Recently Microsoft made some changes to the MVP program. The BizTalk program for instance has been retired and all BizTalk MVP's are moved to a new group called Microsoft Integration. This means that some of the BizTalk MVP's that contributes to TechNet Wiki are now Microsoft Integration MVP's. All BizTalk MVP's and Connected System MVP's are merged into this new group.
Will this change impact contributions we as MVP's create or stop the flow of BizTalk related articles for the TechNet Wiki? No it will not! Some of the integration MVP's have a strong focus on BizTalk and are committed to the product like Sandro Pereira. The contributions will continue with a broader context. From a Microsoft Integration MVP perspective our playground is bigger now.
Over the years IT has changed dramatically when the cloud (technologies) emerged. The cloud opens up many new IT initiatives and possibilities. Microsoft launched its cloud offering called Windows Azure during the PDC in 2008. Since then it has been evolving in a rapid pace to its current state, offering Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) capabilities. Windows Azure also brought new integration capabilities through Service Bus. An unique offering that no other cloud vendors has!
The Service Bus provides an infrastructure in Azure that allows widespread communication, large-scale event distribution, naming, and service publishing. It offers both “relayed” and “brokered” messaging capabilities through Queues, Topics and Relays. Fellow Microsoft Integration MVP Michael Stephenson has created a great article with resource links on the service bus: Windows Azure Service Bus Resources. This article contains a list of architecture, development, infrastructure, operations, best practices and real world scenario's.
What about BizTalk? Well Microsoft is still investing in BizTalk and innovating it. The upcoming BizTalk Server release, currently named BizTalk Server 2010 R2, will contains more features for connectivity with Windows Azure Service Bus. There will be tighter integration of on-premises BizTalk Server applications with the Windows Azure Service Bus and easy ways to extend on-premises BizTalk Server solutions to the cloud in a secure manner. There will be a new adapter "Service Bus Messaging adapter" that allows BizTalk Server to read and send messages to Azure Service Bus Queues and Topics/Subscriptions.
The Azure Service Bus infrastructure can also be installed on-premise through Windows Server Service Bus. This technology is still in beta and some resource can be found through Service Bus for Windows Server Resources and Installing Service Bus Server 1.0 wiki articles. The later article was written by fellow Integration MVP Damir Dobric (former Connected Systems MVP). He has written a few other article's around this technology on TechNet Wiki:
- Hello Service Bus 1.0, Workflow 1.0 and SharePoint Workflow Host
- Microsoft released first Server version of Windows Service Bus & Windows Azure Workflow
- Is Service Bus Server an ESB product?
The Windows Azure Service Bus, Windows Server Service Bus and BizTalk Server will provide an infrastructure for your integration solutions. However, the Microsoft integration space has more to offer like the Windows Server AppFabric, WCF, WF, StreamInsight and EAI/EDI Bridges. You will find TechNet articles on these technologies too:
- Windows Server AppFabric
- Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) Overview/Workflow Foundation (WF4)
- Windows Communication Foundation Overview/WCF Articles
- Windows Azure Service Bus EAI and EDI Labs - Introduction/EAI/EDI Bridges Articles
The TechNet Wiki is a large platform enhancing the MSDN library. It provides capabilities to share knowledge and enable collaboration between the community and Microsoft. For us Microsoft Integration MVP's it is and will be an important channel to share our knowledge and experience on a wide set of technologies we now represent through the Microsoft Integration MVP program.