Some interesting questions came in regarding BizTalk interoperability. Caesar Samsi from my team was kind enough to provide the following…
Q. I understand that with BizTalk 2006 and the adapters for the Profiles, Catalog, Inventory, and Orders subsystems you will be able to integrate into ERP systems such as SAP. Will this be true with the Dynamics ERP products such as Great Plains aside from adaptation via eConnect?
A. While we have not explicitly tested integration with Great Plains using eConnect, a key aspect is that eCOnnect provides a BizTalk adapter. In conjunction with Commerce Server 2006 BizTalk adapter, an integration path via BizTalk Server exists.
1. Commerce Server 2006 BizTalk adapters require the use of BizTalk Server 2006.
2. Given backwards compatibility in the adapter area, Great Plains eConnect BizTalk adapter may run on BizTalk Server 2006 as well, but we have not explicitly tested that scenario.
Q. Could BizTalk 2006 be utilized as a substitute for the pipelines provided by CS2006 for things such as order processing? For example, creating an orchestration that utilized the CS2006 subsystem adapters to manage the order processes from creation to fullfilment?
A. You could certainly submit the Order XML to BizTalk Server 2006 to participate in an orchestration. This would provide you with the flexibility of branching logic that Commerce Server 2006 pipelines do not have.
I recommend using a custom pipeline to submit the Order XML to BizTalk Server 2006 via the synchronous submit API. You would then retain the benefit of the pipeline infrastructure that is provided by 3rd party ISVs (e.g. tax, shipping, etc.) for the business logic that isn’t provided by the orchestration. You would also need to store the Order as part of the Commerce Server order database to allow shoppers a view of their order history.
You would have to address latency, scale, and capacity considerations when using BizTalk Server 2006 in this manner.