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Azure Service Bus Overview


Service Bus Evolution

The first CTP of Azure Service Bus was released in 2007 under the name of BizTalk Services and featured the relay service functionality, basic workflow hosting capabilities and basic Access Control functionality. The release was controversial for a couple of reasons. Firstly it was a service that would be hosted by Microsoft. You could not download and install it on-premise, instead you consumed the service from on-premise applications. When the technology was would pay for the service based on the resources you consumed. Today, with the rise in popularity of cloud computing, the concept of resource based billing for cloud services is more widely understood, but in 2007 it was very new, after all this was a year before Microsoft announced Windows Azure.

The second reason for controversy was the choice of name for the technology. “BizTalk Services” was very similar to “BizTalk Server”, Microsoft’s integration platform, and many BizTalk developers were concerned about the release and the implications it had on the future of BizTalk Sever.


When Microsoft announce the release of Windows Azure at PDC in 2008 BizTalk Services has been re-branded to “.NET Services”. The relay service and Access Control Service were present in this release; however the workflow hosting capabilities had been removed.

In 2010 the technologies were re-branded to “Windows Azure AppFabric Service Bus”, again this caused some controversy as AppFabric was also used in “Windows Server AppFabric”, a technology that seemed to have little to do with “Windows Azure AppFabric”. The reasoning for this was that AppFabric would be the branding used for Microsoft’s middle-ware platform, and in future releases the cloud-based and on-premise versions would share common functionality.

2011 saw the release of brokered messaging capabilities, providing queues, topics and subscriptions and durable messaging. Shortly after these released it was re-branded again to “Windows Azure Service Bus”. 2011 also saw the release of a CTP version of integration capabilities, allowing integration between enterprise applications and the exchange of EDI messages.

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