Posts Tagged ‘Books’

I been reviewing Packt Publishing BizTalk books for a while and from time to time they keep me posted for special offers or invite me to write about them to spread the word in the community… And with more than 3000 eBooks and video courses available for just $5! I think this is one of that offer you cannot miss!


And you will find a few great BizTalk books… I can say that because I have them ALL Smile

  • (MCTS) Microsoft BizTalk Server (70-595) Certification and Assessment Guide: Second Edition
  • (MCTS): Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 (70-595) Certification Guide
  • BizTalk Server 2010 Cookbook
  • Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 Patterns
  • Microsoft BizTalk 2010: Line of Business Systems Integration
  • SOA Patterns with BizTalk Server 2013 and Microsoft Azure – Second Edition
  • And many more


This seasonal sale will only be running until January 6th January 2016 – you can get as many eBooks as you like in the offer, so head on over to and grab your copies today.

Finally a new BizTalk Server book it’s available and just in time for my vacations! No I will not work during my vacations but unlike the Caribbean where we can eat and then jump right away into the water, or eat in the water, here in Europe we have to wait approximately 3 hours, depending on how much food you eat. So in that period I like to read a book and I usually take with me at least one technical book and this year will be: SOA Patterns with BizTalk Server 2013 and Microsoft Azure (Second Edition)


I like to be on the beach scratching technical books with notes and ideas Smile

This time I will not make any review on this book because I was pleased to be part of this project as a technical reviewer, so everything I can say may be suspect… and I take this opportunity to thank the authors (Richard Seroter, Mark Brimble, Johann Cooper, Colin Dijkgraaf, Mahindra Morar) for the invitation.

The book will address and will explain to you how to create and implement SOA strategies on the Microsoft technology stack using BizTalk Server 2013 and Azure Integration platforms

  • Understand how to implement SOA with BizTalk Server and the Azure platform
  • Consume and expose WCF services effectively via the use of Service Bus Relays and RESTful services
  • Implement effective schema design, including an introduction to various schema design patterns
  • Exploit various message exchange/endpoint patterns including request-response, fire and forget, and client callbacks
  • Leverage orchestration design patterns that maximize flexibility and reuse
  • Future-proof your BizTalk Server artifacts using well thought out versioning strategies
  • Build loosely-coupled BizTalk applications using the ESB Toolkit
  • Take a peek at API Apps, Logic Apps, and Azure API Management
  • And best of luck for those who are preparing to take this certification.

See Steef-Jan review about the book here and I hope you enjoy reading it. I know I will!

The book is available through Amazon and PACKT is self, so go to either of one and order it!

I public announced for the first time that I was working in an eBook about BizTalk Mapping Patterns and Best Practices, and that it would be published for free, this March during BizTalk Summit 2014 London… Well folks, it’s that time to announce that “BizTalk Mapping Patterns and Best Practices” book – a 400-page recipe for BizTalk Developers to develop effective, robust, and organized maps – is now finally available for you to download at BizTalk360 website here.


The “BizTalk Mapping Patterns and Best Practices” book is a reference guide mainly intended for BizTalk developers to make their day-to-day lives easier. The book offers insights on how maps work, the most common patterns in real time scenarios, and the best practices to carry out transformations and has as technical reviewers Steef-Jan Wiggers, Nino Crudele, Michael Stephenson and José António Silva. I had been working on this over the last one year, and my original idea of publishing these information as a blog changed in the due course to become a white paper, then finally to a “Community eBook” with about 400-pages and contributions from so many people. I need to thanks BizTalk360 to accept the challenge of publishing its first book and make it available to the community and my employer, DevScope, for given me a lot of leverage to spend time writing this book, but also to actively contribute for the community of BizTalk with articles, blog and conferences.

I would also like to thank my fantastic team of Technical Reviewers composed by three Integration MVP’s: Michael Stephenson, Nino Crudele and Steef-Jan Wiggers and for the person responsible for the initial idea: José António Silva. Thank you for accepting the challenger and thank you for the incredible effort and time to increase the quality of the book. And also to my friend Sónia Gomes ( for creating this amazing cover for the book.

Key Features
  • Direct Translation Pattern: Simply move data to a different semantic representation without any manipulation or transformation.
  • Data Translation Pattern: Similar to Direct Translation Pattern with additional step of data manipulation or transformation to match the target system format.
  • Content Enricher Pattern: Set up access to an external data source (say, a database) to enhance the message with missing information.
  • Aggregator Pattern: Similar to Content Enricher Pattern; difference in mapping technique. Multiple inbound requests mapped to single outbound request.
  • Content Filter Pattern: Opposite of Content Enricher Pattern; remove unnecessary items from message (even based on condition) and send what is exactly required
  • Splitter Pattern: Opposite of Aggregator Pattern; single inbound request to be mapped to several outbound requests
  • Grouping Pattern: Example – shopping catalogue where items are grouped under categories like Sports, Women Cosmetics, Electronics, Computers, and so on.
  • Sorting Pattern: In most scenarios, Grouping Pattern and Sorting Pattern will be bound together
  • Conditional Pattern: To receive only portion of the data from the message, apply a condition statement to filter the result set at the source.
  • Looping Pattern: For instance, a record in the source system may occur multiple times in the input file. They need to be transformed according to the target system
  • Canonical Data Model Pattern: Ensures loose coupling between applications; if new application is added, only the transformation between the Canonical Data Model has to be created.
  • Name-Value Transformation Pattern: Target system requires a Name-Value Pair (NVP) structure; or the source system has a NVP structure and the target requires a hierarchical schema

Click here to download your free copy of the book.

Why I did not choose a “proper” publisher?

Some people have asked me why I didn’t publish my book in a real proper publisher like Apress, Packt Publishing or others and the reason is simple… I could easily and had the chance to publish but it would be a paid book and what I really wanted was to create and deliver to the community my first book (I don’t know if I will write or not more books) for free as a way to thank you for the affection and support that all of you have given me in the last years.

BizTalk360 was the proper choice because I know the people and I know I could count on them to publish making it available to the community for free and promote the book.

When was the book released?

The book was public announced during the BizTalk Innovation Day, Oslo (Norway) 2014 event and I could not have chosen a better place and audience to present my book because the idea of creating this book started after a session of one of our events: BizTalk Innovation Day Oporto, the venue was really amazing in a kind of nightclub for event (actually MESH is also a nightclub J) and the Norwegian audience is really amazing and I have good friends there.

Here is the moment of the official announcement:


Please give me your feedback

Your opinion is very important to me. I appreciate your feedback and I will use it to evaluate changes and make improvements in the book and future projects.


Download the book for free


The book if available for you to download for free at BizTalk360 website here: BizTalk Mapping Patterns & Best Practices

Thanks to all participants, however only 59% of the responses were correct, all due to a small trap – I apologize for that – that I put the third question. The correct answers for the questions were:

  • Does BizTalk Services Bridges applies the VETER (Validate, Enrich, Transform, Enrich and Route)?
    Correct answer: A) Yes
  • Where the Enrichment component occurs inside the bridges?
    Correct answer
    : c) both, pre and post transformation
  • What are the name of the components that we drag from the Toolbox windows to the grid pages of BizTalk Services Maps to perform transformations?
    Correct answer: B) Operations

Getting-Started-with-BizTalk-ServicesI think the first two questions were quite simple, as was proven in the responses of the participants, however the equivalent of Functoids in BizTalk Server maps are called Operations in the BizTalk Services maps.

Again, thanks to all participants and congratulations to:

  • Marcus Rangell from Sweden
  • Christophe Brando from France

for winning the Getting Started with BizTalk Services eBook from Packet Publishing.

The book is available through Amazon and PACKT is self, so go to either of one and order it! (Also available for the Kindle)

Exciting news for BizTalk community! I have 2 e-copies of the new book Getting Started with BizTalk Services to give away, courtesy of PACKT Publishing.

This book was written by Karthik Bharathy (Lead Program Manager in the BizTalk product group) and Jon Fancey (Microsoft Integration MVP) published by Packet Publishing. You can read more about this book here on Packt’s website and do not forget to download the free sample chapter here. You can also see my review in my last post hehe.


Contest: “MABS Contest”

  • Answer the following three questions:
    • Does BizTalk Services Bridges applies the VETER (Validate, Enrich, Transform, Enrich and Route)?
      Options: A) Yes B) No
    • Where the Enrichment component occurs inside the bridges?
      : A) pre transformation B) post transformation c) both, pre and post transformation
    • What are the name of the components that we drag from the Toolbox windows to the grid pages of BizTalk Services Maps to perform transformations?
      Options: A) Functoids B) Operations c) Map Functions

Closing date: August 18th 2014.

Terms of participation:

  • Each participant can only participate once;
  • The response must be sent by email to with the following subject: “Contest – Getting Started with BizTalk Services
  • Along with the answers the participant must include the following personal information (This information will not be used for any commercial purpose – only need to send the email to the winners):
    • First and last name
    • Country
    • Email


Two participants will win:

  • One e-copy of the book: Getting Started with BizTalk Services

The awards will be distributed by lottery and the e-copies will be sent to winners via email by PACKT Publishing.

Good luck!

Special note: The book is available through Amazon and PACKT is self, so go to either of one and order it! (Also available for the Kindle)

Feel free to comment this initiative (have you found it interesting or do you think this kind of initiative should be repeated), the book or my blog.

Since the book came out I have this task to do, I was fortunate to receive an e- copy of the book Getting Started with BizTalk Service written by Karthik Bharathy (Lead Program Manager in the BizTalk product group) and Jon Fancey (Microsoft Integration MVP), but only now I found the time to accomplish.

Getting Started with BizTalk Service is guidance book, rather than a reference manual, that nicely summarizes and well organized in 8 chapters and proximally 150 pages that will cover all of the basic concepts of the Microsoft Azure BizTalk Services like Messages and Transforms, Bridges, EAI and B2B Integration, API, Tracking and Troubleshooting and the process of moving from on-premises to the cloud:

  • Chapter 1, Hello BizTalk Services, introduces BizTalk Services, its architecture, and how to create an instance of the service and deploy solutions.
  • Chapter 2, Messages and Transforms, explains message processing and how to transform messages to different formats. Also, it explains how to use mapping operations to aggregate data, perform reference data lookups, and use custom code in transformations.
  • Chapter 3, Bridges, gives a detailed look at bridges and explains how to enrich messages and route messages to different endpoints.
  • Chapter 4, Enterprise Application Integration, explains sources and destinations and how to connect BizTalk Services to enterprise applications and systems on-premises from the cloud.
  • Chapter 5, Business-to-business Integration, discusses B2B integration using industry standard protocols such as EDIFACT, X12, and AS2. It also discusses how to create partners and agreements in BizTalk Services to connect with trading partners and how to utilize message batching and archiving.
  • Chapter 6, API, discusses a rich API underpinning BizTalk Services. Also, it explains what it can do and how to use it in different contexts, including REST, PowerShell, and custom code.
  • Chapter 7, Tracking and Troubleshooting, discusses how messages are tracked in BizTalk Services and how to find and resolve problems when they occur using the tools BizTalk Services provides.
  • Chapter 8, Moving to BizTalk Services, explains how to move from BizTalk Server to BizTalk Services, the differences between the two products, and future plans.

And is addressed for software developers, IT pros, architects, and technical managers who wish to understand the main concepts of BizTalk Services.


Although the authors referring that knowledge of BizTalk Server is neither assumed nor expected, in my opinion is important and very helpful to have this prior knowledge of BizTalk Server to fully understand the book for a simple reason, this is not a step-by-step book that will describe all the steps that you need to do implement solution in BizTalk Services, it will not explain how to create a schema from scratch for example, because it is not the purpose of the book. Nevertheless the code samples provided with the book helps to really understand how to practically apply and strengthen the main concepts of BizTalk Services.

I especially liked the last chapter of the book “Moving to BizTalk Services” that address the challenges of moving BizTalk Server solutions on-premises to BizTalk Services. I have the pleasure to be a speaker in the last BizTalk Summit 2014 – London event along with Jon Fancey where he did a great presentation about “How to move to BizTalk Services” so I recommend you to watch this session after reading this chapter.

Although closely following BizTalk Services since the beta version, and speak about it in many technical sessions, I did learn a few things with the book… so I personally recommend this book to anyone interested in BizTalk Services or in integration technologies whether it be a beginner (with no BizTalk Server knowledge), in this case this case should consider this book as a guide and deepen their knowledge using other sources, or an expert. This book is a perfect start if you wish to start understand BizTalk Services.

Congratulations Karthik Bharathy and Fancey you did a great job!

Where you can order the book?

You can order the book and find the complete table of contents on Packt Website or in Amazon.

I publicly announce for the first time that I was working in an eBook about BizTalk Mapping Patterns and Best Practices, and that I was published for free, this March during BizTalk Summit 2014 London…


… At the time I said it would be published in mid-April or May but since then I’ve been slightly quiet, a few tweets and that’s it!

So how’s the book and when will it be published? This is the question that some people have asked me and that you probably are asking too, at least if you attended the event in London

Well I have some good news Smile… the book will be a reality and will definitely be for free. I’ve already made ​​the commitment to the BizTalk community and I’ll fulfill it. And the first chapters had already been sent to my awesome team of reviewers… I’m waiting for their feedback Smile!

However there are still many things to finish, the structure of the book may still suffer some changes (depending on the reviewers feedback), although it is unlikely that I make some radical changes in its current structure. And I still need to finish the main chapter “BizTalk Mapper Patterns” and one additional final chapter.

You also need to remember that this eBook will be for free and that all those involved are spending their free time to make this happen! Personally, the last few months have been difficult for me to find some additional free time to engage and finish this project… and I also cannot ask and demand nothing more from my reviewers, we all are busy people. I prefer to take a little more time and provide some quality work (I hope).

State of art and key point to take:

  • The book will be a reality and will definitely be for free
  • 12 patterns addressed in the eBook, currently 233 pages…
  • Estimated that 85% of the work is done
  • All demos are finished, finally! (is hard to invent some good and practical scenarios)
  • I promise that I will push my reviewer to send me the feedback (but they are not the blocking point)
  • I’m currently have some free time to finish the eBook!!! SmileSmile

I hope that soon I will be sending all the chapter to the reviewers and then depending on the feedback: improve it, fix it and finally publish it… so I ask you to have a little more patience.

If you are preparing or planning to take BizTalk Server 2010 certification: TS: Developing Business Process and Integration Solutions by Using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 (Exam 70-595) this is a book you must have! It’s an excellent study guide that will help you prepare properly for this exam.

I believe that never started a review like this, but it’s true. Johan Hedberg says in his blog:

The book itself is targeted at the BizTalk Server certification 70-595. We have done our very best to be as brief and as focused on the areas of the certification as possible, while still keeping it far away from being verbatim or a cheat sheet”… and they did it!

If you check the "Skills Being Measured" on the detail page of the exam and compare with the chapters of the book will check that there is an almost perfect synchronization:

  • Skills Being Measured in the exam:
    • Configuring a Messaging Architecture (20 percent)
    • Developing BizTalk Artifacts (20 percent)
    • Debugging and Exception Handling (17 percent)
    • Integrating Web Services and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Services (14 percent)
    • Implementing Extended Capabilities (13 percent)
    • Deploying, Tracking, and Supporting a BizTalk Solution (16 percent)
  • The chapters emphasized in the book are:
    • Chapter 1: Configuring a Messaging Architecture
    • Chapter 2: Developing BizTalk Artifacts—Creating Schemas and Pipelines
    • Chapter 3: Developing BizTalk Artifacts—Creating Maps
    • Chapter 4: Developing BizTalk Artifacts—Creating Orchestrations
    • Chapter 5: Debugging and Exception Handling
    • Chapter 6: Deploying, Tracking, and Administrating a BizTalk Server 2010 Solution
    • Chapter 7: Integrating Web Services and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Services
    • Chapter 8: Implementing Extended Capabilities
    • Chapter 9: Certification Test-taking—Tips and Tricks
    • Chapter 10: Sample Certification Test Questions

At the end of all chapters, the authors present us with some questions to test our knowledge in a total, if I remember correctly, of 61 questions (and their answers) and I actually believe that this is also a good book for less experienced users to learn some of the platform bases.

However it doesn’t mean that reading this book will automatically guarantee that you pass the exam! The authors of this book, as I, recommend different ways to study for this exam, like: reading, see webcasts, do labs, and so on.

Therefore summarizing: The 8 first chapters will cover pretty much all technical skill which are measures in the exam; and the last two chapters give us a bunch of BizTalk training resources references like virtual labs, tutorials, training kits, virtual machine… and a sample certification test. So this book have (almost) everything you need to know in order to pass the exam and if we join the several resources mentioned in chapter 9 (and many more that are available online) I am sure that you will pass this exam.

This book was written by Johan Hedberg, Morten la Cour and Kent Weare, accompanied by an excellent team of technical reviewers: Steef-Jan Wiggers, Mikael Hakansson, Jan Eliasen and Genuine Basil.

The book is available through Amazon and PACKT is self, so go to either of one and order it!

And best of luck for those who are preparing to take this certification.

Thanks to all participants, there were many participants, in a total of 20 different countries, which may demonstrate the good acceptance of this new book by the BizTalk community. But only two could be the winners, so congratulations to:

  • Lisa Edwards from USA, winner of the book (printed copy)
  • And Jonathan Maes from Belgium, winner of the eBook

(MCTS): Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 (70-595) Certification Guide is available through Amazon and PACKT is self, so go to either of one and order it!

There are many great reviews about this book made by well-respected members of BizTalk Community like Nino Crudele, Kent Weare, Lex Hegt, Tord Glad Nordahl, Saravana Kumar, Mikael Sand, Naushad Alam, Rohit Sharma, Howard S. Edidin and many more.

If you have been reading my blog you already know that I had the honor to be part of this project as one of the official technical reviewers of the book along with Abdul Rafay, Randal van Splunteren and Rene Brauwers.

So everything I can say may be suspect… but I will be impartial in my personal review of the book, share some moments of this first experience as a technical reviewer and reference key aspect of other reviews.

For whom is this book?

First of all this book is not intended to explain the basics of this technology: What is and how to create schemas, maps or how to use and create orchestrations and so on. I honestly believe that this book is not intended for people who are taking the first steps in this technology (for that purpose there are many other books on the market)… but also the reader will not necessarily have to be an expert, just have the very basic knowledge.

The book focuses on different topics including:

  • Chapter 1: Setting up BizTalk Server Environment
  • Chapter 2: BizTalk Server Automation: Patterns
  • Chapter 3: BizTalk Server Instrumentation, Error Handling and Deployment
  • Chapter 4: Securing your Message Exchange
  • Chapter 5: WCF Messaging with BizTalk
  • Chapter 6: BizTalk AppFabric Connect
  • Chapter 7: Monitoring and Maintenance
  • Chapter 8: Applying Rules
  • Chapter 9: Testing BizTalk Artifacts

in 50+ very practical and easy to follow recipes based upon a lot of real-world experience which ensures this book a very broad audience like Lex Hegt mentions in his review:

Although this book is primarily written for BizTalk developers and administrators, also system engineers, infrastructure architects, solution architects and database administrators will find subjects of their interest in this book.

Who is Steef-Jan Wiggers?

Well I believe that it was unnecessary to present it but… Steef-Jan Wiggers is one of the most respected members of BizTalk Server community for his countless contributions and awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 2010.

Personally I have to say that Steef-Jan has done a well written and wonderful book! Steef-Jan has a lot of BizTalk experience which greatly facilitated the technical reviewer’s life

What the community says about this book?

Saravana Kumar says: “You are never going to sit and read all the recipes in one night, you are going to keep the book as reference and follow the recipe you fancy.”

Kent Weare says: “So based upon these areas of discussion it is impossible to go into a tremendous amount of depth on each topic.  However, Steef-Jan will provide a practical example and then leave the reader with links to valuable resources where you can dive deeper if you wish.

Tord Nordahl says: “One of the things I find amazing with this book is that the target audience is not only developers, but architects, administrators and people not working that much with BizTalk but want to have a good reference”

Nino Crudele says: “This book distinguishes itself from the others for one thing, this book is not a simple manual, this book doesn’t responds at the question “how to do” but at the question “the best way to do”.

What I say about this book (or my conclusion)?

As a technical reviewer I had the opportunity to read the "draft", but once I ended up… I was curious to see and read the final result.

Unlike my crazy Italian BizTalk MVP fellow Nino Crudele, reading while driving and at the same time taking photos, I had the opportunity to read the book quietly in the comfort of my couch and the result, as I suspected, was a good time spent reading a great and very practical and well organized book (Subject/problem; Getting ready; How to do it; How it works; There’s more; See also) with plenty of real-world problems and solutions.

This is a very useful and highly recommended book that must be shared by your entire BizTalk team.

Congratulations Steef for this excellent book!

Where you can order the book?

You can order the book and find the complete table of contents on Packt Website or in Amazon.