It was January this year that I was asked to become familiar with BizTalk so that we could use it on one of the projects we are working on. Little did I know that I would ultimately become the local expert in the technology (and I still consider myself a novice, really).
Learning BizTalk Server 2004 has been quite a journey. I got my first introduction by my counterpart in Calgary. Working alongside him and through my own discovery, I have seen that the key to learning BizTalk is not taking a course - it's consuming every blog, whitepaper, SDK you can get your hands on. I owe a lot of my education to the internet. BizTalk Server 2004 Unleashed is a fantastic resource for learning the concepts and performing straightforward implementations, but like any other book, falls short when it comes to customization, caveats, and all those other things you can only learn by doing (or not doing). Just read the reviews (ouch).
I am now getting into the process of educating others on my team on the finer points of managing BTS and ultimately developing in it. It's not easy. So as I go I will be pointing out as many useful resources as possible. Because I have only known the word BizTalk for 9 months, I don't claim to know everything there is about the product (few if any could claim that anyhow), nor have I used the product in many different ways, but I have definitely learned lessons. Some are pretty basic (embarassing even), but others challenge the limits of BizTalk. And, the project I am working on is not done yet - there will no doubt be more problems to solve. Let's get to it!