- BizTalk is great at mapping input files to output file (or input schemas to output schemas). It uses a pretty well designed mapping screen, and you drag arrows from one input field to the output field. You can also put all sorts of conditionals on the input to output fields mappings. That lets you change the output value based on more one input value, or if the input value has a certain value, or the absence of a value, you can set the output value to something else.
- BizTalk is good at connecting to SAP, and allows you to download SAP Idoc schemas to use in Orchestrations which allow you to send and receive SAP Idocs.
- BizTalk is pretty good at notifying you with email. In particular, you can have your Orchestrations send email based on a status. You can send email at the beginning, middle and end if you so desire. That is particularly useful developing and debugging orchestrations.
- BizTalk needs to be better at tracking down errors after the fact. Input files by default get deleted after processing successfully, unless you specifically specify that they don't. This can be an issue where you need to see what the input file contained, since you may have errors showing up in your target platform, in our case this was SAP.
- BizTalk logging needs improved. It needs to be able to log the content of the messages it sends and receives. It would be good if the log had a link to the input and output files.
- BizTalk needs to allow a simple way to preserve the input and output files for debugging purposes. A master setting on the orchestration would be helpful for this.
Microsoft BizTalk is used in my organization as an integration tool across the whole organization to connect different LOB (line of business) applications, like CRM (customer relationship management) application, billing application, campaign management application and transaction management application.
The main purpose of using the tool here is to play the message broker role and let different systems exchange data in a real time manner.
- BizTalk uses Microsoft Visual Studio as the IDE (integrated development environment) tool, and it's very easy to use.
- The orchestration engine of BizTalk addresses resource issue very well for long-running business processes by dehydrating and rehydrating orchestration instances.
- BizTalk is very easy to integrate if the development is mainly on the Microsoft software family.
- BizTalk mainly used in a publish-subscribe pattern, it has toolkits from ESB (Enterprise Services Bus), but it's not as good as other native ESB systems.
- BizTalk didn't provide many native adapters and it needs to be made by a developer or bought from a third party, like Amazon S3 adapter or SMS adapter.
- BizTalk only supports JSON in the latest version 2013 R2, and it needs to transform JSON to XML for internal mail box use and then transform from XML back to JSON.
Microsoft BizTalk is good to use as a message broker tool to process long run business process across multiple applications, but may not be very good when the requirement is for a heavy real-time message queue or topic process or to distribute across multiple applications.
BizTalk is easy to integrate with .net family applications, but it may take more time for it to be integrated with other family applications like Java.