Recently I have found myself with some time to review a book instead of writing one. This time around it was a BizTalk book written by fellow BizTalk MVP Steef-Jan Wiggers. Steef-Jan is no stranger in the BizTalk community. He has been very active in the MSDN forums, reviewing and writing books and has been busy on the speaking circuit in the Netherlands, Sweden, Canada and more recently Italy.
Steef-Jan has a lot of BizTalk experience so it should come as no surprise that he has written a very practical book based upon a lot of real-world experience. This experience is demonstrated constantly through-out the book and was very refreshing.
The book itself focuses on many areas including:
- Setting up BizTalk Environments
- BizTalk Automation Patterns
- Instrumentation, Error Handling and Deployment
- Securing Message Exchange
- WCF Messaging with BizTalk
- BizTalk AppFabric Connect
- Monitoring and Maintenance
- Rules Engine
- Testing BizTalk Artifacts
So based upon these areas of discussion it is impossible to go into a tremendous amount of depth on each topic. However, Steef-Jan will provide a practical example and then leave the reader with links to valuable resources where you can dive deeper if you wish.
One of my favorite topics in the book included the Instrumentation, Error Handling and Deployment chapter. I feel that this chapter introduces some of the “tricks of the trade” that can really provide some benefit to a BizTalk developer. In this chapter you will discover some tools like the BizTalk Benchmark Wizard and NLog. These are both valuable tools that we have included in our BizTalk deployment at my organization.
Another area of the book that I enjoyed was the Monitoring and Maintenance chapter. More and more we are starting to hear about Monitoring and Maintenance. Steef-Jan discusses tools that can really provide visibility into your BizTalk environment including SCOM, BizTalk 360 and MessageBox Viewer.
All in all the book was excellent. I can’t say there was a topic that I didn’t feel was appropriate. I think there are probably some areas that could definitely benefit by having more details included. But, the book is a Recipe book and I think it delivers on what is promised in the book’s overview. Congrats Steef-Jan on putting together a great book!