Following on from my previous post, included below is the final chapter list and a brief overview of the content covered in each chapter.
Chapter 1: Technical Primer—This chapter primes the reader on some key technologies that each developer should have a basic understanding of to aid with development and debugging. This chapter covers XML schemas, namespaces, XPath, and serializable classes.
- Chapter 2: BizTalk Architecture—This chapter is the only chapter that really deals with explaining the basic BizTalk principles. It positions the value that BizTalk brings to solutions and compares this to writing a custom solution without BizTalk. It then runs through all the key architectural pieces of BizTalk and explains what they do and how they work.
- Chapter 3: Adapters—This chapter covers key adapter concepts—such as ports, tracking, hosting, and context properties—and then drills into each adapter supplied with BizTalk to explain what the adapter does, which context properties it promotes, and, where appropriate and relevant, a walkthrough to show how to use the adapter. The chapter also details the new R2 adapters at a high-level and in time for publication we’ll add downloadable content to demonstrate how to write an adapter using the new WCF Adapter framework shipped with BizTalk Server 2006 R2 (not available at the time of writing).
- Chapter 4: Pipelines—This chapter covers the core principles of pipelines and details how they work. The chapter then highlights how pipeline components should be developed and provides a worked example.
This chapter also covers the Messaging Engine architecture and how it works, understanding this is key to being able to exploit the architecture to the fullest.
- Chapter 5: Orchestrations—This chapter introduces BizTalk orchestrations and the environment within which they execute. We discuss key areas such as persistence points and logical ports before covering how orchestrations can be developed and which features are available.
- Chapter 6: Business Activity Monitoring—This chapter introduces the Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) technology and details how BAM can be used to instrument your BizTalk solution and your entire enterprise. The chapter then covers how a fictional scenario can be instrumented and how you can make use of the information collected by BAM.
- Chapter 7: Rules Engine—This chapter discusses the key principles that underpin the Rules Engine, and then covers all the concepts to enable effective use of the Rules Engine within your solution.
- Chapter 8: Testing—This chapter starts by describing the types of testing you must apply to your BizTalk solution, including unit testing, functional testing, integration testing, and performance testing. The chapter goes on to discuss how BizUnit can be used to automate testing, how you can perform code coverage of your BizTalk solution, how LoadGen can be used to generate load, and how you can profile your solution using the Visual Studio profiler.
- Chapter 9: Performance and Scalability—This chapter covers all the things you must have in place before beginning any performance testing. Forgetting these often leads to bad performance results. The chapter then explains how to monitor BizTalk, SQL, and IIS, explaining all the relevant performance counters and what they actually mean. We also provide a complete reference on what BizTalk throttling is and how it works, including an explanation of all the various throttling states. The final section of the chapter discusses a number of common symptoms. These are problems that customers run into regularly and include high CPU usage and sudden processing drop off. The chapter explains the common reasons and things to check to identify the underlying problem.
- Chapter 10: Low Latency—This chapter covers what low latency means to BizTalk solutions and how you can measure it. We then drill into a variety of techniques that you can employ to reduce latency for your solution.
- Chapter 11: Administration—This chapter describes everything required to administer BizTalk effectively. It’s a great resource for administrators as well as developers. The chapter covers the key administration tools and tasks that you need to undertake, and highlights areas that are often overlooked, such as SSO maintenance, suspended instances, subscriptions, etc. The chapter also covers in great detail how the SQL Server used by BizTalk needs to be looked after, including backup, log shipping and how you can monitor the performance of the SQL Server. The chapter also covers MOM and how it can be used in conjunction with the BizTalk Management Pack to greatly simplify management.
- Chapter 12: End-to-End Scenarios—This chapter highlights all the End-to-End Scenarios that were shipped as part of BizTalk 2006. These are often overlooked but provide full working solutions of real-world customer scenarios that have been fully tested and demonstrate best practice. Each scenario is supplied with complete source code and provides implementations that you can use within your own solution. We cover each scenario and highlight key deliverables in each scenario such as the code required to use the SSO store for configuration data and an adapter to enable messages to be sent for manual repair.
- Chapter 13: BizTalk Best Practices—This chapter discusses a number of best practices and techniques that have been used in a number of projects, including handling large messages, storing configuration data, subscribing to failure messages, and instrumenting your solution.
- Chapter 14: Windows Workflow and BizTalk—This chapter positions the key concepts of Windows Workflow and discusses how it compares with BizTalk Server. We then demonstrate how the BAM Interceptor for Windows Workflow works and position how BizTalk, WF, and SharePoint can be used together to enable compelling solutions.