Knitting an Integration Solution with BizTalk Services
One unusual aspect of the code is the URL formatting. Normally, the scheme contains some indication of the transport. So, instead of the "sb" you see in the code above, you normally see something like "http" or "net.tcp". Translating the URL and contacting the Microsoft hosted servers is handled by the SDK.
Many administration, configuration, and provisioning aspects of BizTalk Services are handled on the BizTalk Services site. BizTalk Services appears to support a Taxonomy-like naming convention. So, services performing different categories or business functions can be compartmentalized or labeled.
As you run the samples, make sure you have an open port 808; many company firewalls block this port for security reasons. I would recommend running the samples from a Sandbox. Also, the URL formatting under Identity Services leads you to believe that the SDK uses the http transport when it fact it's using net.tcp.
As I said earlier, this is a CTP, so it's natural to have some missing functionality. Store and forward is something you typically see in a messaging solution. As of article publication, the BizTalk Services CTP does not support store and forward.
An important part of any web-based solution is security. BizTalk Identity Services handles security for BizTalk Services.
BizTalk Identity Services
BizTalk Services supports the usual username and password security as well as serving as a CardSpace provider. The SDK includes sample code using both authentication methods. Here is CardSpace authentication sample code.
CardSpaceTokenProvider tokenProvider = new CardSpaceTokenProvider(); string userName = tokenProvider.GetUserName();
For either form of authentication, you need to set up a BizTalk Services account. You need to associate this account with a Windows LiveID. The Account setup screen appears below.
To utilize CardSpace with the SDK, you need to set up a Personal Card and associate the card with the BizTalk Services account above. The "Add Card" dialog appears below.
BizTalk Identity Services also handles security configuration. You can restrict or loosen access to your services; see the administration screen below.
BizTalk Services is a technology preview Internet Service Bus out on the web, ready to serve your messaging solution needs. You can interact with it by using the BizTalk Services SDK. BizTalk Services leverages the investment Microsoft has made in Windows Communication Foundation and CardSpace. Future versions promise a more complete messaging solution.
- "SOA in the Real World"
- BizTalk Services Home site: http://labs.biztalk.net/
- BizTalk Server Roadmap: http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/evaluation/roadmap/default.mspx
- "A Primer to Windows Communication Foundation"
- "Identity: Secure Your ASP.NET and WCF Services with Windows CardSpace": http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/07/04/identity/
About the Author
Jeffrey Juday is a software developer with Crowe Chizek in South Bend, Indiana. He has been developing software with Microsoft tools for more than 12 years in a variety of industries. Jeff currently builds solutions using BizTalk 2004, ASP.NET, SharePoint, and SQL Server 2000. You can reach Jeff at email@example.com.
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