One of the privileges of writing a blog is that people send you free stuff. Well that's not really true, that never happens. Except very occasionally when someone wants something in return. Last week the folks at Packt Publishing emailed me and asked if I would review their latest BizTalk book on my blog. And because I’m not the kind of person that knocks back free stuff I said hell yeah.
So the book is called SOA Patterns with BizTalk Server 2009 and its by Richard Seroter.
When I saw this was by Richard my expectations were set high. He’s been around the BizTalk space forever and his blog is one of the more prolific and cogent around so expected it to be good.
I like the way this book is positioned. It is “Targeted at individuals already familiar with BizTalk Server” which suits me fine because I skip over introductory BizTalk materials a page at a time. But then the first two chapters are introductions to BizTalk, the BizTalk Visual Studio IDE and WCF. Which seemed unnecessary to me. But I guess no publisher could allow a book to be published with out *some* introductory material. I was also amused to see Richard invoke the memory of BizTalk Server 2000 to show how far BizTalk has come…which is something I do from time to time and I guess when you’ve been around this stuff so long, you can’t help yourself.
But the bulk of this book is about BizTalk from a SOA perspective – not BizTalk. And this is where the book comes into its own. I particularly enjoyed chapter 7 which showed “Through the use of dynamic ports and direct binding, we can create very loosely-coupled processes that are capable of reuse”. Reuse is something a bit, shall we say, tricky with BizTalk so I learned a lot. Chapter 7, also talks about Complex Event Processing (CEP) with BizTalk which I haven’t seen anywhere else (although I just did a quick google for BizTalk and CEP and it seems there is some late breaking news).
Here is a link (free online) to Chapter 9: New SOA Capabilities in BizTalk Server 2009: WCF SQL Server Adapter
So, in conclusion, I would say, if you’re doing SOA type things with BizTalk go ahead and buy this book. But if you’re after a book that will show the general capabilities of BizTalk, this isn’t it.
And next week on this blog, I will be reviewing the Ferrari 599 GTB after they send me a free demo model to try out…oh wait, that's my Jeremy Clarkson daydream again…