A national logistics company relies on BizTalk to integrate with their trading partners via X12 EDI and XML messages. They were faced with slow performance, heavy human support requirements, and very slow time-to-revenue for new trading partners due to an inefficient implementation, overly customized processes, and non-existent maintenance procedures.
A system health check revealed several problems with the BizTalk host design, the routing and processing of messages, the organization of applications and artifacts, and the system maintenance processes.
To improve system performance, SQL related services were moved to a virtual machine to free up memory for BizTalk and related processes. This included verifying that BizTalk licensing supports the number of CPUs on the server.
To ease support and administration, artifacts were grouped together and applications consolidated. The BizTalk Document Tracking and Administration (DTA) job was scheduled to archive and/or purge data, which allowed for faster searching. Policies were put in place to clear out old messages on a quarterly basis.
To improve trading partner onboarding time, the client focused on reducing coding requirements through much greater reusability patterns and taking advantage of additional BizTalk capabilities.
Decreased support resources
BizTalk support has gone from 2-3 full-time people to 1/3 of a full-time person. Management is much more focused on new customers and can entertain a full pipeline of additional opportunities.
Faster trading partner onboarding
New trading partners can be implemented in hours instead of weeks. If an integration is identical to a previously created one, then it is possible for a technical person to add the new trading partner in minutes. The client is also in the process of enabling non-technical business users to add trading partners and do limited managed onboarding. The acute design approach, combined with the platform capabilities of Azure Logic Apps for rapid deployments, has significantly reduced time-to-market for trading partner differences.
Streamlined management tasks
Management spends less time going over the current support items and has a much more hands-off approach for future innovations. Although the client has not adopted a completely agile development methodology, they are able to quickly respond to customer feedback and implement critical changes in real-time.