Feeds

BizTalk - yet another launch

It's deja vu all over again

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

BizTalk Server 2006 was half-launched last year. Yesterday it had a proper launch (with general availability etc.) at the London Stock Exchange.

As it has already been in production use for some time with favoured customers, so why have a launch at all?

It's a chance to discover how paranoid the London Stock Exchange is about security - and these days, the press at least can ask real Microsoft techies the hard questions in "chalk and talk" sessions and get informed answers. But you don't need a "launch" for that.

I came away with a feeling of deja vu all over again.. Remember when BI - in general perception anyway - was an expensive toy for Very Important People? And then SQL Server came along with cheap and cheerful BI, suitable for most people, charged nothing for it - and suddenly the revenue stream which financed R&D for the BI specialists looked at risk. Now Microsft's BI tools look rather less cheap and cheerful than they did - even though they're still free.

Well, it may be happening again with Business Rules. Biztalk Server 2006 has what looks like a perfectly adequate Rules Engine. On a brief look, it's nothing like as sophisticated as JRules 6 from Ilog or Fair Isaac's engine - but it should help developers use simple rules for business logic which changes frequently, as well as code for more static logic, and thus more transparently align automated systems with the business.

But there's a real risk here...

Rules are powerful things. Get one wrong (a decimal point in the wrong place when assigning discounts perhaps) and you can lose a lot of money or customer goodwill very fast (you mostly don't use rules in low-volume applications). Unlike BI, rules immediately affect production.

So, you need lots of process around rules engines. Testing, simulation of ihe overall effect of overlapping rules, configuration management, instant revocation of "broken" rules. And if you change rules, what of long-running half-completed transactions still using the old rules?

Rules are business-friendly - but does the business understand the process involved in deploying rules safely? And, does the business even understand its own business process, in any formal way, without assistance from Systems Analysts? Or will we only use commodity Rules Engines for very simple applications?

I wonder if we'll see some BizTalk disasters - that aren't really BizTalk's fault? ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.