Last week I attended a Microsoft Biztalk training in Utrecht at InfoSupport, which hosted the training for QuickLearn (an American company). An overweight American flew over to teach us, in a week, the more advanced features of using Biztalk in a commercial environment. Normally the training hours were from 8 am to 6 or 7 pm, but these hours don’t fly in Holland. We crammed as much as possible in hours from 8.30 am to about 5 pm.

The subjects we covered were the basic architecture of a Biztalk application, its hosting, its configuration, and of course the use of Receive and Send ports and locations, the use of custom pipelines and their programmable structure, the way the Messagebox works, the way subscriptions work with both message-type and promoted properties, the use of orchestrations, the use of the tracking database, deployment of a Biztalk application, maps, functoids, schema’s, the Business Rules Engine, integration with SharePoint and SqlServer, security, and a lot of other stuff too.

On Monday, after a few questions from us, John asked us to take the online survey at their website to determine our level of expertise with Biztalk, and as it turned out only one or two of us were of the expected level to follow this training. Most of us should have been sent to the Immersion class instead rather than to the Deep Dive training. The training continued, though, and most of us just learned a lot more than we expected to learn.

As the project I’m on right now uses Biztalk I think I can bring some improvement to it by applying what I learned. The object of me going to this training was to spread our Biztalk knowledge throughout the team, rather than having one person be an expert and the rest be dependent on him.

At the end of the week I had a wonderful Friday night out, and took yesterday to relax a bit. I think I’ll go out with my camera today, looking for abandoned buildings. I just really like pictures like this:

Ellis Island Empty Room

(taken by Vidiot at Ellis Island, NYC)