The adapters constituting the BizTalk Adapter Pack are fundamentally custom WCF binding elements. Built on the WCF LOB Adapter SDK, these adapters are host agnostic i.e. they are not tied to a specific product like BizTalk. However, their predecessors, the BizTalk adapters for enterprise applications, are built on the BizTalk Adapter Framework and cannot be used outside BizTalk.
Some of the key themes that contributed to the thinking of the BizTalk Adapter Pack include:
· Feature improvements to address BizTalk adapter customer pain points besides achieving feature parity with the BizTalk adapters.
· Uniform access to varied LOB systems by standardizing on the WCF and the WCF LOB Adapter SDK. With uniform access comes a uniform design-time experience to browse and search LOB artifacts, a uniform adapter configuration experience and a uniform programming experience
· Programmability by providing users the choice of programming model to interface with the LOB, which includes the WCF channel model, WCF service model, ADO.NET model, WS-* compliant web services model or the BizTalk model
· LOB client decisions to invest in the right choice of the LOB client library wherever possible. This includes LOB client libraries with better supportability from the LOB companies and better feature support. The Oracle DB adapter uses ODP.NET (as opposed to the ODBC driver) and the SAP adapter uses the RFC SDK (as opposed to the SAP .NET connector)
· Reusability by building host-agnostic adapters that can be consumed from varied applications including BizTalk Server 2006 R2, SharePoint Server, SSIS and custom .NET applications
The BizTalk Adapter Pack “web-servicizes” the LOB system so to speak. Even further, it enables users to build “dynamic contracts” to the LOB constituting the artifact and operations that they are interested in as opposed to 1 big web service contract for the LOB.
The BizTalk Adapter Pack empowers customers to use one LOB adapter that would address their integration needs from various applications built on varied technologies. The BizTalk Adapter Pack currently contains 3 adapters which are as follows:
· Microsoft BizTalk Adapter 3.0 for mySAP Business Suite
· Microsoft BizTalk Adapter 3.0 for Oracle Database
· Microsoft BizTalk Adapter 3.0 for Siebel eBusiness Applications
You can download and try out the public Beta 2 bits of the BizTalk Adapter Pack from here!