Kudos to Kirk!
I received an invitation from my buddy Kirk Evans a couple of weeks ago to attend a DevDays event in Atlanta. The event was great! I had an awesome time and learned quite a bit. Kudos to Kirk for throwing a killer event and for throwing an invite my way. While I was there I was able to chat some with Mark Dunn and Mark Berry. Those are 2 sharp guys and I look forward to talking to them again soon. Hopefully we'll be able to work something out for some custom BTS training from them later this year.
The woes of BizTalk build and deployment
Recently I was tasked with helping to devise a standard method for our 'build and deploy process' for BizTalk applications.
So I pulled out my Pro BizTalk 2006 book and started to dig. Sure enough, page 40 begins a section titled "Creating a Build-and-Integration Environment". The book lays out a 5 step process which I found incredibly useful. It helped me to get a better idea of how the process works.
Next we started examining using MSBuild as well as Scott Colestock's Deployment Framework for BTS 2006 using NANT. Over the weekend, a friend of mine told me about how they are using Team Foundation Server. Unfortunately, we won't have TFS available here at work until the Fall sometime....
In the end, what I'm learning is that there is no magic bullet for this process....
More to come as things start to come together...
Drinking from the Firehose
It's been a whirlwind month after joining the Application Services team here at work. After being shipped out to class during my first week, I've been trying to learn as much as I can about Biztalk. It really has been like drinking from the firehose.
I've seen that BTS is a different animal unto itself. It definitely isn't something that one would "just add to your repertoire". You have to commit some time to really get to know the product. So far I'm having a blast. I'm looking forward to the future.
Filling up my brain with BizTalk goodness
Ok. So last week I went through a 3 day "condensed" version of the MS-2933 BizTalk class. I had a good time and I got my first real dose of "Here's what BizTalk Server 2006 can do."
The instructor did a great job. His name is Brian Prince (link to Brian's blog) and he was flown in from Ohio for the class. Brian is one sharp dude. He's also an MVP. Check out Brian's blog because he just updated his annual "list of BizTalk resources"
So this week, the question has been "So now what?" I've started to pick up where the class left off and I've been reading lots of material online.
I also just ordered 2 books from Bookpool.com
1. Professional BizTalk Server 2006 - from Wrox Press
2. Pro BizTalk 2006 - from APress
After the class last week, my goal is to just start filling my head with as much advanced material as I can find. Today I started reading "Integration Patterns" from the Microsoft Patterns and Practices web site. I'll let you know how it goes...
On becoming "The BizTalk Guy"
I needed a change of pace here at work, so I recently applied for, and accepted a position on a different team. My official new job title is "BizTalk Developer / Consultant".
So now begins the journey....It is my job to go from knowing very little about BizTalk to becoming the local "expert" and serving as a resource for other developers. One thing is for certain in this picture. The more I slowly learn about the product and it's capabilities, the more I realize that I have a LOOONG way to go.
So the good news is that I think this will provide me with an opportunity for some blogging. I want to try and blog things as I make this journey. Hopefully it will help others along their path as well.