With this blog I want to share my thoughts on integration architecture and development. I feel a strong commitment towards the Microsoft community, to which I want to contribute and actively participate in. Together we are better. Be sociable, be bright, share!

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Topics to explore:

  • Continuous integration. How can I automatically build en deploy apps on check-in? Explore use of Visual Studio Team System. Use Integration Monday session and experience at Volker Wessels. Especially relevant for larger projects using Agile/SCRUM and looking for the next step in professionality.
  • JSON Document Databases. Another storage option next to SQL Server, Azure Storage and Azure Service Bus. Explore DocumentDb, CosmosDb. JSON documents and how to query those databases. Explore added value and typical use cases.
  • Hybrid Architecture: I have looked at hybrid integration before, but it’s time to re-assess what option is most preferrable in which usage scenario. The latest options to explore: on-premises Data Gateway and hybrid connections as part of web apps (not as part of service bus). In BizTalk 2016 the options for hybrid integration are increasing ever more. Also very interesting.
  • Security. In the past few months I have gained much more knowlegde on client/server authentication using certificates in an on-prem scenario. Related to Azure there’s still a lot to explore. A very specific example is Azure Key Vault to safely store passwords. Another example is encryption.
  • Monitoring and Reporting. Business Integration is more valuable if you can give better insights to the business. Is my ROI worth investing? Are Service Level Agreements with clients met? Explore EventHub, StreamAnalytics and PowerBI.
  • Bringing integration to the business. PowerApps and Flow have been around for quite some time. How mature are these technologies? How do they relate to logic apps? I need to have a better understanding. High-level, but clear cut.
  • Office 365. What products are contained under Office365 en how can we make use of them in business applications? A related topic is using the Sharepoint API. Don’t have a clear picture of the business value yet. Lower priority.
  • EDI. Integration with business partners – the former EDI – is a typical Azure scenario, but how does it work? Can we replace a complex integration scenario in BizTalk by a cloud scenario? What is the Enterprise Integration Pack? How can we do mapping en validation of xml documents? Is it advisable to replace xml by json? Is there an alternative for the BizTalk mapper. Can we map json documents? Do I need more hardcore xslt knowledge?
  • Alerting. An often raised requirement. Sending emails to system administrators for error handling. Sending emails/text messages to business to point at interesting opportunities.  I escpecially want to look at Azure. When should we use Twillio or Sendgrid? Should we stick to
  • Mobile. Mobile is a very specific topic that becomes ever more relevant, but at the same time requires in-depth, specialist knowledge that’s essentially new to me. Think of general architecture, tools, terminology and specific cases like: sending coordinates to an eventhub or sending a photo via a mobile client.
  • Cognitive services. Definitely a topic to amaze the business and convince them to do cool things in Azure which are hard to realize on prem. Can I also find interesting cases for commercial use?

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