Book review: SOA Patterns with BizTalk Server 2009 (I) - Refresher

This is a part of small posts reviewing the book ‘SOA Patterns with BizTalk Server 2009’, by Richard Seroter. I think I’ll be posting chapter reviews and thoughts as I read them.

Preface and Chapter I – BizTalk Server refresher

The chapter one, as one can imagine, is more or less a refresher about what BizTalk Server is and what can it perform. I was not going to post about it since it seems to be very basic: it just creates the context for the rest of the book.

But as I was reading it yesterday and I was thinking an issue I had with one of my customers last week (talking about what BTS is and how to can it be used in different projects), I realized that introductions are more important when dealing with BizTalk Server. Why?

Basically because BizTalk Server is a thing that is difficult to explain. What is BizTalk Server? Is it a product or a platform? Is it an EAI, SOA or BPM? Or all  of them? Is it development environment?

The first chapter changes my traditional order about explaining what BizTalk Server is. It starts explaining what problems does it solve first (EAI, B2B, BPM), and then goes forward explaining the BizTalk Server architecture. I think it’s a good idea starting about what can it do prior to what is it.

At this point, I’ll extract a bright point in the definition from architecture section:

[…] BizTalk Server at its core is an event-processing engine, based on a conventional publish-subscribe pattern […]


That’s the point. At its core, it’s all about publish and subscribe events. It cannot be stated clearer.