Managing hybrid Microsoft integrations? Here are the 4 skills you need

February 18, 2022

Many enterprises today rely on a stable, robust, and highly available messaging environment. Supporting such a setup is critical to help ensure business continuity. With interfaces, enabling the order to cash flows, registering clients in patient registries and other business processes, the environment needs to be available 24/7.

Through a series of 3 blog posts, we'll be looking at the people, the process and the tools you need to successfully build, manage and monitor business-critical hybrid integrations using BizTalk, Azure and SQL.

In this first post, we'll be looking at arguably the most important ingredient – the people.

Building a hybrid integration management Dream Team

The team that will need to support the BizTalk, Azure or hybrid environment should be well trained and experienced. However, this can be challenging with the a scarcity of skilled people available. Recruiting new staff, investing in a training program, or outsourcing to a managed services partner are all possible approaches. In general, a team could consist of the following roles:

  • Infrastructure specialist
  • BizTalk Server administrator
  • Database administrator
  • Functional analyst or business analyst

Depending on the size of the environment, these roles could be fulfilled by one or multiple individuals. Some functions may not require a full-time resource – for example, a database administrator and infrastructure specialist can be shared over several support teams.

Infrastructure specialist

An infrastructure specialist, also known as a computer systems engineer or administrator, creates, alters and manages an enterprise data center(s) and Microsoft Azure subscription(s). The role consists of installing and maintaining (new) parts of systems, services or software programs, managing the network, and monitoring the infrastructure. From a BizTalk environment point of view, the role is essential regarding operating systems, networks, and other infrastructure such as storage.

BizTalk Server administrator

A BizTalk administrator controls the BizTalk environment and administrates all the applications, aggregates on suspended messages and solves issues regarding the BizTalk instances and messages. The BizTalk administrator is also responsible for deploying applications to the environments, ensuring performance, providing best practices, backup, and decommissioning. Moreover, the administrator is also responsible for the application after deployment.

Database administrator

A database administrator’s (DBA) role from a BizTalk perspective is to keep the SQL Server instance(s) or cluster healthy and available. The position includes capacity planning, installation, configuration, database design, migration, performance monitoring, security, troubleshooting, as well as backup and data recovery. Furthermore, the role can either be dedicated to BizTalk Server databases or a complete range of SQL Server setups.

Functional analyst or business analyst

The functional- or business analyst usually has the domain knowledge concerning any integration. The person(s) fulfilling this role knows the data flow between systems, the contracts, mapping and the frequency of the data exchange.  When a functional issue occurs in a BizTalk application, the analyst will be the person to investigate and resolve it. He or she has the domain knowledge and will be able to identify if a there is a functional flaw.

So, now that you know what roles are needed for a hybrid integration management Dream Team, why not dig deeper into the processes and tools required for success in our Guide to Hybrid Integration Performance Monitoring?

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Topics from this blog: Blog


Ricardo is a Microsoft integration expert, including BizTalk and Azure. He is a former BizTalk Premier Field Engineer, and is AIMS Head of Customer Success and Technical Evangelist.

Ricardo Torre

Ricardo is a Microsoft integration expert, including BizTalk and Azure. He is a former BizTalk Premier Field Engineer, and is AIMS Head of Customer Success and Technical Evangelist.

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