For those of you that attended the training and Tech Ed you may remember there was some confusion over the roles of BizTalk and the messaging engine Indigo built into LongHorn (MS future operating system due for release 2006).

I found this article based on a Scott Woodgate (a New Zealander and the godfather of BizTalk) presentation trying to clear this up. Well it looks like good news for Indigo and good news for the future of BizTalk unfortunately I feel that backward compatibility due to the large amount of underlying architectural change will be a problem but it’s still to soon to be sure.

The main points:

  • From a BizTalk perspective, Indigo is the vehicle that will provide secure, reliable transacted services (over more than just http).

  • Indigo is an API, BizTalk is a set of tools. Indigo will natively integrated into the next version of BizTalk after BizTalk 2004. The demos showed a prototype Indigo adapter that worked with BizTalk 2004.

  • BizTalk has been achieving reliable services through the BizTalk Framework 2. In future this will be deprecated and replaced with WS-ReliableMessaging, which will be provided by Indigo.

  • BizTalk will use the security model built into Indigo to enable WS-Security support for Username tokens and X509 certificates that can be easily configured through attributes, configuration files and policy.

The presentation helped me understand that Indigo is the plumbing. A lot of business functionality will require the use of tools that take advantage of that plumbing, such as BizTalk. So I was interested a few days later to see an announcement that the BizTalk Orchestration will ship as part of Indigo in Longhorn. As the article points out, BizTalk seems to debut features that eventually become part of the plumbing.

This should sure up business confidence in BizTalk’s future with Microsoft’s commitment to this product.

R Addis 24/12/2004