BizTalk Self-Study

It seems I keep putting this list together again and again, so I think it deserves a "home" of its own.  I'll try to keep it up to date.

If you're a developer who would like to learn about developing applications on BizTalk Server, but don't have the time, resources or whatever to take one of the MOC-based courses, this list is for you.

First, take a look at the BizTalk Virtual Labs to get started.  I recommend you approach the labs in this order:

  • Working with Schemas
  • Working with Maps
  • Working with Pipelines
  • Processing Flat Files
  • Creating an Orchestration
  • Deployment/Management
  • WCF Intro - Building a WCF Service
  • (others, as applicable or interesting to you)

After that, take a look at the samples included with the BizTalk SDK.  In particular, check out the Messaging, Orchestration, and Pipeline samples (including one of my personal favorites, the Aggregator sample which demonstrates calling pipelines in orchestrations as well as aggregation and assembly of disparate messages).

If books are more your thing, here is a list of BizTalk books I highly recommend.  I'll try to keep the list up to date.  No affiliate code here; I really truly recommend you check these out.

Finally, start building solutions on BizTalk.  Are they going to be perfect?  Probably not.  I know I'm still embarrassed by some of my own work that's still running in production somewhere (you know who you are), even though it works, and it works pretty well.  But actually applying your knowledge is probably the most essential way to learn about building solutions in the BizTalk world.

If you have the opportunity to take some official training, here are your courses:

  • 2933: Developing Business Process and Integration Solutions Using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 (5 days)
  • 2934: Deploying and Managing Business Process and Integration Solutions Using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 (2 days)

One more thing (I know, I already said "finally"), try to find a Connected Systems or BizTalk-related user group in your area.  Live Search: Click here.  If you can't find one near you, feel free to email me and I'll ask around.


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