already done that. I know, you know, we’ve had hundreds of sign-ups through a connect to be able to get access to the bits. So, you know, really appreciate the feedback people have already given. But, you know, keep it coming.

So that’s where we are today. CTP2 is coming in the summer timeframe. And, you know, before I get into that, I’ll just focus a little bit in case you’re not aware of the benefits we’ve already announced with BizTalk Server 2016, and the things that we’ve already added to the CTP1, that you can download today and try for yourselves. And these are really around, you know, high availability improvements. BizTalk for a long time has had dependencies on, you know, active/passive clustering and SQL Server, things like log shipping etc. And we’re really modernizing that experience through support for SQL AlwaysOn. Platform refresh, you know, obviously, you know, this is table stakes, you saw me already using Visual Studio 2015 in the demos. There’s full support for that as well as Windows 2016, SQL 2016, Office 2016, and, you know, everything you would expect through making sure that the connectors are working in the latest version of Oracles SDKs etc. etc.

But one of the things we’ve really focused on in this release is addressing customer asks and pain points. There’s a whole bunch of them, and I’ve got a slide I’ll pull up that really shows, you know, from what may look like relatively minor improvements, but that one guy or a bunch of people out there are just like, “This thing’s really annoyed me for years. Can you guys just fix it?” We did a bunch of stuff like that in 2016, as well as some, you know, very interesting engine enhancements, improvements, performance improvements, and Sangeev’s [SP] here to keep me honest if I say anything out of line. So some really great stuff that we put into 2016, not just these kind of headline features and the new capabilities and connectivities with Logic Apps, but some fundamentals as well.

And as part of that, you know, this is around cloud connectivity. So, you know, giving more flexibility in terms of how you can do BizTalk integration, how we can extend BizTalk’s reach to the cloud. And that doesn’t just mean, you know, connecting your existing assets on-prem through BizTalk to the cloud, but actually moving BizTalk to the cloud as well, and the ability to host IS workloads and Azure, with high availability, because that’s been a long-term customer ask as well that we’ve addressed through 2016.

So, you know, what’s new? Well with 2016 AlwaysOn support, we’re leveraging the capabilities that 2016 has, or SQL 2016 for MSDTC ports. That’s enabled us to do all the testing and engineering work to make sure that we have a great experience running BizTalk Server on IS. The platform refresh I mentioned, you can get out of…some DBAs never really liked how the log shipping is set up and active/passive clustering and now you have more choice in terms of how you manage your physical environment which is always a good thing, more consistency in approach.

The customer-driven improvements, you know, here’s some of the list. There’s a whole bunch of other things as well, things that we’ve done which have all been customer asks and things that people have really wanted us to prioritize for this release. I’m just going to move straight past this, you guys have access to the slide. I’m not just going to call them out one by one, because I know to a lot of people who’ve used BizTalk for a long time, they’re all kind of equally important for different groups of people that overlap in this space.

So let’s move on to the interesting stuff. What’s new for CTP2? So it’s kind of interesting that because of the momentum we’re building around this, we’ve actually had the opportunity to add new capabilities during the CTP process. So we’re not just, you know, what you saw a month and a half ago with CTP1 isn’t the final product. You know, it’s not just about bug fixes from here on in, and performance improvements and all that kind of stuff, we’re actually adding new capabilities to BizTalk Server as well.

And I’m going to go into more detail around what you saw in the keynote, but these are around the new BizTalk Logic Apps Adapter, and the BizTalk Connector from Logic Apps down to BizTalk Server. To provide this seamless integration between the two products, to enrich the capabilities and make them better together. You know, each one of them can do things that the other one can’t and when we put them together, it really opens up some interesting scenarios.

Okay, so here’s the kind of the BizTalk to Logic Apps scenario that I just showed earlier. So let’s go into a bit more detail with this. So if I flip back to my IPM. So here’s the orchestration I showed earlier. Now, if I pull back into the admin console, when you look at these send ports, this is actually…actually let’s just create a new one to sort of show you what this looks like. So if I create a new send port, we support both one-way and solicit-response, and obviously, the other way around as well with receives. Oops, so I click on this. So I click “Logic App,” I configure. Then the experiences, if I log into Azure, this will be interesting, see if this works. Pick a subscription. Okay. Beautiful. Resource group, good grief. I’d forgotten we had so many.

And you can see the experience. Here’s all the Logic Apps that I’ve created. They’re in my resource group and I can just pick from any one of these. So I’ve already shown some of these there already. So BizTalk to And, you know, interestingly, Logic Apps supports multiple triggers as well, so we expose that so you can pick the trigger that you want to actually fire in Logic Apps. You’ll also specify HTTP headers here, so you can parse those as well if you need to. And that’s really it, but when you do that, you’ve got a send port you can create your orchestration against and just consume a Logic App.

So I won’t run through that again, but, you know, that’s the experience. When you go from Logic Apps to BizTalk, things are interesting here as well because we’ve actually plugged into the connector architecture in Logic Apps to be able to do that. So if I go back to the portal and create a new Logic App, for some reason it’s a tad slow today. Let’s call this “Integrate 2016.” Okay. Here’s my Logic App, I’m going to open that up. So I can just start this thing with HTTP requests. So when an HTTP request is received, some great enhancements that, you know, Jeff will talk about are around, and now it presents me the URL that I can post straight to rather than going and finding it in the portal. But now, you know, I can type in “BizTalk,” and when I type in BizTalk, I get the new BizTalk capabilities light up right here in Logic Apps. So click “Send Message” and specify my receive location.

As I said earlier, you know, what it’s doing now is it’s going to rest API. It’s going to innumerate those endpoints. And these are exactly the same endpoints as I flip over here and I look at the receive locations in BizTalk or receive ports in BizTalk. I’ve got few of them, you know, I’ve got auditing, update, I’ll see those represented over here. So you can see in a new order, order update etc. So, you know, I can just pick one of these.

Man 2: Are you doing an MP3 for a leadership?

Jon: We’re showing all of them right now. Yeah, so there’s some work we’re still doing around this, you know. I think, you know, we really wanted to show this to you guys this week. So what we’re showing you is a bit more than, you know, this is working bits and this is, yeah, feedback is appreciated at this stage because we’re still sort of, I guess, ironing our some of these usability things. So we can definitely, you know, improve on that, and we will do around the CTP2 timeline and beyond for the timeline for these features.

So, you know, I can then specify the body, and I’m done. Now, if I actually did a change connection here, I’ll show you this experience. You know, I’ve got my BizTalk on-prem, I can actually create a new one, and I can give it a connection name and then a BizTalk Server URL, and then it just connects down. And again, we’ll add some more fields to this, and I can actually create a connection to my BizTalk Server, wherever that is, and then I can use that connector in Logic Apps to start pushing data to it.

And we have some great new features in Logic Apps that makes working with XML very easy. So now it’s very straightforward for me to post in an XML message into a Logic App, do some work on that message, and then send it to BizTalk. BizTalk will do some further work on that and send a response back. And then integrate back into the Logic Apps and the Logic Apps can continue. So we really are blending these together. Yep?

Man 3: So the BizTalk Server URL, is that a public endpoint you’re exposing BizTalk, or how do you see the BizTalk Server from the cloud?

Jon: So right now it is, yeah. You need some…so this is actually the end point that BizTalk exposes, right. So you need some way of connecting to it over HTTP, so you have to open that up in the way you would do if you’re doing, you know, web service publishing from BizTalk today, you’d do something similar to make it accessible from the outside, right?

This opens up a few…hopefully some of you are already thinking about this, opens up some new possibilities to the point I make around the differences and opportunities between the two different paradigms between BizTalk Server and Logic Apps. So with the connectors and adapters we support solicit-response as well as request-response, so you can have Logic Apps or BizTalk initiated processing. And either one of those can wait for a response from the other one before continuing. I also have one-way fire and forget from either, so that you can do a fire and forget from Logic Apps, calls BizTalk, and BizTalk will just process and end without the Logic App waiting for a response and vice versa. We can do all of the standard patterns that BizTalk has provided support for a long time.

But it adds some new capabilities as well, some of which aren’t, you know, immediately obvious. One of the things, or a couple of things that BizTalk customers often need to do are things like polling web servers endpoints, right? Or just hitting an endpoint, HTTP endpoint and waiting for something to arrive, and then picking it up and processing it. That’s not something that comes out of the box natively with BizTalk. There are solutions around for that and they’re third-party adapters which enable that capability. But this actually provides a capability to do that straight from a Logic App, because Logic Apps has the ability to poll to HTTP endpoints, and a bunch of other things. You saw the Salesforce connector being able to do that as well, and polling for changes in Salesforce and then pushing them down to BizTalk Server. So you kind of get that capability as well.

The other thing it lets you do is run on a schedule which is another common thing that people implementing BizTalk solutions want to be able to do is, you know, want to run this orchestration at three o’clock in the morning, or every Tuesday, or every hour. I’m going to drink some of this water, every hour. And you get those capabilities as well because you can essentially use the Logic App to schedule the work, and once that event’s occurred, the Logic App can poke BizTalk and BizTalk can run a process for you.

The third thing is, you know, the ability to consume BizTalk capabilities. You know, BizTalk has a rules engine, BizTalk has the ability to be able to expose that rules engine as a service by wrapping an orchestration or something else, and then being able to call that from a Logic App as well. And where this is interesting is where you have existing business processes. If you’re an existing BizTalk customer, and I know a lot of you are and have been using BizTalk for a number of years, you’ve got existing processes. A lot of which are on-prem, a lot of which integrate with Lineup Business Systems, and you just want to extend that, either extend that to the cloud, or extending that logic with new connectors and capabilities that we’ve got with Logic Apps. And that’s really what this facilitates, the ability to be able to take existing processes that you’ve got and rather than having to think about, you know, moving that whole lot or rewriting from scratch or anything else, you can actually augment those with the new Logic Apps capabilities to be able to do that.

So the final thing I was going to cover was around the repaint. So you might have noticed there’s a few changes here and there around here. So we’ve been doing some work with our design team around modernizing and improving the look and feel of BizTalk Server, something we’ve not done for like a long time, and something that, you know, we really wanted to do to bring into the standard kind of look and feel of Windows 10 and Server 2016. So we’ve kind of done a repaint of all the images, and icons and things around the product already. You see that in the admin console here. You know, if I click on these things, you can see the larger versions of these icons. You know, we missed one here, but if I click on this, you can see what the resources look like. Just a general, you know, improvements to the product. The start and stop buttons are all changed and refreshed, they’re all this sort of flat Windows feel about them, single color, just to show you that, you know, we care about your experience when using the product.

And also in the orchestration design, this is something we literally, you know, got done this week. And again, you know, massive thanks to Sageev, is we have…let’s just zoom in a bit. You know, we have these icons all working. We have these icons all…oops, that’s far too much, all kind of repainted as well in the orchestration designer. Let’s try that again. For some reason, there’s horrendous lag on this laptop.

And we’re going to keep doing this, so we have the toolbox as well, we’re going to update that. We’ve got the various, you know, publishing wizards and other pieces. The rules composer, etc., etc. and we’re going to go through all of that. We’ve done a lot of the image work already. We just need to finish that work of the design team and really, you know, improve the look and feel of the product for you guys. I know some people have been asking for this for a long time as well, and it’s great to be able to show you this today. Yeah, as I said, you know, a lot of small but subtle improvements, and a lot of big ones as well.

Man 4: Are you doing any functional changes as well, or is it just freshening up the UI?

Jon: Functional changes to the way the UI works you mean? No, I don’t think so at this stage. That introduces additional complexities, especially in the timeline of like the CTP where, you know, we then have to go through the kind of whole usability and accessibility testing and all the rest of it. So this is kind of a…treat this as a kind of first pass of updating the experience. But you can see here, you know, just some of the screenshots that I took across the product that you’ll see light up in the CTP2 timeframe.

That takes me onto, you know, the final piece here, which is when. When am I going to see this stuff? Well, you know, I mentioned CTP1 is already available and for you guys to use. CTP2 comes out in the summer, and then we’re aiming for a RTM later in the year, Q4, hopefully early Q4 at this stage.

Okay, as part of that, we’re also going to be running a TAP program. So this is a nomination only program. So if you have customers or you are a customer that is interested in using some of the new features at BizTalk Server 2016, then reach out to me. Jim’s already given everybody my email address. So just ping me if you’re interested, and you have a great scenario that you think can really leverage the new capabilities at BizTalk, we can certainly consider you for consideration in that TAP program. And the great thing you get from TAP is obviously the BizTalk product group access, and working with us directly.

So kind of really call to action, you know, download CTP1, try it out. Talk to us about TAP participation, I’ve just mentioned, give us feedback. We’ve got a DL you can use. This is actually something you’ll see when you sign up for the CTP access, you can just send us mail. We see that mailbox and respond to feedback we get, whether it’s the setup experience or whether it’s new features, you know, we love to hear about that stuff.

And then finally, you know, please reach out to us. Reach in, we’ve got a number of vehicles. We have the BizTalk blog, we’ve been posting a lot of the new feature documentation around that and how you can use the new pieces. We have the integration advisers which, you know, all this whole team participates in. We talk about whatever’s hot that month, the new features across, you know BizTalk, Logic Apps etc. You know, what we’re doing really and give you…and including the webcast as well, is sort of a live view about where the team is at and what we’re currently working on.

So, you know, one of the things I’d say again, in perspective of joining Microsoft, people said to me, you know, for years on the outside, “You do realize that we don’t really get this stuff much earlier than you do?” And you go, “Yeah, sure you do. You’ve been playing with this for months, you know. Why did you sit on it for so long?” Well, actually, the way we work today, you know, people get stuff really quick. As I mentioned, you know, we don’t sit on this stuff for very long at all, which is why the work we’re doing right now in building out the new adapters and new connectors, we really want to make that available to you guys as soon as possible.

And on that, you know, the plan is that we want to make the adapter, so the BizTalk for Logic Apps connectivity available in the CTP2 timeframe, so the summer time, and we want to make sure that everything’s available in the box by RTM. If we can beat that, then we will, but, you know, just give you an idea of timeline. You know, we really want to get this stuff in people’s hands as quickly as we possibly can. So if there’s any questions, then just shout them out. Otherwise, you can grab me afterwards. And thank you very much.

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