Full title: “Achieving Enterprise Integration Patterns with Windows Azure Service Bus”. Or another way to put it: ”What will happen to BizTalk when it gets cloudy”.

Well I would say, after the session, that BizTalk had very little o do with this. If you are a BizTalk developer you probably saw how things you do every day can be done in the Service Bus. Basically Clemens showed some of the most common patterns and how they are implemented in the Service bus. For instance splitter/aggregator, content based routing and recipient list.

There were some news that he told us.


This is a very small, binary and lightweight protocol for queues that will be supported in the next version of the Service Bus (coming End Of Year).

SharePoint and Workflows

The next version of Sharepoint will stand on top of WF that in turn will stand on top of queues in the Service Bus. WF will store it’s state using sessions in the queues. I also think that “will” can be replaced by “is possible to”.

A real product

For some of us who have been around to see MS try to launch integration products like Windows Server AppFabric (Dublin) for instance. I have to say that this time it feel like MS think this is a real product. They have some customers using it today and Clemens show a couple of them. So I get a feeling that this is for real. I did not get that from Windows Server AppFabric. (A good product though).

Side note: To all who have not yet read the integration bible: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture, Clemens recommends it too.

Why the Azure Service Bus?

In short, Microsoft sees a future where you have to be able to process large quantities of messages (small) and that the flow of these messages might vary over time. Not only during the month but also the flow might start small but increase heavily during a short time. Examples of this might be smart meter readers for household electricity that collet readings but also receives messages from the suppler.

In scenarios like this, it is much smarter to by capacity on demand; Cloud and the Service Bus makes these scenarios possible.

Another example might be something that Clemens built; a smart thermostat for AC-units. He has even written an article in the current issue of MSDN magazine about it.

Ok, so new stuff

Right now the maximum size of a message is 256 kb (including headers). There might be an increase to this size but it will “almost certainly guaranteed” not go over 1 mb.

In the end of year (might be December the 62nd) there will be a new release that will contain part of that which is called project Iguazo, which is basically a message distribution system in which you can build trees of subscriptions. Divisions and sub-divisions and further sub-divisions make up the branches that at the end of the branch is a device. This makes for a very easy distribution to individual devices but also entire countries of devices just by smart addressing.

Some tips at the end then

NHTTP is one of Clemens little side projects and it is basically the use of the headers in http to send data in a key-value fashion. The N stands for NoHyperText and to use it you can simply prefix your properties with a P- and the access them from your code by accessing the HTTP headers directly. More info here.

When you configure queues and topics, use an auditing queue that gets a copy of all messages sent to the bus.

Blog Post by: Mikael Sand