BizTalk Server Review

Can be run for years without having to be rebooted and it offers a high degree of flexibility


What is most valuable?

The platform is more like a Lego landscape of different building blocks and the most valuable part is that they can be built and constructed independently. You have many degrees of freedom and all types of different applications for your business needs. In Luxembourg, I've been connecting bank interfaces, document management systems, and management systems for a two-month contract. Credit card interfaces and high deposits, etc. It was a very complicated workflow. The solution offers many degrees of freedom in order to connect different systems with complicated workflows and very complicated mappings.

What needs improvement?

There is a follow-up version called Logic App which right now runs only in the Microsoft hosted Azure Cloud. We're just using JSON instead of XML which is very simple to administer and configure because it's a platform that's a server. You do not have to install anything. You just say I need some resources and Azure will do the rest for you. It's very easy to use. In Germany, however, there are very few customers using it because no one trusts putting data onto the Cloud. It's hosted by Microsoft, it's not hosted by a private cloud. That's a specific German problem, I know that the French are less restrictive, but in Germany, that's a big problem.

For future releases, I'm guessing Microsoft is trying to build out Logic App, but having another server with the tool which actually rewires the workflow and optimizes the workflow using a simplification operator would be a huge step ahead of all other opposing products, like Oracle, or Talend.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution since 2006.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

If you know what you are doing, it can be running years without having to be rebooted. It's a stable product. I have less experience with the relatively new Logic Apps, but because it's being handled as a platform in the Cloud, and it might be less stable, I'm guessing some customers might be having problems. However, in Luxembourg, we have systems which are being booted something like once a year, and it's not a problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Essentially, you can do whatever you like with these systems, and you do not have to worry about the scaling because if one server is overloaded, it just forwards the message to the next server, even if it were designated to a specific server. It weeds out the messages according to the load. If you want to scale it, you just add new servers. I would say it's easily scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support depends on your service level agreement. If you have a top agreement you will be called back in four hours. If you have a less expensive one, maybe eight hours or 24 hours, depending on your pricing. They do report back and there are competent engineers on the other line. In my experience, the quality is comparable to Oracle. I've been satisfied.

How was the initial setup?

It's a complex product because you have many degrees of freedom to connect different parts together. Whether it's sensible or not, is up to you, but the machine does allow it. Because of the vast degrees of freedom, it's complex.

What other advice do I have?

From a stability standpoint, I would rate the solution 9.5 out of 10. From a manageability standpoint, it's more like a 7 out of 10. Overall, I would rate it at 8.5 out of 10.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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