BizTalk is a product that really interests me. It naturally compliments much of the work that I do with Office and smart client development. After all, once you have InfoPath, Word and Excel documents all represented as XML, what are you going to do with them? You probably want to process them in some way; route them to someone for approval, for copy-editing, for re-use in other formats, to initiate some other processes, to stop duplication, provide efficiencies, speed-up business…? Probably all those things and more.
The problem is that for your average developer familiar with procedural or OO programming models, BizTalk is a really difficult product to get to grips with. There is almost no common ground between the BizTalk model of development – designing maps and long running orchestrations – and regular Windows development – writing classes and UI components. And the BizTalk documentation doesn’t help much either.
So congratulations to Alan Smith for taking the initiative to collect and categorize BizTalk blog postings into something very readable and immensely useful. Now can I have a volunteer to catalog a Blogger’s Guide to SharePoint Portal Server?