Visual Studio 2008 and BizTalk

Well my vacation is almost over and ready to start the New Year with some interesting projects. In my previous post I mentioned Visual Studio 2008, which will have my attention this year. Why, because I moving around a lot in BizTalk, Integration and SOA. Visual Studio plays an important role in developing orchestrations. It delivers templates for orchestrations, mapping, pipelines and schema’s. One can also program custom pipelines, adapters and logic to be applied inside an orchestration or business rule engine. So it is a very flexible tool and valuable in creating BizTalk solutions. Although BizTalk Server 2006 and Visual Studio 2008 are not ready to use together; it will be possible in the future with the next release of BizTalk or sooner if Microsoft finds a way to allow the install routine to target the new version of Visual Studio.

Another reason to start with Visual Studio is it will be a lot of new stuff like JavaScript IntelliSense, type interface and debugging, nested master Web Pages, C# 3.0 and VB9 enhancements, and Windows Communication Foundation’s (WCF) self hosted services. Not everything is interesting to me or fellow application integrators/BizTalk professionals, but WCF is. WCF Adapters in BizTalk Server 2006 R2 are a new feature and one can develop its own custom WCF adapter. To build your own WCF Adapter you will need Visual Studio 2005.

So in one way to explore Visual Studio you will need a environment to do so and doing BizTalk Server 2006 (R2) development you need a different other environment . Virtualization will be very handy and having a laptop with 4 Gb Memory on board, a lot of hard disk space (internal or external) and some processor power will help. Another way to get you up to speed is books, blogs and magazines. I have a subscription to Visual Studio Magazine with its January issue completely dedicated to VS 2008. APRESS and other publishers have release some books already. Happy exploring!!!


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