New white paper for BizTalk integration with AIF

Hi everyone,

I'm Jim Travis, a Senior Technical Writer at Microsoft. I write documentation for services and Application Integration Framework (AIF) in Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Recently, I've been working on integration between Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 ( and Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. If you have used BizTalk, then you know that BizTalk Server is a commonly used middleware product from Microsoft that is used for large-scale integration scenarios in the enterprise. While the Dynamics AX services and AIF features are very well suited to small-scale integrations, when BizTalk is in use in the enterprise, then AIF becomes more of a "spoke" to the BizTalk "hub."

In Microsoft Dynamics AX2009, we included a specialized BizTalk adapter. This component did a fair job of setting up the connections between Dynamics AX and BizTalk, but at the cost of creating some additional complications and requiring deployment of custom code and a superfluous component. In Dynamics AX 2012, we have removed the BizTalk adapter. Instead, we have chosen to favor standards-based communications, wherever possible. Because BizTalk and AIF both are built on Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), you can simply use the standard WCF adapters to manage communications across various transports and using various protocols. Typically, synchronous communications happen through standard Web services by using the HTTP or NetTCP adapters, while asynchronous communications simply use the file system or Message Queuing (MSMQ).

Now, if you've become accustomed to using the Dynamics AX 2009 BizTalk adapter, there will be some work to do to understand how to get the systems to communicate without the adapter. However, I assure you that it's very straightforward and you should be up and running in no time at all. If you're used BizTalk before, here are a few important points to understand:

  • For simple scenarios, such as those requiring
    just transformation and communication of data to and from AX, there is no need
    to create an orchestration.  All the
    transformations and communication happen through the standard ports and
    pipelines. You will still need to add an orchestration if you have the need for
    additional processing in complex scenarios.
  • You don't need to write any custom code. The
    BizTalk mapper can create the transformations for you and the BizTalk
    administration console can set up the entire integration.
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 integration ports are
    much simpler to configure than earlier versions, yet provide the needed
    flexibility to enforce your data and authorization policies.

We've published a detailed white paper on this topic. The white paper provides a comprehensive FAQ and then walks you through two scenarios, step by step. The first scenario shows you how to create a sales order that starts out in a custom XML format, by using the file system adapter. The second scenario shows you how to read the sales order that you created in the first scenario, by using the NetTCP adapter.

You can download the white paper from this link:

I'll be posting a video, soon, that walks you through a bit of this scenario, as well.


Jim Travis [MS]

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.