1. Continuing being hybrid
Microsoft emphasizes the hybrid offerings as a unique selling point in comparison to other platforms. Hybrid will stay as an USP in 2019. Currently the Enfo catalogue of hybrid scenarios lists 8 different methods for connecting on premise data to the cloud. Each have its own benefits and drawbacks. I think we will be able to add at least two more after the new year.
As an integration developer, this means more opportunities for interesting work and more ways to make integration the first step in an organization’s journey to the cloud.
2. Integration Services effort
Microsoft is working on a way to “package” different Azure services in order to create a platform, or perhaps a sum greater than its parts!
I feel a more uniform experience and included feature-set would be good. Today, we are very flexible in how we can deliver integration capabilities, but perhaps we are too flexible and cannot gain enough in areas of tracking, reuse and CI/CD.
I am very much looking forward to all the positive things this can bring to the Azure Enterprise integration experience at all levels, from development to operations and architecture. Go team!
3. New (last?) version of BizTalk
Yes! Its coming. No real news on features or updates but I guess there will be a refresh for both Windows as well as SQL server. Add to that updated adapters and perhaps some cool features for connecting to Azure services and you have a new support cycle as well.
Good career news to all BizTalk Developers out there: If you are already or on your way to become a BizTalk developer, this should mean you are likely to have work at least until 2029!
4. Logic Apps! On-premise??!
As part of the Azure Stack, Logic Apps will be a part of the on premise offering as well. All features that can be added to the Azure Stack is a good thing but remember: you must run the servers and infrastructure just like before.
5. New features, new add-ons, new functions!
Microsoft will never stop innovating and adding new features to Azure, or the products that we use within Enterprise Integration. You can view this in two ways: It either gets harder to keep up with it on a top of everything else, or it is easier to become an expert in something. New ways of working and new ways of using technology will make for an ever-evolving future. It will be easier and quicker to deliver valuable updates to your client or employer.
6. Extended skillset
Despite the Integration Services effort, I see that more and more services and products from Microsoft will have its own “integration technology”. As such, you will have the opportunity to learn more and more ways for integrating systems. Azure Data Factory has its own gateway. Azure Durable Functions are offering great ways of having long running transactions. API-management continues to add to its feature-set and Service Bus Queues are also evolving.
Tech Lead Integration Azure