Migrating SeeBeyond integration to Biztalk

Integration migration projects are humbling in their complexity. You are likely to run into daunting communication, management and operational challenges which can conspire to defeat your march.

But what happens when you need to migrate an integration, probably quite complex (say hundreds of interfaces) and settled in the organization to another platform, with minimal disruption of business continuity?

We faced such a challenge with migrating a SeeBeyond project at a large US client to a BizTalk platform. The project's achilles heel was the original SeeBeyond project built by a large consulting company (EDS) did not have a scrap of documentation.

SeeBeyond has historically been around as an EAI tool for over 15 years or more and was one of the pioneering tools in the realm of EAI (even before the EAI buzz word was coined). It was brought by SUN and the new version of its e*Gate tool redesigned so Java can be used for development. BizTalk is the relatively newer kid on the block with a different vision and is part of the .NET family.

How do you begin to approach this problem when a large multinational's business critical applications depend on this integration? Consider that professionals with a functional skills in both platforms (SeeBeyond and BizTalk) are imposssible to find. How do you assess the project scope, get the “big picture”, peek into many technical details and eccentricities early, and foresee upcoming challenges – not to mention planning ahead for infrastructure and performance?

As with most complex and large IT projects, there is no one magic bullet. We evaluated a range of strategies for project management and technical solutions. Planning for a migration strategy is key to a successful project especially when it is a complex, mission-critical EAI migration. Certain approaches are low-risk while others hide spiralling costs and technical pot holes. It is essential to identify the project roadmap and migration strategy blend before launching on this difficult path.

In the attached white paper, I share some project management strategies that worked for us for this project, which was a success.

Technically, SeeBeyond and Biztalk don't have a clear one-to-one mapping of features, and it is apparent at the outset that these are separate organisms from different lineages that evolved to fill the same niche, just like convergent evolution works in nature. So how does a BizTalk developer without SeeBeyond knowledge begin to proceed? In the white paper, I have tried to provide the best possible analogies between the concepts, features, technologies and artifacts of the BizTalk and SeeBeyond platforms. Please note that many parallels are mostly loose analogies to help the BizTalk developer gain a newcomer’s familiarity with SeeBeyond. Since the architecture of both platforms is different, drawing parallels between both is a hazardous task, fraught with shoe-horning and over-simplication. We have attempted it nevertheless - on the grounds of giving the migration team a first look / toehold into the world of SeeBeyond and dispel some of the fog surrounding it. Caution is advised against literal interpretation of these parallels – and no technical implementation based on it is recommended. A deeper and more thorough understanding of SeeBeyond Technical Architecure and concepts is advised before the migration project is undertaken.

White Paper: SeeBeyond to BizTalk Migration


Peter Baccaro said…
Nice post but the link to the white paper is not working.
Peter Baccaro said…
Nice post but the link to the white paper is not working.
Ratnakar said…

I am unable to view the whitepaper on the given link. It opens an error page. Can you please correct the link or share the whitepaper at ratnakarsinha@yahoo.com

Sorry folks, the link is now fixed. Try now.