Having done 2006 Installs/Configurations for all (public) versions of BizTalk Server 2006 from CTP to Beta2, I was surprised that the process was not much different for the RTM release.
There was so much hype as to how much the process had improved from 2004 to 2006, and to some extent I have to agree that the configuration after the install is now much easier than 2004 however …
The install part especially the check for prerequisites is still not there yet. Yes, there are so many prereqs that are still missing!
What would be nice for the Biztalk Server 2008 install is that ALL POSSIBLE recommended prereqs are available from a single location, ie prepackaged within a single CAB, and not spread here and there on subwebs on msdn etc…
For example for a vanilla machine install from bare metal, excluding the core essentials such as OS, Visual Studio, Sql Server which are understandably available from separate installs, all the supplementary filesets should be prepackaged in a cab file as part of the iso image.
One classic example is ADOMD.Net 8.0 + Patch + yes you guessed it not ADOMD.Net 9.0 but SqlServer2005_ADOMD.msi!
Please could they get the monikers correct in the prereqs check list!
Wish List, automate an install via script that takes params(such as credentials for automatic reboots etc) via XML config or whatever, initiate the msi to install all prereqs if necessary prepackaged from a cab file, and come back after a long lunch break, to see the post install configuration completed as well while you were away. Now that’s something..
Besides Install/Config and moving onto Integration itself, here’s a Biztalk Server 2008 Wish List done a while back last year 🙂
Oh by the way I was tempted to get/publish the Biztalk 2008 photos from flickr but instead I will just post the link.
I love artifact explorer/solution designer, as it allows an architect to model the end to end solution of a biztalk integration from a source system using biztalk receive artefacts that publish to the message box and likewise those processing artefacts that subscribe to the message box and eventually the send artifacts to the destination systems. For a deeper look at the end to end design of a future biztalk system have a look here and take time out to listen to Channel 9 Eddie Churchill’s Solution Designer Video, also take a preview into Eddie Churchill’s Mapper Video for Biztalk Server 2008