Microsoft BizTalk 2010: Line of Business System Integration Book Review

Posted: October 23, 2011  |  Categories: BizTalk
Tags: BizTalk Books

This is my last post about this book. I’ve had the pleasure of giving this book to three of my readers and I’d promised weeks ago to Packet Publishing that I would publish a short review of the book, however, this is my honest opinion and I’m not paid to do this review.

Microsoft BizTalk 2010: Line of Business System Integration

First of all, don’t think that with this book you will learn the basics of this technology: how you work with schemas, create maps for transforming inbound and outbound XML messages, how to use and create orchestrations to automate complex processes, BAM or BRE… is not his aim and for this there are several good books on the market.

This book focuses on one specific topic: integrating BizTalk with Line of Business systems such as Microsoft Dynamic CRM or Dynamic AX, Microsoft SharePoint, SAP, or Windows Azure AppFabric. And this is excellent because normally BizTalk books are focused on out-of-box features and capabilities, which is not bad, however, it is almost impossible to detail in depth in one book all the features of this technology and usually, only built-in (or native) adapters, like WCF Adapters, are mentioned in this books.

The book, however, is not about one specific suite of adapters: BizTalk Adapter Pack, BizTalk 2010 Adapters; but, as I said earlier, about LoB integration in a general sense, and explain how adapters and other tools are used to achieve this. And let me say to you, it comes with great samples that are easy to implement and understand that illustrates the wide spectrum of approaches and techniques employed in real-world integration.

I really love most everything in this book, there are excellent samples on how to use WCF SQL Adapters to retrieve and manipulate data, but in particular, the two chapters about SAP Adapter where it is explained in detail the difference between SAP IDOC’s, BAPI’s and RFC’s.

And don´t think that this book is only for BizTalk experts it’s also ideal for beginners. For BizTalk experts, this is a book you must have! For beginners, they should regard this book as an addition to other books.

Congratulations to the authors, they have done an excellent job, this book is highly recommended.

To finish, let me tell you something, we can spend a lifetime with this product and not work with all adapters or features available because often we are limited to the needs and systems of our customers. For example, I never had the need to make an integration with Dynamics AX, but now I’m sure I will not have any problems :).

For those who don’t know the book:

Book Description

Microsoft BizTalk 2010: Line of Business Systems Integration will be a tutorial that focuses on integrating BizTalk with Line of Business systems using practical scenarios. Each chapter will take a Line of Business Adapter, introduce some pre-requisite knowledge and demonstrate how you can integrate BizTalk with that Line of Business Adapter, and then provide guidance based upon real-world experience, taking your BizTalk knowledge further. The book will take “perceived” daunting scenarios, like integrating with SAP and provide readers with a clear tutorial that walks them through integrating Line of Business systems. This book focuses on Microsoft BizTalk 2010; however, most of the concepts and explanations will apply to BizTalk 2006 R2 and BizTalk 2009. If you are an experienced BizTalk developer who wants to integrate BizTalk with Line of Business systems using practical scenarios, then this book is for you. A solid understanding of BizTalk at an intermediate level is required. This book assumes developers are comfortable creating schemas, maps, orchestrations, ports, and messages in Visual Studio and configuring applications in the BizTalk Administration Console. However, experience in integrating with Line of Business systems is not necessarily required.

What you’ll learn

  • Explore some of the inner workings of the WCF LOB SDK and WCF-Custom Adapter.
  • Learn how to retrieve and manipulate data using popular operations exposed by WCF SQL Adapters.
  • Understand some of the technical and political challenges of integrating with SAP.
  • Learn the difference between SAP IDOC’s, BAPI’s and RFC’s.
  • Discover Microsoft’s AppFabric Service Bus and learn how to build BizTalk solutions that complement Microsoft’s Serve Bus in the Windows Azure Cloud.
  • Build integrated SharePoint solutions using the Windows SharePoint Services Adapter and SharePoint Web Services.
  • Understand how to integrate with Microsoft Dynamic AX 2009 using BizTalk Adapter and .Net Business Connector
  • Discover how to establish bi-directional connectivity between CRM and your on-premise services.
Author: Sandro Pereira

Sandro Pereira lives in Portugal and works as a consultant at DevScope. In the past years, he has been working on implementing Integration scenarios both on-premises and cloud for various clients, each with different scenarios from a technical point of view, size, and criticality, using Microsoft Azure, Microsoft BizTalk Server and different technologies like AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, SAP, TIBCO etc. He is a regular blogger, international speaker, and technical reviewer of several BizTalk books all focused on Integration. He is also the author of the book “BizTalk Mapping Patterns & Best Practices”. He has been awarded MVP since 2011 for his contributions to the integration community.

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