Microsoft’s BizTalk Migrator – Delivering Value Now

by Liz Ruffles

Last week, our Managing Director, Mark Hunt provided a potted history of BizTalk, Azure and the challenges of migrating between the two. He explained why Microsoft’s new BizTalk Migrator could be a game-changer for many organisations.

In this article, we explore the immediate potential benefits of using the tool today. To find out if you could benefit from being an early adopter and what support is on offer – read on.


Author: Mark Hunt, Managing Director, Affinus


Could You Benefit Now from the Microsoft BizTalk Migration Software?

The BizTalk Migrator is an open-source tool that supports the process of migrating BizTalk Server assets to Azure Integration Solutions. If you have been investing in BizTalk as your integration platform to date, you are likely to have a significant stock of BizTalk applications supporting your business processes.

If you meet the following criteria, you can very likely benefit from the tool’s capabilities now:

  1. You have a relatively significant investment in BizTalk applications.
  2. You have chosen Microsoft Azure as a strategic platform to deliver your cloud services or at least some of your cloud services.
  3. You have BizTalk applications that are still fit for purpose and delivering value, that you wish to migrate to Azure.

At the very least, you can obtain a detailed inventory of your BizTalk estate at zero cost. There are numerous further advantages to be realised.

Read more about the drivers for integration modernisation in a blog our partner’s at 345 Technology wrote: CLICK HERE


What Advantages are Available Now from the Microsoft BizTalk Migration Software?

The following advantages could benefit you now:


1) A Detailed Analysis of your BizTalk Applications

One of the first things required for planning your migration journey is to assess what is in these applications – to know what your legacy is.

Your view of the detailed level depends upon whether the applications written in house, or by a developer. It also depends upon how well the source code is documented.

Revealing the details of your applications is where the BizTalk Migrator can begin to offer real value upfront. You can very quickly deploy the tool to interrogate your BizTalk applications and find out exactly what components are in them.

The tool produces a detailed inventory including applications, maps, schemas, message types, send and receive locations, and subscriptions. It also lists how these components translate in Azure.


2) A View of the “Easy Wins” for Migration

From the detailed inventory produced by the tool, it is easy to see how much of your BizTalk estate could be converted into Azure equivalents by the tool. You can quickly gauge how much can be automatically migrated with little effort and also what needs to be re-written manually.


3) Candidates for Microsoft / Partner Support

In addition to discovering the easy wins, it will be possible for a developer with the right skills (in-house or partner) to review the components that need converting manually and see if there are general patterns that an extension to the tool could handle.

At this time, Microsoft is interested in hearing from customers and partners about their findings from the tool. Microsoft may be interested in supporting the extension of the tool to handle requirements that are not currently enabled. This support could mean that Microsoft fund or part-fund further development of the tool to meet the needs of your specific project.

If Microsoft is unable to do this, your partner may be able to do this on your behalf. Microsoft’s BizTalk Migration Tool is open source, so it is possible for a partner to create a version of the tool and to extend it to meet your particular requirements.


4) Complete Solution Migration

A given customer scenario could benefit from a combination of the three benefit points above.

Including all of them in a migration plan and as part of a contractual partner agreement with clear objectives and SLA’s is likely to be the most cost-effective, timely and secure way to get your BizTalk applications into Azure.

This plan could be a review, design and development arrangement, or it could become a managed service agreement to migrate your BizTalk estate to a supported service in Azure.


Engaging with Affinus

At Affinus we are already engaging with customers and partners to support their migration planning process. There is safety in numbers! The more clients and partners we speak to, the more we can understand the migration patterns that the BizTalk Migration Tool could support.

We can, with your permission, communicate this to Microsoft to help prioritise further development of the tool. This is not about treading on anybody’s toes. Incumbent client and partner relationships can be respected.

If you want to get ahead with your migration planning or your customer’s requirements, and save time and money, get in touch with me via email or phone [link to contact us page].

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Microsoft’s BizTalk Migrator – Delivering Value Now