We have all been there. Your manager approaches you with a very important task. You have 3 days to get a machine up and running with Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004. "Hey no problem!" you say to yourself as you grin and contemplate what other things you are going to be doing on the 2nd and 3rd day. Later that afternoon you pop open your favorite search engine and type in "BizTalk". You pick the top choice. You spend a little time reading the overview, watching a demo and then you head straight for the evaluation download! "OK, I'm ready to go...now where are those install docs? Aha! There they are!".
And that's the last thought that crosses your mind before you open the 40 page document, scan it, and begin to realize that this is actually quite an undertaking.
Installation problems rank among the top 15 issues that Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) handles for BizTalk Server 2004. Although the installation guide for BizTalk Server 2004 was greatly improved in the last document refresh (July 2004), it's still a heavy read and can be quite intimidating for new users. Think about the platform requirements and everything that you need to be aware of! You have to install and configure a wide range of products before BizTalk Server ever sees the light of day on your machine. You have to install and configure Windows Server, Internet Information Services, SQL Server, Visual Studio.NET, Windows SharePoint Services, XML, InfoPath and Miscellaneous Hotfixes!
This guide cuts out all the ancillary information surrounding an installation and gives you the quick and dirty steps to install and configure a machine with BizTalk Server 2004. This assumes that you have a formatted machine, general knowledge of Microsoft products, that you won't get weighed down with OS shortcuts and that you understand me when I say "open a command prompt".
So what are you waiting for? Read the guide!