Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006

A quicker and better application development at Capsugel thanks to SOA and BPM
Capsule manufacturer Capsugel opted for a new way of working in tune with the ambitions and rapid growth of the company. The company migrated from a client-server to a service oriented architecture based on the Microsoft platform. Microsoft BizTalk Server and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) allow the IT department to produce applications quicker. The development of an electronic invoicing service formed the pilot project +32 2 720 51 70

for the new enterprise architecture. The extensive options of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 help Capsugel manage its entire software development. WCF allows Capsugel to create software business services. Capsugel can use these as building blocks in various business applications. This significantly shortens the development time of new applications. Capsugel’s IT department can therefore react more flexibly to the ever faster evolution of the pharmaceutical industry and the company itself. Microsoft BizTalk Server also makes it easier for Capsugel to optimize and automate its business processes. Thanks to Microsoft BizTalk Server, business processes can be automated, own software business services can be connected to each other and integrated with supplier systems that offer Software as a Service (SaaS).

Country: Belgium Sector: Pharmaceutics


Capsugel manufactures empty capsules for medicine and dietary supplements, filled capsules and filling machines. The company also offers services for the formulation of chemical connections. Capsugel is part of the Pfizer group and has more than ten branches worldwide. Capsugel Bornem is one of the four European branches. The head office is situated in New Jersey (United States).

ompetition in the pharmaceutics sector is extremely tough. "You can’t limit yourself to that one top product", says Bart Roelant, Applications Development Manager at Capsugel. "You have to diversify your range to meet the demands and appeals of the market. This is why the business and the clients keep coming up with new ideas. The development of new applications usually follows from that. To simplify our application management and better assist the expansion of the service offer, we decided in 2007 to migrate from client-server architecture to service oriented architecture."

New service as the impetus for the development of SOA and BPM
The sales department wanted to offer electronic invoicing as a new service to customers. As new software was necessary for that, Capsugel took the IT project as an opportunity to define and introduce service oriented architecture. The company turned to IT partner CTG for help. "The business is happy if you can quickly produce a high quality ap-

Capsugel wanted to simplify its application management and quicken the process of new application development. It therefore wanted to step away from the existing clientserver architecture and migrate to service oriented architecture (SOA). The company wanted to automate its business processes and improve communication between the applications.

Together with IT partner CTG, Capsugel took the development of an e-invoicing system as an opportunity to gradually build up its SOA architecture. CTG automated the business process with the help of Microsoft BizTalk Server. The new application communicates with other systems through web services, which Capsugel manages with Windows Communication Foundation.

• IT service can react better to business needs • Better communication with business people • Easier application management in the SOA architecture • Quicker development of new applications • Easier management of existing applications • Reuse of code • Better view and control of business processes • Better interoperability and integration as a result of

WCF services

"Thanks to well-considered business process management you avoid having to constantly reinvent the wheel and are therefore able to launch applications faster."
Bart Roelant, Applications Development Manager at Capsugel

plication", continues Roelant. "SOA makes this possible and also simplifies the management of your IT architecture. It additionally helps the operation of efficient business process management, optimizing business processes over different IT systems. It goes without saying that this requires a close relationship between business and IT. The experience brought to the table by CTG in supporting us was very welcome.” Efficient business process management in service oriented architecture breaks with many old habits. In the past an information scientist would write code for one single application, at best a web service used by a single application. Things were no different at Capsugel and its .NET client server infrastructure. In a SOA one must think beyond that however: web services must be able to be reused in different applications and business processes. A so-called business owner, with an overview of the various processes and services is therefore essential in a SOA-project.

sugel makes use of the software services of IT service supplier Porthus, which also handles the legal requirements. Among other things, it maintains an electronic archive for a period of ten years. For the sending of electronic invoices Capsugel’s web service delivers its xml data to Porthus by way of http - mail. Porthus compiles the invoice and subsequently sends it to the customer in a format supported by its electronic banking system. Porthus then sends a status report to Capsugel with the notification that the invoice has

Microsoft BizTalk Server orchestrates the business process
Capsugel and CTG therefore began by mapping out all the different steps of the electronic invoicing process. "We documented the entire orchestration process in a workflow chart with the comprehensible Business Process Modelling Notation-method (BPMN). We subsequently made the transition from BPMN to Business Process Execution Language (BPEL); an output language that automates the process.” explains Ludwig Stuyck, Software Architect at CTG. "Microsoft BizTalk's Orchestration Designer understands this standard language and also translates it to XLANG, the XML-process language used by Biztalk Orchestration itself. Microsoft BizTalk Server is an important component of the service oriented architecture. It is also an extremely efficient tool to integrate web services and other technologies."

Microsoft Biztalk adapters and Porthus handle traffic
For the communication between the new electronic invoicing application and other databank applications, CTG utilizes the WCF services of the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5. "We have given the simplest possible operation names to the various tasks that the web services need to carry out, to ensure its intelligibility to non-IT people, such as the business owner of the project", explains Bart Roelant. "Operations say for example what a service can and cannot do, and which data the service needs from the application or the databank. The most difficult exercise however was defining the web services and business processes in such a way as to be able to use them again later on." For the sending and receiving of electronic invoices, Cap-

"Microsoft BizTalk Server is an important component of the service oriented architecture. It is also an extremely efficient tool to integrate web services and other technologies."
Ludwig Stuyck, Software Architect at CTG or has not been delivered. BizTalk’s POP3 -mail adapter compiles the xml – confirmation file and Capsugel uses the data at a later stage of the business process. According to Ludwig Stuyck, that communication will change in the future: "From the time Porthus supports the protocol, Capsugel will communicate with the IT service provider via web services. Capsugel will for example replace the POP3adapter so that Porthus can approach a web service to send status reports. Due to the underlying SOA-

For further information
For further information about the Microsoft products and services described, phone +32 (0)2 704 30 00 or visit There you will find other businesses using similar applications. For further information about CTG, phone +32 2 720 51 70 or visit For further information about Capsugel, go to

architecture, Capsugel will hardly have to write any new code. " Due to the integration of BizTalk and the migration to SOAarchitecture, Capsugel can also automate and optimize a number of processes internally. From now on suppliers can also have their invoices delivered electronically to Capsugel, which automatically integrates the invoices into its bookkeeping with Microsoft BizTalk's adapter. Suppliers send their incoming electronic invoices to Porthus, which processes the transition to a file format of Capsugel’s choice in order for the company to easily integrate them into its systems.

Migration to Windows Communication Foundation simplifies the application management
For the development of its web services, Capsugel makes use of the Web Service Software Factory (Microsoft patterns & practices), with which you can build a layer structure in Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). WCF enables you to easily adjust application infrastructure, for example to increase performance. "WCF is a great product for the management of web services", attests Roelant. "You can, among other things, quickly adjust the configuration of the communication protocols. That was very important to us, as we are unable, at this early SOA stage, to determine all the purposes the web services will be used for. With WCF you can easily determine later whether the service must be able to communicate with protocol x or protocol y." Capsugel currently develops all its new applications in a SOA and BPM context. Bart Roelant expects that the company will have built up a strong portfolio of software business services within two years and will therefore also be able to reuse many in new business applications. "Thanks to well-considered business process management you avoid having to constantly reinvent the wheel and are therefore able to launch applications faster. You additionally optimize the quality of the new application. BPM requires a considerable investment, but the long-term benefits are countless. You can react much quicker to the needs of the company. In takeovers you can also quicker integrate the taken over company into your business processes. The Microsoft BizTalk orchestrator can after all easily communicate with owner software through its adapters", concludes a convinced application architect.

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