We just raised a $30M Series A: Read our story

What are the main cons/pros to choosing Biztalk Server as an ESB platform?


Hello All,

When I'm comparing the ROI for 3 years (licensing only) between Biztalk Server Enterprise Edition and Mule it looks like Biztalk is a good option

I'm looking to find specific cons/pros on features, reliability and maintainability .


ITCS user
1717 Answers

author avatar

Microsoft is not selling BizTalk as their current integration solution. You will want to look at Microsoft Azure Logic Apps and API Gateway for evaluating Microsoft's products if you are comparing vendors. I have done a comparison between Microsoft and MuleSoft, and a few other integration and API platforms as well. However, I can not post it publicly. You can reach me directly at Jordan.Braunstein@visualintegrator.com.

author avatar

If you have dot net resources in house, Biztalk is definitely a better option. That being said, I believe java based technologies such as Mule, IBM and iWay are more suited to cases where there are heterogeneous environments. You may also want to look at the ability to connect to various sources, as a cheaper platform may not provide "future proofing"

author avatar
Top 20Real User

You should also not discard IIB (IBM ESB) from the picture. There are multiple versions that differ in licensing costs (depending on your needs). But it is one of the most portable. You might also want to look at the features and coordinate with your needs....

author avatar

I used and tested BizTalk, Oracle ESB, Mule and WSO2 Integrator, all these have advantages and suites well for SOA, the best answer will be based on your needs and how is your relation with the vendor and how much you wish to pay for that.

The wish to run on cloud, on premises or hybrid, all that affects the ROI too.

About Mule and BizTalk features all have the functions you need for a SOA platform, maybe the only way to calculate the better is how much time our team can do good things with each one, that must have more weight on your decision, is like buy the fastest car on the world, but dont know how to drive that car, then the better is one you know how to drive.

In my own experience the winner when we talk about ROI is WSO2 Integrator, as is the only solution that only charges by support subscription, because license is Apache 2.0, and have many resources for a good SOA application.

author avatar

We just implemented the hybrid integration platform, BizTalk was not among the list during the evaluation process. Major considerations are on-premise app/sys integration, on-prem and cloud, and cloud to cloud integration, with the presence of webservices and a list of APIs.

author avatar

Rather I would suggest to evaluate “Magic xpi”

This is where you get ESB/ETL/BPM all in one solution with very competitive

author avatar

Between those 2, anything but BizTalk unless you only see MSFT on your life.
In general, i would go for a middleware key player that has a good list of connectors and also a good TCO on a 3-5 years case (IBM, Tibco or Oracle).
Where are you in terms of Cloud? It is important to know where are and which are your applications and what they should be by leveraging API's also on the Cloud.
Overall, from an ESB and API Management perspective, i would look into IBM - you can get a good sw quote for IBM too, you just need to know how to talk with your sales rep.
Have a look at Bluemix Catalog - you can have Pay-Per-Use.

author avatar

In either case you will be locked in by the vendor. Better to go with vendor neutral ESB

author avatar

I haven't used BizTalk. Mule is used in my company, and it is quite robust.

author avatar

Unfortunately we didn’t been working with provided solutions, but we currently assessments the BizTalk solution. Currently we working oracle service bus solution.

Most importance features that we focus on our assessment is stability, by the maximum transaction message that can be processing during working hours, adapters for connectivity with database or any other solutions like ERP, limitations on solution, support and training from provided company.

author avatar

I would suggest the customer to use IBM IIB Advanced instead of Biztalk.
Here are some reasons:

TCO - When comparing apples-to-apples, IIB is not just price competitive
Biztalk but most often provides better TCO. I would recommend the
customer to speak to his IBM sales rep to perform a Business Value
Assessment (BVA).

IIB on Cloud Offering is open:

Production support on Docker
Deploy on AWS, Azure, Bluemix, etc
Salesforce and LoopBack Request
CHEF scripts
Extremely secure hybrid cloud connectivity (Uses mutual authentication
using IIB provided certificates )

IIB on Open Source Flexibility

Free Developer Edition
Integration Community
Connector Framework
GitHub Repository

Embedded Analytics:

Analyse data in real-time
Embedded ODM
Analytics engine integration (incl. Github R node)

Enterprise grade technology that is very simple to use, lightweight,
secure and high performer:

Very easy to use and very lightweight (Full function, simple, single
package install, average size: 1.3GB);Developer Operating Systems contain
Toolkit and Server
Zero pre-reqs
Radically simplified, install < 10 mins
Simple web UI (Browser approach is lightweight and universal)
Market leading performance
MQ Flexibility
Global Cache enhancements
Web administration
Built-in unit testing
Patterns and tutorials
Business Transaction Monitoring

Designed for the Digital Transformation:
REST APIs and REST Request
Push to API Connect
Web Hooks to App Connect
MQTT Connector including SSL for IoT

More on the technical side:

Access the global cache from a graphical map - IIB’s embedded Global
Cache provides an elastic, scalable, in-memory data grid for storing
reusable data
Global Cache Performance and tuning enhancements -
1-click Push REST APIs to API Connect from the IIB Toolkit
CICS Request node support for 2 Phase Commit
TCPIP Report properties enhancements
Business Transaction Monitoring
Oracle stored procedure support in a graphical map
Callable Flows for Hybrid Cloud scenarios
Salesforce Request node
Very easy creation of JSON Schema - JSON Schema support for graphical maps
Create a REST API without needing a Swagger document
LDAP Authentication for administration changes
Web UI Activity Log view for message flows
MQTT SSL and dynamic configuration
Bulk push REST APIs to API Connect from IIB Web UI
REST Request, REST Async Request and LoopBack Request nodes
HTTP and REST enhancements – Logging, YAML support, REST APIs with
node-wide listener
Kafka Producer & Consumer: Use IIB or IIB on Cloud to interact with a
Kafka Broker providing distributed commit log based messaging service
Integration with IBM Watson IoT using MQTT
Business Transaction Monitoring tracks a message across multiple message

author avatar

I don't like Microsoft at all, so I never used Biztalk in my life.

author avatar

It depends what you want. The cost over time does not matter if you make the right choice. The technology must match the requirements. You own your requirements.

Do you need cloud capabilities. Do you need strong hybrid capability to connect on premise with cloud. Do you need the best tool available to solve only on premise challenges.

Do you have a lot of custom applications that need a tool with strong deep integration capabilities. Or do you have a standard based portfolio (sap, was, Lawson, jd Edwards etc) and thus require tools with supported adapters.

Does price matter more than available resources in your area?

Write it all down and ask Integrations vendors like Microsoft, Software AG, Talend, Mule and Oracle to compete for your business case. Choose the one who delivers a great experience while trying to get your business. In the end you want a partner who understands your business and is willing to demonstrate that during the sell.

author avatar

I'm not using ESB.

author avatar

Microsoft BizTalk vs Mule ESB


author avatar

BizTalk cannot be considered as an ESB (more like EAI/MOM)
Depending on the requirements, but general speaking, i would opt by for Mule ( AnyPoint) because is more inline with SOA requirements, ESB patterns, ...

Miguel Anselmo

author avatar

I prefer Mule because BizTalk too much expensive and the free technologies it's the present, but the trouble it's the support at it's more expensive

Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft and others in Enterprise Service Bus (ESB). Updated: September 2021.
540,884 professionals have used our research since 2012.