BizTalk Migration Moving to the next Gen

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Client

An American multinational technology company that specializes in specialty glass, ceramics and related materials and technologies including advanced optics primarily for industrial and scientific applications. It currently has five major business sectors: Display Technologies, Environmental Technologies, Life Sciences, Optical Communications, and Specialty Materials.

Requirement

As a business strategy, the customer wants to upgrade their existing system to cater the growing change in technology for their business approach. The existing deployed applications was having a complex set of integration that deal with critical real-time data integration such as product catalogue, price, Purchase order, etc.

The existing system were integrated using the older version of BizTalk i.e. Microsoft BizTalk 2004 with different functional areas like Peoplesoft, Oracle, SQL, SFTP, FTP, SAP IDOC and webservices. They wanted these products to be integrated using the recent version of BizTalk to support and facilitate their business processes.

The customers demand was to use the best in Class Integration with a decoupled scenario, preventing too much dependencies of application with each other. Also, customer was seeking for cost effective functional Support.

Tools Used

Technology: .NET, SQL server, BizTalk 2013R2, Microsoft ESB

Products integrated: PeopleSoft, SFTP, SQL, ORACLE and Web Services

Our Scope

Focus worked with the customer towards evolving a long-term strategic roadmap while keeping existing end points and ERP the same and design and develop a new solution with up-to-date BizTalk version with respect to technology and business scenarios. A phased approach was evolved towards coming up with a single, unified system based on Microsoft technologies and removal of the redundant products.

We worked closely with the customer to deploy a decoupled application.

Enterprise Product Integration

Business Challenges

Integration of various products towards supporting and facilitating the customer’s business processes posed challenges in the form of:

  • Disparate systems caused redundant data and inefficiency in operation. Synchronizing data between different systems became a significant challenge

  • Implementing any changes to the system due to continuously changing business needs contributed to high overheads.

  • Customer didn’t have the documented design of the older deployed interfaces which came as a challenge, leaving us with analysing all the deployed application and designing a fresh high and low-level design.

Strategic Roadmap

Focus worked with the customer in setting up a phased approach for solving these challenges:

Long Term:

A decision was made to go with a fresh design and removing the old adapters with the new one and move to a single, unified system based on Microsoft Technologies for managing customer relationships, ERP, warehouses and supplier relationships. A road map was defined with BizTalk Server, Peoplesoft, SQL, ORACLE, SFTP, FTP and Webservices for seamless integration and scalability. All the short-term goals were defined to revolve around the long-term roadmap.

Short Term:

One of the major short-term requirements was to Analyse the existing application in production and define the design methodology as no proper documentation and access to the old developed artifacts were provided.

Technology Solution

Focus Systems worked along with the customer to deploy Microsoft’s BizTalk Server, which helps in unifying the various products (in distinct locations) and streamlining information delivery among them. BizTalk also manages transactions and communications between external systems

For seamless product integration and, Focus decided to employ an ESB based solution using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2013R2 and Microsoft ESB to facilitate communication between internal and external systems. ESB was used to manage and route the messages between them. This made it very easy to integrate them. It also enabled to decouple them, preventing any one application from depending too much on the other or learning too much about the other and gave effective error handling solution to the customer using the ESB console. Also, the end points were kept dynamic to provide customer with managing
their endpoints effectively.

Microsoft BizTalk Server

BizTalk Server 2013 was also used to simplify and manage communications between the order management product and the systems at supplier organizations.

CODIT Transco was used to track deployed assemblies and messages.

Key Benefits to the customer

Focus has been working with the customer for more than a year to help them achieve their strategic IT objectives. From being a vendor, Focus has now taken over the project– working along with the customer to define their roadmap, enabling them to meet their IT goals and hence deliver better and quicker results to their customers.

The Focus team is the customer’s true extended team, with a small onsite presence and the rest offshore, giving them a real and substantial cost advantage. The team is organized into Centres of Excellence (COE), and each COE focuses on one core technology area e.g., SQL Server, Salesforce, BizTalk Server etc. Resources are pooled from the COEs for any backward or forward integration efforts of the each COE continuously works on the latest technology adoption that will support the business process in an efficient way. This ensures that the customer has up-to-date technical know-how to advance their business plans.

For all the integration efforts, Focus adopted the Plug-n-play and de-coupled approach to ensure that any changes made to the system in the future could be easily handled. These approaches also ensure independence of each product involved in the integration and makes for better security.

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