After twelve years of working as a BizTalk Server consultant in The Netherlands and working with BizTalk360 at his customers, Lex Hegt joined Kovai.co/BizTalk360 in 2016. We interviewed Lex about the life cycle of the BizTalk Server and why BizTalk360 is needed more than ever.
Do you think Microsoft BizTalk Server 2020 is a game-changer?
Yeah, especially with Microsoft’s announcement about extending support for BizTalk Server to 2030, you can consider BizTalk Server 2020 as a game-changer. It gives customers the confidence that until that time, they don’t need to be worried about receiving support when that would be required. Also, when customers migrate from an older version of BizTalk Server, like 2013 (R2), the new cloud-connectivity capabilities open a wealth of new possibilities and integration scenarios.
What do you think about BizTalk Server 2020 and Microsoft’s end-of-support announcement?
Microsoft recommends organizations move to the cloud for their integration platform. Their announcement could mean that we won’t see the release of a newer version of BizTalk Server anymore. However, at least this gives existing (and even new) customers confidence that until the end of this decade, they won’t run unsupported with their BizTalk Server environments.
Please share some thoughts on the BizTalk Server end of life.
Although the future of integration is in the cloud, it still happens that organizations choose BizTalk Server as their integration platform. Reasons for selecting an on-premises platform include organization or industry strategy, or most integrations are happening on-premises. However, Azure Serverless is very powerful and winning in popularity. So, we expect that BizTalk Server will still be around for several years but will slowly fade away. Given the limited offerings in the market, it makes even more sense to use a powerful product like BizTalk360 to run your BizTalk environments more efficiently.
Do you think Azure can be a replacement for BizTalk Server?
Both platforms have a lot of similarities and capabilities, but each platform also has its strengths and weaknesses. In the end, we choose a platform based on the requirements. We don’t expect many new developments in BizTalk Server, while Azure Serverless gets stronger and richer every single release cycle. Over time, Azure Serverless also supports features not available in BizTalk Server, making Azure Serverless the better choice as an integration platform. Although there still is a place for BizTalk Server, it will fade to the background.
What is the ultimate advantage of using BizTalk360 for a BizTalk Server user?
BizTalk360 has over 80 features focused on streamlining your BizTalk Server operations, administration, and monitoring. Some of them are technically focused, and some of them are business-focused. Out-of-the-box BizTalk server comes with BizTalk Admin Console for everything, from development, deployment, support, operations, configuration changes, diagnosis, etc. It is a potent tool in some aspects, but it is very weak in certain aspects, especially around user security access, governance, auditing of who did what in the environment, etc. Our goal here at BizTalk360 is to provide one solid tool to solve all the operational and monitoring pain points that arise once your BizTalk applications get to production.