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In a Connected Systems World the addition of Service Broker to SQL 2005 can be seen as ‘yet another messaging option” and its arrival applauded. Perversely it can also been seen in a negative light as a threat to BizTalk 2004 and so interesting discussions have come ourt of this thinking. For my part I welcome the addition, I am also a little sceptical about when I’ll opt to use it!

Service Broker

OK so what really is Service Broker: In the SQL world its a tentative step towards building loosely-coupled, asynchronous database applications.  Over the years I have seen a number of database designs that tables have been used effectively as queues.  While using a table as a queue is a very useful way to improve performance and scalability, it’s very difficult to get right.  Service Broker addresses this issue by implementing queues as first-class database objects. the code to handle these ‘queues’ has been built into the database kernel and handles the locking, ordering, and multi-threading issues that plagued us before.

Service Broker provides reliable, transactional messaging between SQL Server instances. An advantage of the database is persistence and the ability to provide ordered delivery. 

The final strength of Service Broker is that it just simply isn’t only a message based system, where needed it fulfils the needs of applications that need async, queued database connection.


BizTalk 2004 V SQL Service Broker

A quick glance through half closed eyes would give the impression that Service Broker can replace BizTalk 2004. If you stop, pause and look a little longer the reality breaks in. If we are comparing Reliable, Persisted Message transfer then both offer the goods. But lets get real BizTalk 2004 is so much more that that, and in its own way SQL Server is so much more than just a just a Service Broker. What we have are distinct products – SQL Server is THE Data process server and BizTalk 2004 is THE Business process server! The similarity between BizTalk 2004 and Service Broker exists at the transport layer level. With BizTalk 2004 we also have BPM, BAM, Rules Engine, Business Process Orchestration, Transformation, Content based routing, dynamic endpoints and on!

What really defines the correct positioning is the fact that via a BizTalk 2004 SQL Service Broker Adapter we can use Service Broker transport with BizTalk 2004!


Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 4:12 AM | Back to top

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