BizTalk Server 2013: REST Services


Introducing BizTalk 2013’s support for RESTful Services

Generally used for communicating with the cloud.  Switches away from XML in favour of JSON which has a smaller footprint.

XML is still used for traditional B2B scenarios, especially for well defined interfaces. 

REST is a better option for expensive, narrow band connections like those from smartphones over 3G/4G – especially for clients with basic browsing capability.

Introduction

REST, or Representational State Transfer, is architected over HTTP and makes use of HTTP standard or custom verbs (for CRUD-like operations) and HTTP query string parameters.

PUT – Create (with message body)
GET – Retrieve
POST – Update (with message body)
DELETE – Delete

BizTalk 2013 introduces a new WCF adapter (WCF-WebHttp) which supports RESTful service calls, and is principally used when communicating with the Azure Cloud.

Why use REST?

RESTful services are becoming ubiquitous.  Allows wide integration with popular web APIs (e.g Twitter).  Allows you to use your own bindings to your services, and you can then extend your service to consume popular third party APIs. 

BizTalk 2006 R2 and 2010 could (in theory) consume REST services with a custom WCF adapter or HTTP adapter (with a lot of effort).

REST is not necessarily the answer for all scenarios!

Some Screenshots from the Hands On Lab 

test-orch
Designing a basic Orchestration

relay-acs
Configuring Azure ACS Relay transport properties (Receive Location)

REST Adapter
Configuring a WCF-WebHttp (REST) Adapter (Send Port)

The hands-on lab resulted in the following logical workflow using the WCF Basic Http Relay and WCF Web (REST) adapters:

image

 

Author’s note: I’ll come back later and update this article with more information (and diagrams) about what we accomplished in this hands-on lab.


About Rob Sanders

IT Professional and TOGAF 9 certified architect with nearly two decades of industry experience, 18 years in commercial software development and 11 years in IT consulting. Check out the "About Rob" page for more information.

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