BizTalk Server 2006 Install/Config Walkthrough Screenshots

So I got my hands on the BizTalk Server 2006 bits yesterday and thought I'd share my install and configuration efforts using the screenshots below. All in all, not a bad experience. Definitely like some of the great improvements in the installation and configuration tools. Tomorrow, I'm going to post some screenshots of the major components that you'll notice improvements in. Note that install below is happening on a Windows Server 2003, SP1 box, with Visual Studio.NET 2005 Beta 2, and the CTP of SQL Server 2005.

Step 1. Unzip the BizTalk installation files and store in a safe, dry place.

Step 2. Skim through the installation guide in a guilty fashion, knowing I should pay better attention.

Step 3. Install the WSS bits on my box (choosing a "server farm" install so that SQL Server is used) and then install the required beta service pack (which can be found on BetaPlace. If you've gotten access the bits, you see it there).

Step 4. Create the file share needed for the BAM alerts.

Step 5. Configure SharePoint and configure the virtual server.

Step 6. The installation guide mentions that you should "disable SQL Server shared memory" but the steps provided show how to do it in SQL Server 2000. I decided to do it in SQL Server 2005 as well, and did so by going to the SQL Server Configuration Manager, selecting SQL Native Client Configuration, choosing Client Protocols, right clicking Shared Memory and choosing Disable.

Step 7. Install the beta MMC Snap-In necessary for the SSO administration. I like the sound of that.

Step 8. Start the installation!

Step 9. Next we choose what to install. I have a composite screenshot below showing all the choices for installation.

Step 10. Next we get prompted to install pre-reqs. If you recall in previous versions, this usually involved running out to MSDN searching for the SQLXML and various bits you needed. Now, we ask if you want BizTalk to just go grab and install them for you. Let me think .... HECK YEAH I DO.

Step 11. You then confirm the install and watch as the pre-reqs are downloaded and the BizTalk components are installed. My only complaint here is that it would have been nice to see something in the status bar telling me the progress of the pre-req retrieval. I was waiting a few minutes and wondering if it was finding what it needed.

Step 12. All done, so let's start the Configuration Manager. Often the bane of the BizTalk developer's existance, the Configuration Manager actually is pretty sweet now. Also note that a shortcut is installed in the Start Menu so if you access this tool later on, you don't have to dig down into the product's installation directory. Notice the big difference here. I can do a "default" configuration (which pretty much uses the same SQL Server and service account for all the required databases and services), or, do a "custom" configuration where I set up each database and service. The "default" is great for quick and dirty installs, but let's do a real-life install and go custom.

Step 13. Here's the configuration page. Count me a fan. I like that I can choose what to install, and still review each of the other settings without clicking the "forward" and "back" buttons 12000 times.

Step 14. Ooooh, me like the SSO page for secret backup. it's very smart to just prompt the user right away to back up the master secret, given that 97% of users (ok, i made that up) end up remembering to back up only after viewing the event log and seeing 14,000 error messages.

Step 15. Review all the databases set up and users configured using the menu options in the Actions menu.

Step 16. Then we start the configuration. You get the standard progress messages and a log is written that contains all the things that happened.

Final Note I actually went through this process a couple times, but not on purpose. My initial configuration failed, and the only way I could get the configuration to stick was to do a fresh install, and configure one or so option at a time. For instance, first I configured the Group, then SSO, then the Runtime, next MSMQT and Rules, and so on. After I did that, I was humming along.

I'm pretty jazzed about this release and look forward to showing customers some of the key improvements. Tomorrow we'll look at some of the big changes that you should care about.