The last couple of years more and more good books about BizTalk came available. Where in the beginning those books were about describing how BizTalk artifacts were created, the more recent books touched more and more the fields of how BizTalk can be used in an enterprise situation. You can think of subjects like Integration Patterns with BizTalk and integrating BizTalk with LOB systems and SOA patterns.
The BizTalk Server 2010 Cookbook adds another dimension to the already existing BizTalk books. Steef-Jan provides the reader not just with technical information, but also with input for interviews with the involved parties within an enterprise. These interviews help to determine how BizTalk will be setup and used within the enterprise.
Although this book is primarily written for BizTalk developers and administrators, also system engineers, infrastructure architects, solution architects and database administrators will find subjects of their interest in this book.
Chapters and structure
The 9 chapters in this book are about the following subjects:
- Setting up a BizTalk Server Environment
- Development patterns
- Instrumentation, Error Handling and Deployment
- Securing your Message Exchange
- WCF Services
- BizTalk AppFabric Connect
- Monitoring and Maintenance
- Applying Business Rules
- Testing BizTalk Artifacts
As you can see the discussed subjects are broad, but they are certainly discussed with enough detail. Tough subjects, like certificates and securing message exchange, are not held back.
The first chapter tells the reader about subjects like gathering and analyzing requirements which lead to a design to which BizTalk will be installed, the validation of the BizTalk installation, performance analysis, SSO and configuring MSDTC for multi-server installations.
In chapter 2 a number of development patterns are discussed. Think of, amongst others, the Splitter pattern, an asynchronous aggregation pattern, convoys and a retry pattern.
Chapter 3 discusses tracing and monitoring BizTalk solutions with several tools and deployment with both out of the box tools and the Deployment Framework for BizTalk.
In chapter 4 subjects like importing certificates, signing, verifying, encrypting and decrypting messages are discussed.
The advantages of, and how to create canonical schemas, exposing schemas and orchestrations as WCF services are the subjects of chapter 5.
In chapter 6 the reader learns about installing AppFabric Connect, exposing on-premise data and BizTalk applications to the cloud and performing table operations in SQL Azure.
Monitoring BizTalk with SCOM and BizTalk360, a description of the BizTalk’s SQL Server jobs and configuring the most important configuring jobs, identifying bottlenecks with PerfMon and using the Message Box Viewer are discussed in chapter 7.
Chapter 8 discusses the different methods of how the rules in the Business Rules Engine can become called/used.
The last chapter is about testing BizTalk artifacts with both Visual Studio as 3rd party tools.
All chapters are written according the following structure:
- Getting ready
- How to do it
- How it works
- There’s more
- See also
At the Subject/problem a description is given on what’s the recipe about. The Getting ready part then helps the reader to be able to continue with the recipe. For example, it might be necessary to install some software to be able to proceed. The How to do it step describes the steps of the recipe. In How it works is explains the deeper working of the performed steps. The steps There’s more and See also provide the reader with more background information, often pointing to resources on the web.
Given the broad number of subjects, the broad audience this book addresses and the detailed information it contains, I conclude that Steef-Jan has done an excellent job and therefore I can highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in BizTalk.