Index syndication
comment syndication

Microsoft Development

I’ve started down the path of Darkness 🙂

In December 2011, I went on BizTalk training with @BizTalkBill and I’m now four weeks into the next stage of my career which is being an Microsoft “Integration Specialist”. You won’t find any open source in this realm, no ruby, nothing involving indie developers cracking out code until late at night.

What this change means is getting to know Visual Studio, BizTalk, SQL Server and all things Microsoft. It means using TFS, even though you really want to use Git. It means C# coding when you are familiar with interpreted languages like Perl, PHP and Ruby (I won’t be doing an ASP work).

That means you can expect going forward less posts about Unix, Clearcase (finally!) and Open Source platforms, and more about Microsoft offerings; specifically integration products.

Welcome to 2012.

The tale of BizTalk & BPMS

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything, so here goes. I’m currently working for a client who wants BizTalk installed as an ESB. They don’t know why they want it, they just know that they want it.

Since they are a Microsoft shop it’s an assumption on their behalf, but a good one in this case. They are dealing with external agencies who will submit data on a daily basis to be consumed within the organisation. This is BizTalk’s bread and butter especially in the B2B space. Unfortunately at the moment the client will be accepting data from business partners via manual submission using web forms on Sharepoint 2010.

At least once we get BizTalk in, we can show them how then next phase of operations can automate a number of external business interactions.

One of the other benefits of BizTalk, acting as an Enterprise Service Bus, is for facilitating communications between isolated systems and applications – allowing one to avoid point to point design when applications integrate.

So the client is, without understanding it, thinking of implementing the start of Service Orientated Architecture.

The only thing that’s disappointing is this: they understand that BizTalk can orchestrate Business processes across systems, but they still don’t think of their IT system(s) as one entire Business Process Management System (BPMS). They have 5 standalone applications at launch, and are aiming to bring on board and integrate up to 15 separate business applications – most of which will be new.

They talk ITIL, Agile, methodology, and “Frameworks” – but still practice waterfall project management and don’t understand the lifecycle of a true BPMS.

In the end IT delivers not for themselves, but for the Business. The core functions of the Business is what IT is there to facilitate and support. Business and IT departments need to be engaged and working to together right from the start, hopefully with key minds that are visionary enough to deliver a BPMS to support the process of the Business!