BizTalk and AppFabric
I’ve spotted only today this post by Mark Burch and started to write a comment there, but then figured it would be quite handy to post that here -
I think Mary-Jo Foley’s point is interesting, and it’s certainly one worth keeping an eye one, and I’m sure Mark is right that it would keep the discussion on BizTalk vNext active, which has to be a good thing! but really – isn’t this just a natural, expected, progression? (and – again – that’s not a criticism of Mark’s post)
I believe that as much as it is clear that BizTalk Server has can benefit from embracing at least some aspects of the Windows AppFabric platform, and I can think of a few, it should also be clear that an organisation embracing Windows AppFabric would, often, gain a lot by complimenting it with a BizTalk version that integrates seamlessly to it one way or another.
BizTalk offers a lot of capabilities that Windows AppFabric is not currently able to offer, and so I’m sure Microsoft are facing the question of – do we want to re-write it all again, or do we want to leverage the mature product we already have with the field experience, integrators, community etc.
Similarly – from a BizTalk point of view –clearly AppFabric, built on the latest Microsoft stack, using the experience gained in Microsoft over the years has some advantages BizTalk could leverage, and so bringing the two close together has to be the most natural progression from where we are today.
What does that mean to a company that utilizes BizTalk today? probably not much - I would think they are already using or are considering using WCF extensively, and hopefully are evaluating and planning to use Windows AppFabric and WF 4 along side BizTalk as it is (they are very unlikely to want/be able to replace BizTalk with AppFabric today, or – in my view – in the near future), and so such a move by Microsoft, would simply mean that sometime in the (hopefully not to distant) future - their life is going to look be made much easier with these two products working very closely together.