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Microsoft offers REST support in BizTalk Server 2013 through the WCF-WebHttp Adapter. This has been anticipated for a long time by BizTalk developers. A majority of the services in the cloud is REST based. When exposing a public API over the internet to handle CRUD operations on data REST has now generally considered the best option. Twitter, Google, Salesforce, eBay, Amazon all offer REST API's to use their services. This is just an example of the companies that support REST, there are many more. With the increase of mobile devices and light weight rich (Ajax) web applications over the years the adoption of REST grew more and more.
It will not be a surprise that a demand for REST support in BizTalk emerged. Nitin Mehrotra from Microsoft wrote a TechNet Wiki Article Invoke ReSTful Web Services with BizTalk Server 2010 describing a solution to consume Restful services with BizTalk 2010. Within the BizTalk community Mikael Håkansson wrote a REST Start Kit for BizTalk to provide support for REST.
With BizTalk Server 2013 there is an adapter, the WCF-WebHttp, that will support REST. The adapter gives you the ability to send messages to RESTful services through the WCF-WebHttp send adapter. With the receive location you can receive messages from a RESTful service. Through the send adapter you can do a GET request. This is widely used service operation when it comes to interacting with a RESTful service. Besides GET, there is DELETE, POST and PUT. With GET and DELETE operations you cannot send any payload. Since BizTalk sends out messagebodies you will need to configure the adapter. This configuration currently is not available yet and the current option (with BizTalk Server 2013 Beta) is to remove the message body with a pipeline. For POST and PUT request, the adapter uses the BizTalk message body part to the HTTP content/payload.
Microsoft BizTalk product group has made a good decision by supporting REST through the new BizTalk release 2013. Most of the services currently in the cloud are based on REST, which lead to more integration solution requiring communication with RESTful services. The integration solution can BizTalk Server as one of its components. Within an enterprise BizTalk Server can be the heart of the messaging infrastructure supporting many protocols. Adding REST support will mean that BizTalk will provide even more value. BizTalk Server 2013 adds support for REST, which will be cheered by developers and enterprises worldwide that use BizTalk.
- Ninja Steef-Jan (Blog, Wiki, Twitter, Profile)