Compare BizTalk server and BizTalk Service

I found a great article about comparison between BizTalk Server and BizTalk service on codit

I have given quite some sessions and presentations recently on Windows Azure BizTalk Services.  We had the opportunity to work together with the product team on WABS as a strategic Launch Partner.  I had a lot of discussions and questions on the technology and a lot of these questions were focused on a comparison with BizTalk Server…

Therefore, I decided to create this blog post, I created a comparison table, much like the comparison tables you can see on consumer web sites (for mobile phones, computers, etc…)

If you need more information or have some feedback, don’t hesitate to contact me.

In the mean time, I also came across the following wiki on msdn, that does a good overview too: click to open

Connectivity & adapters

Some adapters are not applicable in cloud services (File, for example), where others are.  BizTalk Services has a lot of adapters not available.  Custom adapters can only be written through the outbound WCF bindings.

BizTalk Server BizTalk Services
File Yes No (cloud only)
FTP Yes Yes
SFTP Yes Yes
SOAP Web services Yes Yes
RESTful services Yes, no JSON Yes, no JSON
Email Yes Through custom WCF binding
Outbound only
SQL Yes Through adapter service
SAP Yes Through adapter service
Siebel Yes Through adapter service
Oracle DB Yes Through adapter service
Oracle Apps Yes Through adapter service
SharePoint Yes Through custom WCF binding
Outbound only
MQSeries Yes No
Service Bus Yes Outbound only (Relay + Messaging)
Azure Blob storage Through custom adapter Yes

Core messaging capabilities

The biggest difference here is the routing pattern that is totally different between both products.  More can be read in an earlier post: Windows Azure Bridges & Message Itineraries: an architectural insight.  If you want durable messaging, Service Bus queues/topics are the answer, but the biggest problem is that WABS cannot have subscriptions or queues as sources for bridges.

BizTalk Server BizTalk Services
Durable messaging Yes, MessageBox Only through service bus and custom polling
Volatile messaging No, always persistence Yes
One-to-many routing Yes No, first match routing. Only through service bus topics
Property promotion Yes Yes
Retry mechanism Yes No
Alternative routing Yes No
Failed Message Routing Yes No


Message processing

We have good feature parity here on these items.  The main thing missing would be JSON support.  For that, we have written a custom component already that supports JSON.

BizTalk Server BizTalk Services
Transformation Yes Yes
Schema Validation Yes Yes
Property promotion Yes Yes
Flat file processing Yes Yes
XML processing Yes Yes
JSON processing No No
Binary processing / routing Yes No, maybe in passthrough (to be checked)
EDIFACT processing Yes Coming soon
X12 processing Yes Yes

Management & deployment experience

In my opinion, this is where the biggest challenge lies for WABS.  Administration and management is really not what we are used with BizTalk Server.  Configuration is very difficult (no binding file concept) and endpoint management is also not that easy to do.

BizTalk Server BizTalk Services
Endpoint management Yes Only powershell
View message tracking Yes Basic
Deployment portal Yes Only powershell, Visual Studio
Auditing of operations Partial Partial
Health dashboard Yes No
Isolation of processes Yes (hosts) No, single tenant
Hierarchy of artifacts Yes (applications) No

Trading partner management & EDI

The TPM portal of WABS is really very nice and much friendlier than the BizTalk admin console of BizTalk.  The biggest issue with EDI is the fact that there is no possibility to extend and customize the EDI bridge…

BizTalk Server BizTalk Services
Trading partner management Yes (Biztalk Admin) Yes (TPM Portal)
EDI extensibility Yes No (only with bridge as destination)


Luckily the product team did good efforts to add extensibility and the usability of custom bridge components should still be evolved well.

BizTalk Server BizTalk Services
Custom pipeline components Yes Yes
Custom functoids Yes Yes
Custom adapters Yes Only outbound WCF
Custom business rules components Yes No
Custom workflow components Yes No


BizTalk Server BizTalk Services
Role based security in management portal Yes No
Endpoint security Extensive support Only ACS & FTP security

Added value services

This is really where BizTalk Server leads, compared to WABS.  And for most real solutions, these services are often needed.

BizTalk Server BizTalk Services
Workflow Yes (orchestrations) No
Business Rules Yes No
Business Activity Monitoring Yes No



WCF custom vs WCF with IIS

In a previous blog entry, I wrote about exposing wcf port without IIS. But now when I use IIS and when I don’t use it ?

Actually, when I use IIS I’ve got a new technic layer and increase the resource used.

So what IIS bring more.As we can see with or without IIS doesn’t influence response time (click on the picture to zoom). Lire la suite