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BizTalk 2010 Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach Paperback – Dec 29 2010
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About the Author
Mark Beckner is a technical consultant specializing in business development and enterprise application integration. He runs his own consulting firm, Inotek Consulting Group, LLC, delivering innovative solutions to large corporations and small businesses. His projects have included engagements with numerous clients throughout the U.S., and range in nature from mobile application development to complete integration solutions. He has previously authored BizTalk 2010 Recipes, Pro EDI in BizTalk Server 2006 R2, and Pro RFID in BizTalk Server 2009, and has spoken at a number of venues including Microsoft TechEd. In addition to BizTalk, he works with SharePoint, MSCRM, and custom .NET development. Beckner, his wife Sara, and his boys Ciro and Iyer live in New Mexico. His website is http://www.inotekgroup.com and he can be contacted directly at email@example.com.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The biggest disappointment with this new edition is the inadequate coverage of BizTalk's support for WCF. The examples of how orchestrations can expose and consume web services use WCF, but the section on Adapters discusses the old HTTP and SOAP adapters without mentioning the WCF adapters. This could lead you to think that WCF is only used with orchestrations, which is not the case. Worse, the chapter on connecting to SQL Server uses the old (and now deprecated) SQL adapter instead of the new WCF-based SQL adapter. To get a firm grasp of WCF in BizTalk you should consult Richard Seroter's SOA Patterns with BizTalk Server 2009.
To design successful BizTalk solutions you need a bit more architectural orientation than this book provides, and for that I recommend Dunphy's Pro BizTalk 2009 and the Seroter book. But to acquire hands-on mastery, BizTalk Recipes is indispensable, both as a tutorial and a reference.
The material is pretty diverse and spread across 11 chapters - each covering a different area of BizTalk. Each chapter is broken down into several (8 to 25) sections that take the following format: problem, followed by solution, followed by an explanation. While this format works for some of the content, it does not work for all of it and can end up confusing the reader. Here, I believe a tradeoff was made for consistency over accuracy because the "how it works" section does not always describe the "how" but the "why" or the "when."
I believe a beginner to intermediate BizTalk developer would gain the most out of this book, while some value can still be had for the intermediate to advanced BizTalk developer - though not as much since Mark does not cover the deeper scenarios that they may be looking for. The book covered core scenarios in key areas well - schemas, maps, and orchestrations. It also covered other core scenarios or features in other areas such as business rules, EDI, deployment, administration, business activity monitoring, and non-WCF adapters. I especially liked chapter 1 of the book being all about the new features in BizTalk 2010. While it might seem confusing for a new to BizTalk developer, it is great for those that have used previous versions of BizTalk.
I was hoping that areas outside the core product such as ESB Toolkit would be covered and thought it a strange omission that WCF adapters were not included in the Adapters chapter or anywhere in the book at all. They have been a part of BizTalk since 2006 R2. This was probably the largest disappointment in the book for me personally, as I was looking forward to Mark's take on WCF adapters.
Overall, I thought reading BizTalk 2010 Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach was worth my time. For the developer with beginner to intermediate-level skills in BizTalk development, I would rate this book a 4+ out of 5. For intermediate to advanced skillsets, I would rate this book a 3 out of 5, since it did not cover more advanced and/or obscure topics.
The layout of the book is very straightforward. A standard BizTalk task is presented, step by step instructions are provided to complete the task and then an explanation of some of the major technical points is given. I found the first section of the book on the new features of BizTalk 2010 to be particularly useful and recommend it for any user of previous BizTalk versions to get up to speed.
Beckner writes in a very accessible style--this book is an incredibly easy read. The examples are appropriate and "real world" enough to be useful and the explanations are technically sound and understandable. It is also covers all the basic functionality within BizTalk-schemas, maps, orchestration, BRE, etc. as well as some of the less-used features such as EDI.
Although I really liked Beckner's writing style and the step-by-step approach to performing BizTalk tasks, I felt that the book does in some ways falls short of the goal provided in the title. While I was looking for a resource for discussion and insight into solving more Business or Architectural oriented problems, I found the approach in BizTalk 2010 Recipes to be more of a run-down of BizTalk features and a description of how to use them.
That is a valuable service all in itself, and I highly recommend this book for that use. However, if you're really looking for something to help with BizTalk "recipes" from a business problem or architectural patterns point of view, another book, such as Seroter's BizTalk SOA book might serve that purpose better.
-Everything is now centralized in the BizTalk Administration Console, and all of the functionality of HAT and BizTalk Explorer are available in that console.
-Biztalk Family includes RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Applications, Host Integration, Services (HIS), Enterprise Service Bus(ESB) and Adapter Back
-Mapping surface tools enhance development experience by Panning, Zooming, Searching and Grid Preview
-Distinguish Properties-Less performance impact
-Promoted (Available in other Biztalk exchanges, max 255 characters ; More performance impact; Used for message tracking and routing;
-Set a regular expression validation by setting property "Derived" to restrictive and add the regular expression for matching.
-Functiods for wild XML Copy Mass Copy, Recursive Mapping, Straight Through Mapping
-BAM -Business Activity Management is used to define alerts, interceptors, view for activity monitoring, profile tracking
-Business Rules Engine is used for defining rules, vocabularies and policies which can be referenced in the orchestration or a .net assembly.
-Inline XSLT comparison, Inline Scripting, Inline C# is supported in maps.
-Debugging maps is supported.
-Atomic transactions, Long running transactions are supported
-Generate XML Schemas from XML files / Scratch.
-Maps can be defined on multiple pages using the map designer
-Setting Sensitive Property to true will hide promoted fields from BAM.
-Biztalk console is used for Thresholds, Polling intervals, tracking, throttles
* Document Schemas
* Document Mapping
* Messaging and Pipelines
* Automating Business Processes (through Orchestrations) by communicating with diverse software systems in large enterprises
* Business Rules Framework
* EDI Solutions
* Machine-centric workflow
* Human-centric workflow (in conjunction with Microsoft SharePoint Server)
* Business Activity Monitoring
* Integration of Web services
* RFID support
This book does an outstanding job covering the topics above. Messaging is the core functionality in BizTalk and this book includes 10 separate "recipes" on messaging and pipelines with detailed code samples.
It also includes 23 "recipes" on Orchestrations including handling long running transactions which is required knowledge for all BizTalk professionals both new and experienced. I was recently wondering about how to build a workflow that needs to execute business rules based on dynamic information. I came upon Recipe 7.7 in this book and this gave me what I needed.
Adapters start and end any process within BizTalk. This book has an entire chapter devoted to Adapters which includes 12 separate "recipes".
One of the most compelling new features of BizTalk 2010 is EDI Solutions. BizTalk EDI Solutions can be very complex. The chapter on EDI Solutions does a good job explaining EDI Schemas, EDI maps, complex mappings in XSLT, creating and configuring a Trading Partner, configuring an EDI envelope, creating custom EDI pipelines and a whole lot more.
Topics on Deployment, Administration and Operations are also covered in sufficient detail. I am impressed with the coverage of topics considering that BizTalk is a vast subject.
Overall, this is one book I will keep at my desk as long as I use BizTalk 2010. I applaud APress and the author for an excellent job.
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