What’s New in Windows Azure BizTalk Services Feb 2014 Refresh

In the month of February, Windows Azure BizTalk Services was updated to add a bunch of new features that enable a variety of business scenarios. This blog post aims at summarizing the updates that were done to Azure BizTalk Services. We can categorize the feature updates into three buckets:

EDI Updates

  • Support for EDIFACT – The BizTalk Services Portal can now be used to configure and deploy EDIFACT agreements between two trading partners. For information on creating EDIFACT agreements, see Create an EDIFACT Agreement.
  • EDIFACT support in TPM OM API – You can also use the TPM OM REST-based APIs to create EDIFACT agreements. For a list of new entities that were added to support EDIFACT, see TPM OM API: Exposed Entities and Properties.
  • Support for SAS authentication while routing to Service Bus queues/topics from EDI bridges – While routing to queues/topics from an EDI bridge, you can now also use SAS authentication, if required. Earlier, you could only authenticate with the Service Bus entities using the issuer name/issuer key pair.

EAI Updates

Setup and Management Updates

  • No dependency on a local SQL Server installation – Earlier, if you were using BizTalk Adapter Service, you had to provide details about a local SQL Server installation where the details for LOB relay and LOB targets were stored. Now, that dependency is done with. After the updates in February, the details about LOB relays and targets are stored in the repository associated with your Azure BizTalk Service subscription. Additionally, the BizTalk Services SDK setup enables you to migrate the LOB relay/target configuration information from the local SQL Server installation to the configuration repository on Azure. For more information, see Migrate the BizTalk Adapter Service Runtime Environment.
  • Backup and Restore using the Azure Portal – In the previous version of BizTalk Services, you could only backup or restore the BizTalk Services environment using REST APIs (see here and here). You can now also use the Azure Management Portal to perform the same operation (see here). In fact, you can use the portal to do an Ad hoc Backup or a Scheduled Backup.  You can also restore from a backup using the portal. See here.
  • Viewing BizTalk Services Operation Logs – Windows Azure already had the feature to provide operational logs for different services. BizTalk Services now ties into this feature to provide logs for management operations related to a BizTalk Services subscription. For more information, see here.

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