Friday, January 04, 2008

So You Want to Learn BizTalk... (Part II)

With the fundamental concepts of BizTalk server under your belt, you are ready to get your hands dirty.


While especially easy to use if you do not have a development machine setup, these labs provide a relatively superficial demonstration of the core BizTalk features. Can be useful for a quick demo to a non-developer though.

Microsoft Virtual Labs


What's better are the tutorials that are part of the documentation and SDK. This is where a developer really goes 'aha!' for the first time and starts to see he or she can begin to use BizTalk Server. These are not optional ;)

BizTalk Tutorials:


If you or your employer are part of the Microsoft Partner program, you have access to perhaps the most valuable and comprehensive self-training package out there - the Classroom-in-a-Box. It includes training videos and slides, whitepapers, more hands-on labs and a VPC with every possible BizTalk core feature installed and configured. It can be accessed under the Partner Resources in the BizTalk product area:


I don't claim to have read many of the books out there on the product. From experience however I can safely say that this book has proved valuable numerous times both as a first read a reference on projects:

You can read my review of it here:

Additional titles can be found here:


With prior versions of BizTalk Server, the best place to get answers to real-world problems was always through blogs. Now, MSDN is typically the authority on the "How-To" and plenty of books exist for the product, however there continue to be scores of bloggers discussing their challenges and successes implementing BizTalk solutions. Too many to list in fact, and so here are some links to discover those blogs:

My BizTalk links:

Newsletters and Publications

BizTalk Gurus offers a periodic newsletter called The BizTalker with useful "news from the front":

There is also a quarterly publication now on its third release called BizTalk HotRod

Where to next...

At this point, you should be well-armed to assist in new or existing BizTalk projects. However, if you are expected to start or lead a project on your own you will do well to fill out your training with additional reading and possibly formal training (including certification).

Coming Up Next:

Part III: Beyond the basics


Part I:

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