BizTalk Server 2004 and Web Services
Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is the mantra of current application development, and Web services are one of the key enabling technologies behind SOA. Web services, based on the widely used and industry-standard SOAP protocol, are becoming increasingly ubiquitous.
Past waves of application development have meant monolithic applications, created by teams of developers who worked in isolation with resources under their immediate control. Exchanging information between enterprises or divisions usually meant brittle hard-wired connections that required collaboration between both sides of the exchange. Service-oriented architectures break down monolithic applications into a suite of services, where elements of functionality are implemented in a modular fashion, and often are exposed as Web services.