It is hard to not point out the fact that this is a cookbook, and there already is a book about BizTalk recipes. It is also hard not to point out the fact that I love cooking but hate using cookbooks…
This is a cookbook I really, really like though.
I imagine that you, like me, have a collection of really good BizTalk blog post links in you browser of choice. When you use BizTalk, and when you read up on what others have written, then you bookmark certain posts for safe-keeping. You just know that “this is a good thing to remember for another day”.
This book is like the best collection of links you could possibly have! A really good blog in book-form, or a blog-oriented book. First of all: buy this book. It is a given in any BizTalk developer team. The €25 spent on the book will be paid for over and over again as you save time during development and testing.
BizTalk Server 2010 Cookbook uses a very practical approach to problem solving. This is the only downside to the book. Sometimes it it too focused on how to solve something and not enough is spent on understanding it. Then again the author points you to further reading at the end of each recipe. So if you want to know more about something, you can find it easily. Personally I would like it to have been part of the book but I guess that is not up to me to decide.
The practical approach splits each recipe into different parts. First an introduction to present the challenges or the problem. Then follows a “How to” section, a “how it works” and the aforementioned “There is more”.
Do not be fooled by the subtitle of the book “Quick answers to common problems” as the word “problem” might be associated with “bug” or “issue” and this is not the case. It is rather a case of “How to quickly, understand and perform common tasks” but that is a really bad strapline I agree.
The publisher has a complete listing of the books content and I encourage you read it but I would like to point out some of my personal favorites: BizTalk Server Automation: Patterns, Monitoring using Log4Net and Securing Message Exchange. The last one is in my opinion the best text on the subject I have seen. After reading it I feel that the usage of certificates in BizTalk is no longer hard, and I can understand it. Something I must admit to being part of my ignorance up until now.
So once again: Buy this book. It is smart, practical, well written and really useful.