Silverlight Rehab and Biztalk R3
Hilarious video here. Check it out.
Looking at the R3 information post i’m thinking that, if the Oslo vision is realised then maybe one day someone will have a clinic for Biztalk addicts !! (Right now, many times it seems we need more Nurofen or Prozac) . Hey, maybe Biztalk will get a Silverlight based designer !!. You know that nice Solution Designer that Eddie Churchill demonstrated that disappeared off the scene altogether?. My brain’s been ticking over (it does that very rarely 🙂 ) and i’ve been wondering if the product group has something like that up its sleeve.
The ideas for R3 are good. It moves Biztalk more into the SOA space from being an integration server. As i mentioned in my earlier post about the SOA competitive landscape and no mention about Biztalk in the rankings,theres a lot of products out there in this space and a good opportunity to take Biztalk up several notches in usability to make it a strong contender.
The thing that i’m most keen to see is the SOA patterns that are being promised. There’s definitely a need for more guidance. However, i think what would make it more useful than just having some patterns is the ability to cherry pick and use them. Take the current set of scenarios in the documentation for instance. Theres some brilliant material there but i wonder how many people actually got to install them and try them out. Just looking at the deployment guide for some of those scenarios got me scared. I never even attempted an installation. What would have been most useful is an eval VHD with them pre-installed. Ok, call me lazy, but i dont have time to build a new VM and walk through a large install guide so see some patterns in action. Its a good thing Jon Flanders baked some of them into his Pattern Wizards tool or else many folk wouldnt have even got a stub orchestration sorted for some of the advanced ones.
Its the little things that can go towards making a good product great. Theres plenty of power in the Biztalk engine. No doubt about that at all, but we need more in the area of modelling support. Integration will never be trivial, but it sure can be made simpler. I want to see the day when Biztalk knocks the socks off TIBCO and Oracle in the SOA rankings. The good thing is, the product team are definitely taking steps in the right direction. With WF and WCF baked into the core and with metadata repositories and registries etc, its going to be unrecognizable soon, but in a good way.