Recently a few people have asked me about the differences between the BizTalk Health Check and the BizTalk Maturity Assessment so I thought I'd put a few thoughts out here.
Firstly let's start with what the BizTalk Health Assessment is.
Most consultancies who have a BizTalk capability offer some flavour of BizTalk Health Check. In these cases they will bring in a BizTalk consultant who will look at your production environment and do an evaluation of the current state of the environment and identify any deficiencies and updates which may be required or any optimizations which may have been missed. Often the customer is in a painful place when they call someone in for a health check.
A health check is often focused on the customer's production environment but sometimes they will also cover test environments.
The focus of a health check is usually to answer the following questions:
- Is my infrastructure setup according to good practices for my scenario
- Is my BizTalk/SQL/Windows setup configured in line with good practices and appropriately for my scenario
- Am I doing the right admin/operator tasks to make sure my environment stays healthy
The main audience of the BizTalk Health Check is the BizTalk Administrator and perhaps the BizTalk Service Owner.
In addition to the BizTalk Health Check's which most consultancies offer, Tord Glad Nordhal who is one of the most respected BizTalk Admin/Infrastructure consultants in the community has also produced a BizTalk Health Check which has been made publically available. This health check pulls together his years of experience in this space and then made it available to BizTalk people and companies who use BizTalk so that they can access this information themselves. The aim is to get customers to setup BizTalk successfully and to maintain a healthy BizTalk environment.
Tord has made this tool available at the following location:
I'm a big fan of Tord's work and love the health check!
BizTalk Maturity Assessment
The BizTalk Maturity Assessment is taking a wider look at a customer's investment in BizTalk and is focusing on the following questions:
- What are the things I should do to ensure I have a positive experience with BizTalk
- How can I make sure I get a good ROI from BizTalk
- I have invested in BizTalk and its going wrong, how can I identify the cause of the problems
- Are the different areas of my business (eg: development, test, production support) displaying the right behaviours to ensure I am successful with BizTalk
There is a small amount of overlap with the health check because the Maturity Assessment has a section which looks at your infrastructure and operations areas, but the health check is a deep dive in the infrastructure and configuration area where as the Maturity Assessment is taking a higher level view of these areas.
The Maturity Assessment is taking a holistic view across your organisation and looking at the behaviours that should be displayed in different areas to see if they will compliment or conflict with making a successful investment in BizTalk.
The BizTalk Maturity Assessment has drawn from the experience of a number of well-respected people within the BizTalk Community (including Tord) and should help you to have the capability to deliver great solutions using BizTalk.
In conclusion the BizTalk Maturity Assessment and the BizTalk Health Check complement each other quite nicely and are both things which your organisation should be using on a regular basis (id recommend minimum quarterly).
Even better is that they are both free!