I just finished reading new book on Microsoft BizTalk 2010 written by BizTalk colleagues Kent Weare, Richard Seroter, Thiago Almeida, Sergei Moukhnitski, and Carl Darski. There are many good books that explore core BizTalk features for beginners, intermediate, and advanced developers. This one stands out by the fact that it covers relatively less documented aspect of BizTalk development – integrating with different line of business applications. The subject is vast and diverse so attempt to fit it in one book is a challenge by itself.
The book opens with the chapter on WCF Adapters SDK which can be good introduction into the world of WCF based adapters. It explains high level design and idea of LOB adapters and WCF bindings. The chapter contains a simple application example that uses custom WCF adapter. While working through this exercise readers will get acquainted with adapter metadata, binding configuration, endpoint URI, SOAP action mapping, and other fundamental concepts of the WCF enabled adapters.
Next chapter explores probably the most frequently used and well-known of the WCF Adapters – WCF SQL Adapter. All features of this adapter including more advanced like typed polling, notification and debatching are covered in details with examples. It makes this chapter great practical WCF-SQL handbook for all levels from beginner to advanced user and an excellent addition to the MSDN documentation.
Then follow few chapters each dedicated to one specific LOB application integration: Microsoft Dynamics CRM, WCF SAP Adapter, SharePoint, Dynamics AX, and SalesForce. Every chapter has overview of the Line of Business application, its role in business processes, and then goes into detailed integration example with explanations, sample code, and screen shots.
Separate consideration deserves chapter on integration with Windows Azure Platform AppFabric. This is a new exciting feature of the BizTalk 2010 that expands its capabilities into the cloud based service bus solutions. This chapter alone makes the book worth having.
Overall, authors and editors has done a great job covering such wide and important area of BizTalk functionality. Sure, it’s impossible to go into very deep details and explore all intricacies of every LOB application in just one book. Yet this one is a very good starting point for any consultant in the field who has to deal with disparate systems integration on a daily basis.