Appendix D: Integration Technology Matrix

For more details of the topics covered in this guide, see Contents of the Guide.


  • Overview
  • Integration Technologies Summary
  • Benefits and Considerations Matrix
  • Common Scenarios and Solutions
  • Additional Resources


This appendix will help you to understand the tradeoffs you must make when choosing an integration technology. It will help you to understand the design impact of choosing a particular technology, and assist when choosing an integration technology for your scenario and application type.

Your choice of integration technology will be related to the kinds of applications you are developing. Use the Integration Technologies Summary to review each technology and its description. Use the Benefits and Considerations Matrix to understand the range of technologies available for integration. Use the Common Scenarios and Solutions to map your application scenario to common integration technology solutions.

Integration Technologies Summary

The following list describes the Microsoft technologies available for application integration:

  • Microsoft BizTalk® Server. BizTalk Server provides a complete stack of adapters, orchestration, messaging, and protocols for building Enterprise Application Integration (EAI)—enabled systems.
  • Microsoft Host Integration Server. Host Integration Server provides a platform for connecting applications with IBM zSeries and iSeries applications. In addition, Host Integration Server supports data connections between Microsoft Message Queuing and IBM WebSphere MQ.
  • Microsoft Message Queuing. Message queuing allows you to connect applications using queued messaging. Message queuing provides guaranteed message delivery, priority-based messaging, and security. It can support integration with systems that may be occasionally connected or temporarily offline. Message queuing also supports both synchronous and asynchronous messaging scenarios.
  • Microsoft BizTalk ESB Toolkit. This is a series of entities that provides a loosely-coupled messaging architecture built on top of the services provided by BizTalk Server. It exploits the underlying BizTalk Server features to provide a flexible and extensible architecture that includes capabilities such as transformation, delivery assurance, message security, service registry, intelligent routing, and unified exception handling.

Benefits and Considerations Matrix

The following table lists the benefits and considerations for each integration technology.




BizTalk Server

Enables electronic document exchange relationships between companies using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and/or Extensible Markup Language (XML) formats.

Integrates with non-Microsoft systems.

Easily extended to provide ESB capabilities.

Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) line-of-business (LOB) adapters enable development of custom adapters for use inside or outside BizTalk.

Includes adapters for integration with systems such as SAP, Oracle, and SQL databases.

Provides a SOAP adapter to help you to work with Web services.

Might lead to a tightly-coupled infrastructure.

Requires customization to achieve ESB capabilities.

Host Integration Server

Supports network integration between Windows Server and IBM mainframe or AS/400 computers.

Provides secure host access and identity management with support for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS), single sign on (SSO), and password synchronization.

Provides data integration with support for Message Queuing and XML-based Web services.

Includes a data access tool for creating and managing connections with IBM DB2 databases.

Supports enterprise scalability and performance with simultaneous host sessions, load balancing, and hot failover.

BizTalk adapters for Host Systems are available to support BizTalk integration with DB2, IBM WebSphere MQ, Host Applications, and Host Files.

Must be installed in a Windows Server environment.

Requires Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 or greater.

Requires Message Queuing with routing support.

Microsoft Message Queuing

Enables applications to communicate with each other across heterogeneous networks using message-based methods.

Supports reliable messaging between applications inside and outside of an enterprise.

Supports transactional capabilities, such as ensuring that messages are only delivered once, that messages are delivered in order, and confirmation that messages were retrieved from destination queues.

Provides message routing based on network topology, transport connectivity, and session concentration needs.

Allows message delivery over HTTP transport with support for SOAP Reliable Messaging Protocol (SRMP).

Supports the distribution of a single message to multiple destinations.

Is included with Windows Server 2003 and later.

Supports two deployment modes: domain mode with access to the Active Directory, and Workgroup mode.

Includes WCF-provided endpoints for Message Queuing.

Deployment mode should be considered prior to installing and configuring Message Queuing.

When using the Workgroup deployment mode, messages cannot be encrypted, internal certificates cannot be used, and cross-platform messaging is not supported.

Independent clients should be used instead of dependent clients.

Message Queuing is optimized for sending remotely and receiving locally. As a result, you should avoid remote queue reads.

You should avoid functions that query Active Directory.

Asynchronous notifications using events can become lost.

WCF endpoints require Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 or later.

Microsoft BizTalk ESB Toolkit

Provides dynamic resolution of service endpoints at run time, which abstracts endpoint definition.

Decouples the message transformation from the application.

Integrates closely with WCF to provide secure and reliable messaging.

Provides fault detection and reporting, through unified exception handling for both system and business exceptions.

Includes resolvers for communicating with service registries such as Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI).

Supports an itinerary-based approach for routing and transformation.

Supports client-side and server itineraries.

Supports resolver extensibility for creating custom resolvers.

Supports the BizTalk designer for itinerary creation.

Provides an exception management portal.

Exposes all key features such as exception handling, routing, resolution, and more as Web services.

Provides itinerary tracking using Business Activity Monitoring (BAM).

Requires BizTalk Server 2006 R2 or later.

May require customization for specific business scenarios.

By default, there is no tracking display for ESB Itinerary Tracking data.

Common Scenarios and Solutions

The following sections provide guidance on choosing the appropriate type of integration technology for your applications:

Consider using BizTalk Server if:

  • You want interaction with multiple Web services via an orchestrator as part of a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).
  • You want to support business-to-business processes, including industry standards such as EDIFACT, ANSCI X12, HL7, HIPAA, or SWIFT.
  • You want parallel execution of services.
  • You need a solution that is highly reliable and requires a dedicated scalable server infrastructure with no code changes required.
  • You must be able to measure business Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) by configuring a BAM solution to provide near real time visibility into your application's process data.
  • You must abstract your application business logic into declarative rule policies that can be changed easily to match dynamic changes of business requirements.

Consider using Host Integration Server if:

  • You must support interaction with IBM zSeries or iSeries applications.
  • You want to integrate BizTalk with DB2, WebSphere MQ, Host Applications, or Host Files.
  • You want to integrate Message Queuing with WebSphere MQ.

Consider using Microsoft Message Queuing if:

  • You must support message-based interaction between applications.
  • You want to integrate with non-Microsoft platforms.
  • You must support SRMP.

Consider using the Microsoft BizTalk ESB Toolkit if:

  • You must support an itinerary-based approach.
  • You must support dynamic resolution and routing.
  • You want to use dynamic transformations.
  • You must support robust and unified exception management for your EAI system.

Additional Resources

For more information, see the following resources: