If you’re like me and been around the Microsoft ecosystem for a while you will have heard the term “unsupported” or “not supported” from time to time. I believe that this term is too overloaded to be useful and we need to use more nuanced terminology….

Next time you hear a sentence like “We wanted to do X but it was unsupported by Microsoft” make sure you ask the follow on question which is  “why is it unsupported?” The answer to the second question completely changes the outcomes and options available to you.

  You want to… Support
reason/clause meaning/outcome
1 connect BizTalk Server to Exchange Server using an old sock and sticky tape its unsupported because it doesn’t work stop trying that its technically impossible.
2 install BizTalk 2009 on Windows Server 2008 R2 its unsupported because BizTalk 2009 was never tested by Microsoft on Win2008 R2
(Win2008 was the latest OS supported)
there’s is nothing technically stopping this from working  because the compatibility between the two OSes is very good. Proceed at your own risk.
3 connect to SAP from BizTalk using a third party connectivity library its unsupported Microsoft doesn’t  know anything about that third party thing you could probably get the third party thing working, but Microsoft isn’t responsible if there are problems with it.
Proceed at your own risk.
4 run BizTalk production in a cloud VM using SPLA licencing its unsupported Microsoft licencing doesn’t allow it. nothing technical stopping you – good luck with your software audit.
5 flim flam the interwidget using Microsoft BizTalk and a cloud powered kite and key. its unsupported you wanna what? That’s kind of out of left field – not sure its supported by Microsoft  nobody knows what flim flamming the interwidget means so they’re trying to stop you before you hurt yourself.

So you see above that the 5 statements are factually correct (ie not supported) but the reason is actually just as important as the support statement so always ask the follow on question….