Since the book came out I have this task to do, I was fortunate to receive an e- copy of the book Getting Started with BizTalk Service written by Karthik Bharathy (Lead Program Manager in the BizTalk product group) and Jon Fancey (Microsoft Integration MVP), but only now I found the time to accomplish.
Getting Started with BizTalk Service is guidance book, rather than a reference manual, that nicely summarizes and well organized in 8 chapters and proximally 150 pages that will cover all of the basic concepts of the Microsoft Azure BizTalk Services like Messages and Transforms, Bridges, EAI, and B2B Integration, API, Tracking and Troubleshooting and the process of moving from on-premises to the cloud:
- Chapter 1, Hello BizTalk Services, introduces BizTalk Services, its architecture, and how to create an instance of the service and deploy solutions.
- Chapter 2, Messages and Transforms, explains message processing and how to transform messages into different formats. Also, it explains how to use mapping operations to aggregate data, perform reference data lookups, and use custom code in transformations.
- Chapter 3, Bridges, gives a detailed look at bridges and explains how to enrich messages and route messages to different endpoints.
- Chapter 4, Enterprise Application Integration, explains sources and destinations and how to connect BizTalk Services to enterprise applications and systems on-premises from the cloud.
- Chapter 5, Business-to-business Integration, discusses B2B integration using industry-standard protocols such as EDIFACT, X12, and AS2. It also discusses how to create partners and agreements in BizTalk Services to connect with trading partners and how to utilize message batching and archiving.
- Chapter 6, API, discusses a rich API underpinning BizTalk Services. Also, it explains what it can do and how to use it in different contexts, including REST, PowerShell, and custom code.
- Chapter 7, Tracking and Troubleshooting, discusses how messages are tracked in BizTalk Services and how to find and resolve problems when they occur using the tools BizTalk Services provides.
- Chapter 8, Moving to BizTalk Services, explains how to move from BizTalk Server to BizTalk Services, the differences between the two products, and future plans.
And is addressed for software developers, IT pros, architects, and technical managers who wish to understand the main concepts of BizTalk Services.
Although the authors referring that knowledge of BizTalk Server is neither assumed nor expected, in my opinion, is important and very helpful to have this prior knowledge of BizTalk Server to fully understand the book for a simple reason, this is not a step-by-step book that will describe all the steps that you need to do implement solution in BizTalk Services, it will not explain how to create a schema from scratch for example, because it is not the purpose of the book. Nevertheless, the code samples provided with the book helps to really understand how to practically apply and strengthen the main concepts of BizTalk Services.
I especially liked the last chapter of the book “Moving to BizTalk Services” that address the challenges of moving BizTalk Server solutions on-premises to BizTalk Services. I have the pleasure to be a speaker in the last BizTalk Summit 2014 – London event along with Jon Fancey where he did a great presentation about “How to move to BizTalk Services” so I recommend you to watch this session after reading this chapter.
Although closely following BizTalk Services since the beta version, and speak about it in many technical sessions, I did learn a few things with the book… so I personally recommend this book to anyone interested in BizTalk Services or in integration technologies whether it be a beginner (with no BizTalk Server knowledge), in this case, this case should consider this book as a guide and deepen their knowledge using other sources, or an expert. This book is a perfect start if you wish to start understanding BizTalk Services.
Congratulations Karthik Bharathy and Jon Fancey you did a great job!