BizTalk Server 2010 introduces a new feature “AppFabric Connect”, which combines rich proven features of BizTalk Server with the flexible development experience of .NET to allow users to easily develop simple integration applications.
This enables users to:
AppFabric Connect uses Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) activities to programmatically access BizTalk Server's LOB connectivity and data transformation capabilities. This enables users to easily create new composite
applications using the WF model, which can be deployed, hosted and managed in Windows Server AppFabric.
AppFabric Connect also accommodates a class of scenarios (such as Web-based queries) that can utilize BizTalk Server 2010 functionality from a WF application hosted in IIS rather than from a BizTalk Server application running in a BizTalk Server host
instance. This provides flexibility for WF developers that may not want or need other BizTalk Server functionality and also maximizes the use of available resources at runtime; the overhead required to run WF applications hosted in IIS is significantly less
than the overhead required to run applications hosted in the BizTalk Server runtime.
Installing the AppFabric Connect feature - For information about installing the BizTalk Server 2010 AppFabric Connect feature, please see
Installing the BizTalk Server 2010 AppFabric Connect feature (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/installing-the-biztalk-server-2010-appfabric-connect-feature.aspx).
BizTalk Server 2010 AppFabric Connect feature Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - For information about known issues, troubleshooting, and frequently asked questions
about the AppFabric Connect feature, please see
BizTalk Server 2010 AppFabric Connect feature Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/biztalk-server-2010-appfabric-connect-feature-frequently-asked-questions-faq.aspx).
Walkthrough of the AppFabric Connect feature
- For information about how to utilize functionality provided by the AppFabric Connect feature from a Visual Studio 2010 WCF Workflow Service Application, please see
BizTalk + WF/WCF, Better Together (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/biztalk-wf-wcf-better-together.aspx). This walkthrough demonstrates how Workflow developers can now access BizTalk Mapper functionality to implement document transformations
and complete WCF LOB connectivity without having to first configure a BizTalk Server environment.
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Great set of information if one wants to get some hands on experience with AppFabric Connect Feature from BizTalk 2010
I guess, AppFabric Connect also provides features to integrate with Azure AppFabric Service Bus and ACS. This article or other resources mentioned in this article seem to discuss only about map and LOB adapter integration with on-premise WF applications. It would be nice to add some information or links to any articles that provide more information on how to use AppFabric Connect to integrate with Azure AppFabric.
I think these are the least utilized features of BizTalk 2010 and I can't figure out why. Not enough people seem to use these features, which I'm a big fan of. I like the idea of using AppFabric Connect features for things like price quotes or catalogs and BizTalk for orders. I just wish there was a way to manage AppFabric endpoints from within the BizTalk Admin Console, but I'd imagine SCOM can provide an overall view.
We should add a link (and back) to the Norwegian translation of this article. Fantastic article!
Link added. :-)