As part of our continuous innovation on Windows Azure, today we are excited to announce the Windows Azure Service Bus EAI & EDI Labs release. As with former labs releases, we are sharing some early thinking on possible feature additions to Windows Azure and are committed to gaining your feedback right from the beginning.

The capabilities showcased in this release enable two key scenarios on Windows Azure:

  • Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) which provide rich message processing capabilities and the ability to connect private cloud assets to the public cloud.
  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) targeted at business-to-business (B2B) scenarios in the form of a finished service built for trading partner management.

Signing up for the labs is easy and free of charge. All you need to do to check out the new capabilities is:

We encourage you to ask questions and provide feedback on the Service Bus EAI & EDI Labs Release forum.

You can read more on how to use the new capabilities in the MSDN Documentation.

Please keep in mind that there is no SLA promise for labs, so you should not use these capabilities for any production needs. We will provide a 30 day notice before making changes or ending the lab.

Additional details on this release

EAI capabilities include:

  • Easily validate, enrich and transform messages and route them to endpoints or systems exposed on private or public clouds. This includes capabilities such as external data lookup, xpath extraction, route actions, transformations of response messages, and so on.
  • Hybrid connectivity to on-premises Line-of-business (LOB) systems, applications and data, using the Service Bus Relay capabilities. This includes out-of-the-box connectivity to LOB systems such as:  SAP, Oracle DB, Oracle EBS, Siebel and SQL DB.

These capabilities are supported by a rich development experience in Visual Studio to:

  • Use a visual designer to define and test complex message transformation between different message structures.
  • Configure a bridge (a.k.a. pipeline) that represents and manages the processing and routing of messages using a visual designer. Also find a simple experience of deploying it to Windows Azure.
  • Use the Visual Studio Server Explorer to create, configure and deploy LOB entities on-premises, and expose them on Windows Azure.

The EAI capabilities can be monitored by IT, and are also exposed through REST APIs which enable developers to create management consoles.

EDI capabilities include:

  • Enabling business users or service providers to onboard trading partners, such as suppliers or retailers, to create partner profiles and EDI agreements through a user friendly web based portal.
  • Receiving and processing business transactions over EDI or XML messages.