I was reading an interesting blog post today called Will Dublin Replace BizTalk?

It got me thinking more about this and I wrote up the response below. I would love to hear other peoples comments and thoughts on this. I see a clear separation on when you would use BizTalk vs when you would use Dublin. I see a great story going forward with both technologies working together.

I welcome comments and feedback on this.

Comment on “Will Dublin Replace BizTalk?” blog post:

“I like your article on Dublin and BizTalk but wanted to comment on a few parts.

As someone who makes a living working with BizTalk Server my ears perk up when I hear “it is going away”. I heard this same kind of talk three years ago when Microsoft introduced Workflow in .Net 3.0. I for one was confused about how Workflow would fit in with BizTalk. And now, BizTalk is bigger and stronger than ever.

Why? Because it does a great job inside the enterprise for the scenarios it is designed to address such as system and application integration, connectivity, transformation, and monitoring, just to name a few.

What I see Dublin (and .Net 4.0) doing is taking some of the best features of BizTalk and making them accessible to other parts of the enterprise that might not have requirements that call for a full and robust Integration Server. With Dublin specifically, it is the management and monitory concepts from BizTalk that we can see inside the Dublin code from PDC.

Will there be scenarios that now make more sense in a Dublin environment than BizTalk? Of course. Will all scenarios fit into Dublin – not a chance.

Even today I hear the question, “Why would we pay for BizTalk?” And for some customers BizTalk is not the right answer. For those customers they will now have Dublin to look at rather than having to custom build a solution.

It often comes down to a cost to buy vs. cost to build analysis. On an individual project basis this sometimes becomes a difficult decision. When you think enterprise wide, typically the cost to buy a supportable product with a core set of features is the better answer. With BizTalk, you get adapters, high availability, robust development tools, EDI, RFID, flat file parsing, administration, BAM, etc. While some of these items are being moved further down into the stack, not all of them will be.

The buy vs. build analysis will become more difficult. I think that is a good thing. The end goal is to do more with less and to lower the cost for consistently delivering supportable and maintainable code that meets the requirements. I think Dublin (and .Net 4.0) helps us down that road. In my mind, I’ll always see a need for BizTalk and will continue to recommend it to my clients as a core component in the enterprise when it makes sense.

I do not foresee a world without BizTalk, but I am excited about the world with options that include BizTalk and Dublin.

If you are looking for more information on Dublin, I have a screen cast available (https://www.stephenwthomas.com/media/p/21919.aspx) and a high level visual review of Dublin (http://www.biztalkgurus.com/blogs/biztalk/archive/2008/11/10/first-look-screen-shots-of-windows-application-server-dublin.aspx) available on my web site.

Stephen W. Thomas