Windows Azure BizTalk Services – getting started

June 3, 2013 at 4:10 PM

You may have noticed it.  There is a new Windows Azure Service released on the Windows Azure portal: Windows Azure BizTalk Services.  This blog posts helps you getting started.

It explains the different steps you need to take in order to get you up and ready to begin development.

The official tutorials are to be found online: here.

 

Get the SDK


To download the SDK, adapter service and other items, you can go to this link.  There you can download the following items for the Windows Azure BizTalk Services preview:

  • BizTalk Adapter Service x64
  • BizTalk Adapter Service x86
  • BTMMigrationTool (this is to migrate BizTalk mappings to the new mapper)
  • MicrosoftEdiXsdTemplates (all X12/EDI schemas)
  • WindowsAzureBizTalkServices SDK

Once you have everything installed, your local machine is ready for WABS development

 

Register for the Windows Azure BizTalk Services preview


You should go to the Azure account portal and log on with your Microsoft account, linked with the subscription that you want to get registered for WABS.  On the portal, select the Preview Features button and you can register for the BizTalk Services preview.  After a while (depending on the available preview slots), you can be allowed to the program.

image

 

Create a BizTalk Service


Once you are registered and allowed to the preview program, you can go to the management portal and create a BizTalk Service

It is not a trivial process, so here you have some tips and a step by step guide:

Step 1: go to the BizTalk Services tab

Click on the BizTalk Services tab and you will be able to click the ‘Create a BizTalk Service’ link.

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Step 2: specify your service settings

In the first step of the wizard, you’ll have to specify some settings:

  • BizTalk Service name: the prefix to the .biztalk.windows.net that will be used for your service DNS
  • Edition: the specific edition you will chose.  Important! : the edition influences your costs, so be aware of this.  The details on the editions will be discussed later on.  Developer is the one you should use for all your PoC / play ground
  • Region: the data center where your services will be running
  • Tracking database: this is a database on your own server that will be used for all tracking information!  This database can be used for your own tracking queries.  You can add it on a new server, or an existing server.
    It is strongly advised to run the database in the same data center as your service!
  • Subscription: the subscription where you will deploy your service.

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Step 3: Database settings

In the database settings, you can provide a new database, or link to an existing one.  Here you need to specify some settings, based on your selection.

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Step 4: Access Control namespace and monitoring settings

Here it becomes tricky.  You need to specify an ACS namespace that will be used to create items in, by the Windows Azure BizTalk Service account. 

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When creating a new namespace, you will have to do this through the Active Directory tab and create an ACS namespace there. 

  • To get the user and password settings, you need to click on the Manage button in the Access Control Namespace section of the Active Directory module in the Azure portal.  This will bring you to the ‘old’ ACS management portal where you can get your user.
  • This should be done by selecting the ‘Management Service’ link on the left.
  • Then either use the existing ManagementClient service account or create a new one
  • Click the service account you want to use and then click the Password link.
  • To get the password, you can click the Show Password button.
    image

The user name is the name of the service account.

Step 5: SSL Certificate

In the last step before creation, you need to upload the private key of an SSL certificate (pfx) that is linked with your DNS. 

You can change this later and use a self-signed cert for now, by executing the following in the developer command prompt:

makecert -pe -r -n "CN=<yourservicename>.biztalk.windows.net" -e "01/01/2015" -ss my

After doing this, you can export your PFX from your certificate store and upload it here.

 

Step 6: Be patient

Once you click create, it can take up to 30 minutes to have your service generated.

image

 

Step 7: Register the service on the ‘Silverlight’ portal

And just when you thought everything was finished, then you have to register your service in the BizTalk management portal.  This portal is a Silverlight portal that is there during the preview. 

Click on the Manage button and you will be taken to the Silverlight portal

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On this portal, you have to specify three settings:

  • BizTalk Service: the name of the BizTalk Service you specified in the first step
  • Issuer name: the name of an ACS user that belongs to your ACS namepsace
  • Issuer secret: the shared secret key of that user

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More blog posts coming soon


As a launch partner, we have been working with Windows Azure BizTalk Services for more than a year now and we have prepared a number of blog posts.  In the coming days there will be blog posts on the architecture and features of this brand new service.

Stay tuned!

Sam Vanhoutte

Comments (7) -

Barathan K
Barathan K United States
6/3/2013 9:14:00 PM #

Thanks for the great Post, I have done all the steps and when i tried to deploy a sample BizTalk Service Project with basic FTP Source connected to the one way XML Bridge with the the Service Bus Queue Destination. When trying to deploy the source i am getting the following error.

Error 1  FTPtoQueueBridge deployment failed at 'https://[biztalkservicename].biztalk.windows.net/default/FTPtoQueueBridge'.
The underlying connection was closed: Could not establish trust relationship for the SSL/TLS secure channel.

Reply

Sam vanhoutte
Sam vanhoutte Belgium
6/3/2013 10:33:10 PM #

Did you change the deployment URL of your bridge?  You need to click the designer canvas and specify your settings there.

Reply

Barathan K
Barathan K United States
6/4/2013 4:25:38 PM #

Thanks for the response Sam, Yes i have changed the deployment URL of the bridge to https://[biztalkservicename].biztalk.windows.net/default/. I will try to import your certificate (private .pkcs or public .cer) in the Trust Root Certificate Authorities as mentioned in the other comment and let you know.

Reply

Barathan K
Barathan K United States
6/17/2013 8:44:03 PM #

Sam, The example worked great! I had to do two things.

1. Need to Trust the Certificate.
2. Update the PFX SSL certificate in the BizTalk Service.

Once deployed i went to the https://portal.biztalk.windows.net/#AllBridges and it threw an Error: An error occurred while querying the backend for relevant data. Details:

Service encountered unknown exception..

But i was able to send a message to a XML-One way bridge and pass it on to the Service bus Topic without any problem.

Reply

Sameer
Sameer United States
6/4/2013 12:18:11 AM #

Nice post, Sam!

Barathan, you should trust the certificate for SSL/TLS to work properly since you are using a self-signed certificate.  The easiest way to do this is to import your certificate (private .pkcs or public .cer) in the Trust Root Certificate Authorities using certmgr.

Reply

Paolo Salvatori
Paolo Salvatori Italy
6/17/2013 11:07:09 AM #

Great post Sam. Just one note: make sure that the certificate you create and uploads at Step 5 doens't have an expiry period of more than 5 years, otherwise the management portal will return an misleading error "Could not load the certificate. Either the certificate is not a private certificate (.pfx extension), or the password is incorrect." when you try to create a BizTalk Service.

Reply

Balbir Singh
Balbir Singh United Kingdom
7/5/2013 6:47:35 PM #

I originally created the SSL certificate using makecert in VS2012 X64 native tools command prompt, it worked but could not export the private key (option was greyed out). It was only when I deleted and recreated the certificate using the Developer Command Prompt for VS2012, the option to export the private key was enabled.

Reply

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