Introducing BizTalk Server, Host Integration Server and Commerce Server
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by Joydip Kanjilal
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Microsoft BizTalk Server

Prior to an understanding on what actually BizTalk Server is and how it fits in an enterprise, we should have a proper understanding of business processes. The Workflow Management Coalition (WFMC) defines a business process as "a set of one or more linked procedures or activities which collectively realize a business objective or policy goal, normally within the context of an organizational structure defining functional roles and relationships." It is a sequence of one or more related, structured activities that has a clearly stated objective and a deliverable or outcome. Business Processes, Workflow and Business Process Management are related. Workflow and Business Process Management address the need of automation of business processes. The Workflow Management Coalition defines workflow as "the automation of a business process, in whole or part, during which documents, information, or tasks are passed from one participant to another for action, according to a set of procedural rules." With BPM, you can bridge the gap between business and technology. It is a new concept that merges, or rather, integrates business and Information Technology. Read more on this topic at my article on Business Process Management here.

BizTalk Server, product from Microsoft is targeted at the medium to large enterprises and facilitates a seamless integration of business processes within an enterprise. It allows you to exchange documents within the enterprise and facilitates unification of business systems within an organizational unit.

The following are the major features in BizTalk Server.

·         Support for application integration through the use of messaging

·         Support for automation of business processes through the usage of workflows

·         Business Rules Modeling Engine

·         Business Activity Monitoring

·         Support for Web Services

·         Administration Dashboard

·         Seamless integration with business applications

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