With BizTalk Server 2013 we wanted to adopt a documentation strategy of having the docs mostly available over the web and not packaged as part of the product. This has various benefits but is driven mostly by the fact that users look for information mostly over the Internet using their preferred search engine. So, having the updated content uploaded online increases the probability of users finding the information when they search for it. There were two parts to this approach:
- Upload the latest content for BizTalk Server 2013 to the web.
- Remove all content that is packaged with the product.
As we know, BizTalk Server doesn’t release just as one single component. There are a bunch of other components (Adapter Pack, Accelerators, etc.) that come with it making BizTalk Server a suite of products. So, we had to adopt this documentation strategy across all the components of the release. You can imagine that this is a pretty big task in itself so we decided to break this down into simpler manageable tasks. In BizTalk Server 2013, we went ahead with the first part of the plan to have all new content mostly available online only. In the future releases, we’ll take up the task of removing content completely from the packaged product.
How does this affect you?
This may affect where you look for BizTalk Server information. Through this blog post I am trying to provide you with pointers on where to go and look for specific information related to BizTalk Server and other related components.
BizTalk Server Help
For the BizTalk Server core component, the experience is pretty much unchanged. So, you can access the BizTalk Server 2013 Help both offline (installed with the product) or online at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa548004(v=bts.80).aspx.
Help for Other Components Related to BizTalk Server
For other components such as Adapter Pack, Accelerators, etc. the Help for the most recent version was only updated online. The version of Help that is installed with the product was not updated for 2013. So, if you install the Help for these products on your computer, and open the Help, you will notice that it still reflects the older version. However, in case users wanted to access the Help offline, we also provided downloadable version of the 2013 Help as well. So, for these components, you could use Help in the following two ways:
- Access the Help on MSDN (recommended by us and preferred by users). – http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/ee317850(v=bts.10).aspx.
- Download the Help from Microsoft Download Center and replace it on the computer where you installed the Help that was packaged with the product. The table below provides links to both the online version and downloadable version of the Help.