I received a comment on a previous post asking the following questions:

  1. How does HIS depend on BizTalk Server and vice-versa?
  2. What is BizTalk Adapters for Host System?
  3. Does BizTalk Adapters for Host Systems come with HIS 2006/HIS 2009 or BizTalk Server 2006/BizTalk Server 2009?

I’d like to try to answer these questions here.

Does HIS depend on BizTalk Server (or vice-versa)?

Host Integration Server does not depend on BizTalk Server and BizTalk Server does not depend on Host Integration Server. Each of these products were marketed and licensed as individual products. Host Integration Server has been around for many years. It started as SNA Server 2.0 way back in 1993. It was renamed as Host Integration Server 2000 with its version 5.0 release.

With the release of BizTalk Server 2006 R2, a decision was made to include Host Integration Server with the BizTalk Server 2006 R2 license. This meant that HIS was no longer available as a standalone product from a licensing perspective. This is discussed on the HIS 2006 Pricing and Licensing site:

http://www.microsoft.com/hiserver/howtobuy/default.mspx

From a technical point of view, customers can still install and use HIS 2006 as a standalone HIS system without any need to  install BizTalk Server on the same system. In these instances, the best option is to license BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Branch Edition as it is the most cost effective way to get HIS 2006.

If you have a need to integrate some of your legacy IBM applications into a BizTalk Server solution, then you might want to look at BizTalk Adapters for Host Systems (BAHS). BAHS is a separate package that includes a full copy of HIS 2006 plus the following BizTalk Adapters that can be used to integrate with IBM applications and data:

  • BizTalk Adapter for Host Applications
  • BizTalk Adapter for DB2
  • BizTalk Adapter for Host Files
  • BizTalk Adapter for WebSphereMQ

You should take a look at the following site for additional details on BAHS:

http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/en/us/adapters-host.aspx

In summary, neither BizTalk Server nor Host Integration Server depend on each other, but the BAHS package does provide a way to integrate Host Integration Server technologies directly into BizTalk Server solutions.

What is BizTalk Adapters for Host Systems?

I kind of covered this a bit in answering the first question. BAHS includes four adapters that directly integrate HIS technologies into BizTalk Server. The following is taken from the product overview link that is available on the main BAHS link included above:

  • BizTalk adapter for host applications is based on technology in transaction integrator, allowing enterprises to connect BizTalk solutions to existing IBM mainframe zSeries (CICS and IMS) or midrange iSeries (AS/400) server programs. The adapter offers an intuitive Visual Studio 2005 designer—including host COBOL and RPG source code import wizards—with which to generate XSD schemas for use in BizTalk projects. The administration tools are integrated with the BizTalk port configuration and deployment tools. Using the BizTalk adapter for host applications, IT professionals can efficiently extend host programs with new solutions based on BizTalk Server 2006.

  • BizTalk adapter for IBM DB2 connects BizTalk Server 2006 to vital data stored in IBM mainframe DB2 for z/OS, IBM midrange DB2/400, and IBM DB2 Universal Database for open platforms (AIX, Linux, Solaris, and Windows). The DB2 adapter is based on the Microsoft .NET framework data provider for DB2 and supports a broad range of functions, including static and dynamic send ports, receive ports, and distributed transactions across traditional SNA and open TCP/IP network connections. Using standard SQL commands defined within port configuration wizards built into the BizTalk Server administration tools, IT professionals can easily create solutions that securely and efficiently integrate DB2 databases without the need for custom programming.

  • Microsoft BizTalk Adapter for Host Files connects BizTalk Server 2006 to vital data stored in IBM mainframe zSeries VSAM datasets and IBM midrange iSeries AS/400 physical files. The host file adapter is based on the Microsoft .NET framework data provider for host files, offering built-in data conversions from host data types to XSD data types, including a broad set of EBCDIC and UNICODE string conversions. The adapter offers an intuitive Visual Studio 2005 designer—including host COBOL and RPG source code import wizards—with which to define metadata maps of the host records. The adapter configuration wizards are integrated into the BizTalk Server administration tools, allowing IT professionals to define static and dynamic send ports, solicit response receive ports, based on a simplified set of SQL commands.

  • BizTalk adapter for WebSphere MQ uses the IBM WebSphere MQ Base Client (non-transactional) or WebSphere MQ Transaction Extended Client APIs to communicate with remote MQSeries Queue Managers. This adapter enables BizTalk Server to communicate directly to MQSeries Queue Managers deployed on non-Windows operating systems, without needing to deploy and manage WebSphere MQ Server for Windows, to efficiently exchange messages with line-of-business applications across the enterprise.

In addition, a full copy of HIS 2006 is included in case you want to connect to the IBM host system using SNA protocols instead of using direct TCP/IP connections or need to use some of the other SNA gateway features included in HIS 2006.

Does BizTalk Adapters for Host Systems come with HIS 2006/HIS 2009 or BizTalk Server 2006/BizTalk Server 2009?

BizTalk Adapters for Host Systems 1.0  is included as part of the BizTalk Server 2006 R2 license as described on the Pricing and Licensing page.  BizTalk Adapters for Host Systems 2.0 will be included as part of the BizTalk Server 2009 license as will Host Integration Server 2009.

We have gotten many questions about licensing HIS 2006 since this change was implemented. These questions are part of the reason that the HIS licensing FAQ was made available. You can find this at http://www.microsoft.com/hiserver/howtobuy/faq.mspx. This FAQ should answer most of the common questions that people have about how to get HIS. The other links I included here should address many other common licensing, usage and feature set questions that you might have around HIS and BAHS.

I hope this helps.