BizTalk Server Implementation Helps Drive Down Costs and Increases Efficiency
Project At a Glance
RDA installed and configured BizTalk Server 2006 and designed, implemented, and deployed a custom interface to streamline the policy creation process for a leading life insurance company. The resulting solution reduced business costs, leverages industry-standard schemas, and provides flexibility for future initiatives.
About Our Client
RDA’s client offers a broad portfolio of life insurance plans and has served seven generations of policy owners.
Our client needed to integrate a call center with their back-end database to process insurance policy applications. In addition, they required a workflow-based processing engine to step through the policy creation process in a specific order with an audit trail.
The insurer selected Microsoft BizTalk Server as the integration platform. BizTalk offers:
- the ability to connect to the different endpoints
- built-in workflow features
- out-of-the-box support for the company’s back-end database, IBM’s DB2
- native support for SOAP Web services
RDA installed and configured BizTalk Server 2006 and designed, implemented, and deployed a custom interface to pass ACORD-standard (an insurance industry standard) XML messages from a vendor and insert them into a DB2 database on the company’s AS/400 system.
Before this data is entered into the database, it’s validated. Once the validation takes place, a workflow runs through a series of steps to get the data inserted into the insurer’s back-end system in a consistent fashion.
After this step, the new policy is active in the company’s back end for other processes to take over.
Our client is experiencing the following benefits as a result of this project:
- Cost savings through outsourcing
- Leveraging of industry-standard schemas
- Business rules for data validation
- Out-of-the-box means to connect to DB2 database
- Leveraging BizTalk’s connectivity capabilities to expose Web services without any custom code
- Investment in a long-term BPM solution for future cost savings
- Flexibility for future enhancements to application
Our client partnered with a 3rd-party call center which had its own proprietary software. The call center provided our client with a modified version of the ACORD standard so they could expose it as a Web service.
This Web service is exposed by our client using BizTalk for the call center to submit information to. Once the message is received by the interface, a series of steps is initiated to process the policy.
First, the interface is responsible for validating the data received so that it conforms to the insurer’s internal standards. A series of business rules are executed using the BizTalk Business Rule Engine (BRE) to check numerous data elements. Should any of these elements be invalid, the error is reported to administrators and the application stops processing that instance so that the problem with the data can be investigated.
Once the instance passes the business rules check, the application initiates a series of steps to insert the data in the DB2 database using the BizTalk DB2 adapter.
The steps are completed in a series because each step requires that the previous step succeed. Should any step fail, the orchestration abandons the subsequent steps and reports the errors to administrators. The DB2 database has a cleanup mechanism already in place so no compensation steps need to take place to remove messages that were already inserted.