I’m in the process of becoming a great speaker (an untouchable beauty of this world is that we do not pay taxes for our dreams, yet ), however in my short experience one of the greatest difficulties that I encountered is trying to explain: “What is BizTalk?” in a short way, ie that doesn’t take long time of the session, to an audience of technicians or developers who know little or nothing about the product.
For example, these days I did a presentation on a specific topic of BizTalk: “Introduction to BizTalk maps” and obviously before talking about maps is always good to make a quick introduction to the product, in order to contextualize the session. I usually like to have an image that speaks for her, and I, with a few comments, add additional value to the image and thereby explain what is BizTalk… what might be called “a picture is worth a thousand words”. And this is something that still could not find, this is because we are talking about a platform with many technologies and features associated which is not easy to describe in a single image.
Sometimes we can use images like this:
That are excellent images and that minimally describe the product but not entirely, some pictures describe the architecture, other the technologies, other communications…, which sometimes requires more effort for the speaker to explain the product.
In this specify session I used a different image, in order to make a slight approach to the product without going into all the features, which turned out to have practical results in the session:
But… sometimes, or many times, I get the feeling that the audience seeing this king of image get the wrong impression and even before making the explanation they are already thinking “I don’t need BizTalk to do that and with a simple ESB or WCF can get the same result”.
Yes! In reality, there is nothing that BizTalk do that can be done with code written from scratch! The question is how long it takes to implement a solution without using a Middleware like BizTalk?
You can easily make an integration between two systems with the use of communication technologies and data transport such as Microsoft WCF or Web Service, but when we look more closely at some of the requirements, is easy to identify that some challenges can become quite complex: implement persistence, correlation of asynchronous messages, recovery in case of failures, complex mappings, atomicity, long-running transactions, monitoring and visibility of the process, … and all this is reflected in huge implementation costs.
It is here that BizTalk enters and does what he does best, because all these features are available “Out of the box” with the product, thereby freeing the developers the necessity of having to reimplement those features again and again and thereby allowing to have focus in the most critical aspect: the implementation of business logic associated with integration flows.
Sorry for the outburst and back to the topic, in my case (session), at the end I got the impression that some of the message was not passed with the success I wanted. Developers are always thinking in alternative solutions or technologies and always making comparisons, but sometimes also speak by his passions, if I don’t like C # then most likely I feel that Java is best, SQL is better the Oracle… they are a difficult audience .
So in the quest to find the perfect image, I found this picture:
I love this picture because it describes many of the technologies, features and architecture of the platform. However I think it is a little bit boring to always apply the same image in all sessions, therefore…
I suggest a different approach, and perhaps more fun, to explain what is BizTalk by using “word clouds“:
Perhaps will require a better explanation of the product, maybe I will spend a little more time in this slide, but it will be fun and maybe the message will be transmitted with more success.
If you look in the images, only one word is not inherent “Out of the box” with the product: “BizTalk360”, but I decided to put it because I just love this product.
In my next session I will use this strategy and if the result is not the best … always serve as excellent wallpapers