Sunday, January 18, 2009

BizTalk 2009 Beta Documentation - now available

The BizTalk 2009 Beta Documentation is available here. (Thanks Mick Breeze / Rahul Garg ).

While 'flipping' through the documentation I discovered an interesting section: Deprecated Features, Tools, and APIs. Within this section, the following features have been marked as deprecated:
  • BizTalk Explorer
  • SOAP Adapter
  • SQL Adapter
For those of you who may be new to BizTalk, BizTalk Explorer is a view that is available inside Visual Studio that allows you to connect to your BizTalk Management database. Personally, I have not used this view since BizTalk 2004, but there may be some out there that started using it in 2004 and never let it go.

SOAP and SQL Server connectivity will still be supported in the future by BizTalk, but by using a different adapter. Basic Profile Web Services are a supported scenario in the base WCF adapter so any integration with basic Web Services should be done using the WCF-BasicHttp adapter instead of the SOAP adapter.

The BizTalk Server Adapter pack 2.0 includes a sqlBinding that allows you to communicate with SQL Servers using the WCF adapter. Currently, the supported versions of SQL that you can communicate with include SQL 2000, 2005 and 2008.

The guidance around deprecated features is that you should not use them when developing new applications. This also gives you a transition period to move off of these features before the next release of BizTalk (post 2009).

A bi-product of these features being deprecated are the tools that compliment these features. The tools being deprecated include:
  • BizTalk Web Services Publishing Wizard
  • Add Web Reference

Both of these tools have their equivalent WCF versions so you will use these exclusively in the future.

Within the BizTalk 2009 release, we have seen a few features removed including MSMQT and HAT that had been previously deprecated. So we know that Microsoft means business when they provide these early warnings. So my advice to you would be to start using the WCF adapters where possible so that you are not re-factoring your apps at the last minute in the future.

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