BizTalk Summit 2012, Redmond–Experience

|  Posted: December 12, 2012  |  Categories: Community Events

If you are a BizTalk person, one way or the other you must have come across BizTalk Summit 2012, held at Microsoft campus at Redmond on Dec 10th/11th.

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It was an invitation only event with few customers, partners, MVP, v-TSP etc. The main objective of the event is to show the roadmap, future direction of BizTalk and to highlight what’s coming in the upcoming BizTalk Server 2013 version and improvement that’s happening on the integration side in Windows Azure.

The first day of the event was kick started by Scott Guthrie, Vice President, Microsoft developer division.  One of the key take away from Scott’s key note is “Microsoft is heavily investing on BizTalk Server”. Couple of partners demonstrated the power of Hybrid solutions connecting on-premise stuff with the cloud during the keynote.

I personally haven’t seen this level of buzz in the BizTalk server area for the past few years. The general impression around the summit is very clear, Microsoft is trying to wipe out the bad press BizTalk server received in the recent years like “BizTalk Server is dead”, “future of BizTalk is gloomy”, “Does BizTalk server has a future”, etc.

Having the presence of all senior members and core program managers from product development team insisted the importance of this event

  • Sriram Balasubramaniam, General Manager, Director – BizTalk Server
  • Kent Brown, Technical product manager
  • Guru Venkatraman, Senior Program manager
  • Karthic Bharathy, Senior Program Manager
  • Rajesh Ramamirtham, Program Manager
  • Nithin Mehrotra, Mandi Ohlinger – Technical writers – BizTalk Server

In addition there were a large group of people from the Microsoft India Development Centre working on the BizTalk server core product team.

BizTalk Server 12th Birthday

One of the interesting news and coincident during the summit was 12/12/2012 is the 12th Birthday for BizTalk Server. The first version of the product “Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000” was released back in 12/12/2000. To celebrate the occasion Microsoft gave away Johnnie Walker Black Label Whisky that’s 12 years old to the few lucky attendees.

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BizTalk Server has travelled a long way in this 12 years, some of you who were in the field long enough would still remember the first version of the Orchestration designer. I’m sure this image will take you back in the memory lane.

BizTalk360 in the event

We are very pleased to have our presence in the event. There are few interesting things that happened

This is the first time we sponsored such a big event, and we had our commercial stand during the event. We gave some interesting giveaways like T-Shirts and raffled an iPad mini.

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More than anything, Microsoft provided us an opportunity to present BizTalk360 (a full one hour session) during the event. The response was extremely good and we received very positive feedback and follow-up leads with few big organisations.

The real highlight for us was when Stephen Kaufman and Michael Muta while presenting their session about “Microsoft Consulting Services: Notes from the field” explaining all the best practices they have learned from various consulting engagements. At the point they were discussing about monitoring they pointed towards our booth and mentioned “most of the time BizTalk server gets the blame for bad practice,  so monitor your solutions using something like SCOM or BizTalk360

This is just a great testament to the quality and reach of BizTalk360 in the field. One surprise thing for me during the booth time is, I really didn’t need to explain to anyone about “What is BizTalk360“, everyone came to me knowing about the product, just with few questions.

All about meeting friends

Another important aspect for me coming to other side of the world is to catch up with friends who travel from all around the world for the event. BizTalk Server is a very niche area and most of the MVP are long term MVP’s 4-6 years. Over these years we all became close friends and know each other very well. In addition to all the technical stuff we receive during the summit, it’s also important to hang out with these guys and learn about their experience.

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Overall the experience was pretty good and I’m just posting this blog and heading to the airport for my flight back home.

Author: Saravana Kumar

Saravana Kumar is the Founder and CTO of BizTalk360, an enterprise software that acts as an all-in-one solution for better administration, operation, support and monitoring of Microsoft BizTalk Server environments.

  • Conor

    Nice post, I strongly believe MSFT themselves fuelled the fire on the bad press with the lack of direction and the infamous speech at the partner conference. IMO they now need to come out from behind closed doors (post NDA
    summits) and reassure their customer base and potential customers that BizTalk is alive and kicking.

  • Great post Saravana. As always, appreciate your continued contribution to BizTalk eco system. The Product group is committed to continue this momentum going forward into the Euro Summit in January.

  • Vikas Bhardwaj

    Great to see such a push to BizTalk Server, It was much awaited to rest all the rumors. I have a questions though why many organizations go for products like TIBCO, Oracle SOA when it comes to SOA implementation? Is there a future plan for BizTalk Server to market it like a complete SOA product and build all missing SOA features like SOA Governance and all?

    • Hi Vikas, One of the biggest assets for Microsoft is their partner eco system. Worldwide there are over 600k partners helping Microsoft customers. This is not the case for other vendors. Normally Microsoft strategy is to build a solid platform and allow partners to build value added solutions to the end customers. Microsoft is very clear on this and during the summit they supported 4 partners who bring value to the BizTalk ecosystem. Two of the partners had great products around health care ( CCI Tec, Dapasoft), one from SOA governance (Nevatech) and for operations, monitoring and management (BizTalk360). I believe this is a better approach, than trying to do everything themselves without understanding the real world needs.

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