BizTalk Adapters Provide Base that Makes Interoperability Possible
Adapters for a BizTalk server represent the fundamental foundation by which interoperability between different IT systems is possible – they’re responsible for sending and receiving messages to and from the BizTalk server and different applications.
It doesn’t matter if an adapter sends or receives a message. What matters is that it knows how to either understand a message it receives from an application or how to send a message another application can understand. Successful transmission of messages is a crucial part of making interoperability possible.
There are several types of adapters that come standard with the BizTalk server. They can also be custom made by an internal staff member or third-party BizTalk consultant. Which one they choose for a particular task depends on the application in question.
Newer versions of Microsoft BizTalk build adapters in new, easy to manage ways
Before the 2006 version of BizTalk, the server’s adapters were built using solely an adapter framework. BizTalk consultants would have to make custom adapters for each application.
Modern versions of the utility build adapters as WCF channels, which allows Microsoft to offer adapters compatible with common applications. Common adapters that come standard with the BizTalk 2009 version include:
These adapters and others coming from Microsoft include support for with common SOAP and SOAP with WS-* technologies. BizTalk adapters actually come in packs, designed to support different line-of-business (LOB) applications like SAP, Siebel, Oracle EBS and Oracle databases. In fact, these new adapters are compatible with any .NET Framework application, whether the BizTalk server is used or not.
BizTalk adapters handle a diverse range of tasks
One of these tasks is the interaction of file storage mechanisms, which is made possible through a File Adapter. More specifically, a File Adapter provides the ability to read from and write to files in a Windows based system. Many business process applications are able to access the same file systems, which makes the exchange of messages through files using a File Adapter an easy option.
MSMQ is another type of BizTalk adapter that Microsoft develops, which allows for the sending and receiving of message using Microsoft’s Message Queuing utility. The WebSphere MQ adapter does the same for IBM’s WebSphere Message Queuing utility.
Another kind of BizTalk adapter allows for the connection of common business applications like JDEdwards One World, PeopleSoft, Siebel e-business application, SAP R/3 and others.
Whatever the adapter is being used for, it is an invaluable part of making interoperability between different systems possible. Whether it’s messaging, file sharing or common business procedures like ordering, the BizTalk adapter provides the foundation for making a seamless transaction.
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