Owen Allen asks "Can you get the orchestration done on time?", and goes on to mention that Biztalk "isn't your grandfather's ETL app."
While I agree that Biztalk is immensely powerful and provides an excellent development infrastructure, Owen's title bothers me more than a little. My main gripe with BTS so far has been the steep learning curve. Biztalk is not a tool for casual development, and anyone planning to work with it should schedule at least 2 weeks worth of learning/training time before attempting anything even remotely functional. I initially assumed I could pick it up and make it work fairly quickly (especially since it looks so easy when Scott Woodgate does it) and payed for that mistake with many 15-hour days spent ramping up (and then even more trying to get back on schedule). Now that I'm the "neighborhood BizTalk guru", I am fielding questions from many colleages/coworkers who are even deeper in trouble than I was.
The bottom line is: BizTalk is great for your SOA infrastructure, and Biztalk is worth learning. But disrespect Biztalk and it will absolutely 0wn your ass, not to mention not getting your orchestration done on time 🙂
[ putting on flame-resistant suit ]