Introduction

Azure BizTalk Services (formerly called Windows Azure BizTalk Services or WABS) is general available since mid-November 2013. This brand new service in Microsoft Azure is meant to provide EAI or B2B services through the cloud.
  • The EAI Service provides means to exchange data through different protocols and transform to and from different formats. Similar to what the on premise BizTalk offers through mapping and routing.
  • The B2B service gives businesses the ability to exchange data between their partners. You can view it as a new way of EDI data exchange other than a value added network (VAN).

The provisioning of BizTalk Services is a little different and simpler than when the service was in preview mode. It can be done through the Microsoft Azure Portal or through using a REST API. This Wiki article will explain the provisioning through Microsoft Azure Portal. For the REST API see MSDN REST API for Managing BizTalk Services on Microsoft Azure.

Note: The previous article Provisioning BizTalk Services Using the Microsoft Azure Management Portal is obsolete as it explains the provision of the service when it was still in preview mode.

Prerequisites

To be able to provision an Azure BizTalk Service you will need a Microsoft Azure Subscription. You have different options to acquire one:

As soon as you have a subscription with Azure you can make use of the services it offers like Azure SQL Database, Azure Access Control Service (ACS), and  Azure Storage, which you will need for provisioning of the BizTalk Service. You will need to create an Azure SQL database and a storage account:

Provision the Azure BizTalk Service through the Azure Portal

To provision the Azure BizTalk Services you have to navigate to the BizTalk Service in the management portal. There you click at the bottom of the navigation pane, NEW+ and then navigate through App Services --> BizTalk Service --> Custom Create.

Figure 1. Custom create a BizTalk Service.
A wizard will presented to you in front of the Management Portal. Here you will go through several steps before the BizTalk Service will be provisioned for you. The first step is specifying the settings for CREATE BIZTALK SERVICE tab.

Create BizTalk Service

In the BizTalk Service Name you can specify an unique name that will added to default DNS .biztalk.windows.net. This will form a URL that can be used to access your BizTalk Service. By default the domain url is the name you give your BizTalk Service Name. You can specify a custom domain if you want. With the edition property you can choose the edition you want depending on your scenario (see Editions Chart). In case you are in the testing/development phase then you should choose Developer

With the region you can choose where to host your BizTalk Service depending on the geographic region your in. With the tracking database you can choose between two options:

  • Use an existing SQL Database instance: You can use the SQL Database created previously in Create the SQL Database Server. You need the login name and password specified when the SQL Database Server was created.
  • Create a new SQL Database instance: You can use this option to create a new SQL Database on an existing SQL Database Server. You need the login name and password specified when the SQL Database Server was created.
Finally you choose the subscription where you want to host your BizTalk Service. After specifying the BizTalk Service you can click the arrow to go to next step.

Figure 2. Specify BizTalk Service details.

Database settings


The second tab is intended to specify the database settings. In case Create a new SQL Database instance was chosen you will see screen below.



Figure 3. Database Settings tab.

You can specify the server (see Prerequisites), login details and indicate whether or not you want to specify advanced settings. In latter case an additional tab will be made available to enable you to specify these details.



Figure 4. Advanced database settings.

In the advance settings tab you can specify the edition you want for the tracking database. You have the option:
  • Web: Scales from to 1 to 5 Gb.
  • Business: Scales from 10 to 150 Gb.

Note: Both allow you to set maximum size, and both are billed on an amortized schedule, where your capacity is evaluated daily.

Here you can also specify the collation you desire. In case you choose use existing SQL Database instance you will see the tab below.



Figure 5.
Database settings tab.

Monitoring/Archiving settings


In the final tab Specify monitoring/archiving settings you specify the storage account (see Prerequisites). You either create a new or use an existing storage account to store monitoring and archiving data. Note that this storage account can be used by only one BizTalk Service!



Figure 6. Monitoring and archiving settings.

After specifying all the settings in each tab you can in the last tab click the check mark and provisioning of the BizTalk Service will start.



Figure 7. Provisioning of the BizTalk Service.

After 30 minutes the BizTalk Service is available.



Figure 8. Successfully created BizTalk Service.

Post provisioning step of the BizTalk Service

After the provisioning of the BizTalk Service you can register it in the BizTalk Service management portal, which is a Silverlight portal that will be there during the preview. By clicking on the Manage button you will be taken to the Silverlight portal. You first will be presented with the screen below.



Figure 9. Register Account.

To retrieve the ACS issuer name and issuer secret you will need to go to Microsoft Azure Portal and click Connection Information in the BizTalk Service Dashboard.



Figure 10. Connection information BizTalk Service.

In connection information dialog you will find credentials to register the account and have access to BizTalk Service Portal.


Figure 11. Access Connection Information BizTalk Service.

BizTalk Service Dashboard


After the BizTalk Service has been successfully provisioned you can see it details through the dashboard. This dashboard will give a quick glance of the provisioned service.



Figure 12. BizTalk Service Dashboard.

Wrap up

The provisioning of a BizTalk Service has been simplified compared to preview mode experience. During the preview period provisioning of the service required a certificate that needed to be uploaded and configuration of the Access Control Service. These steps are not required anymore. An Access Control Service (ACS) namespace and a self-signed certificate are provisioned for you while the BizTalk Service is created. The certificate can be acquired through BizTalk Service Dashboard (see BizTalk Service Dashboard) in the Microsoft Azure Portal.

See Also

For documentation on BizTalk Services see Azure BizTalk Services documentation. In case you want to start creating BizTalk Services applications then you need to install BizTalk Services SDK (See ) on your machine.

Another important place to find a huge amount of Azure BizTalk Services related articles is the TechNet Wiki itself. The best entry point is Azure BizTalk Services resources on the TechNet Wiki.

If you are also looking for BizTalk Server related articles, the best entry point is BizTalk Server Resources on the TechNet Wiki.