BizTalk Server 2000 comes with a complete tutorial that will help guide you through understanding and working with BizTalk Server. If you are already working with the product, this tutorial can still be beneficial, as it can aid in either refreshing certain "forgotten" skills, or possibly expose you to things you might not have known. In any case, you will find it beneficial to follow the next section on installing, configuring, and using this supplemental tutorial.
You will find the BizTalk tutorial on the BizTalk Server CD-ROM, or you can download it from the Internet.You can find this tutorial in multiple places on the Microsoft Web site (either on MSDN or in the Downloads sections of the site), or you can use the links we provide within this section.
The tutorial, referred to as Learning BizTalk Server, is one continuing lesson broken into seven different documents. However, before we discuss what's actually in the tutorial and how helpful it can be, let's install it on your machine.
Briefly, the tutorial is based on a fictional company,"Northwind Traders," a computer hardware retailer ordering computer parts from Contoso, Ltd. The underlying functions are an existing purchasing application at Northwind Traders that generates a purchase requisition and outputs this file to the hard drive in Extensible Markup Language (XML) format. BizTalk Server 2000 will pick up this file and then submit it to the Northwind Traders' order approval process. In this simplified example, the requisition will be approved if it does not exceed $1,000; otherwise, it will be declined. If it is declined, we would normally modify the document indicating the reason, and output the file to the local hard disk. In the starting configuration, the tutorial displays a dialog box to the interactive user indicating that it has been declined. If successful, this sample application then creates an output XML-based purchase order document that is sent (using the HyperText Transfer Protocol commonly referred to as HTTP) to Contoso, Ltd. Once Contoso, Ltd. receives the purchase order document; it passes it to Contoso's business process, which generates an invoice to be delivered to Northwind Traders via HTTP. Finally, Northwind Traders receives the invoice and writes it to the local hard drive. In this tutorial, we will be using one BizTalk server to simulate both trading partners. If you want to modify the sample to use two BizTalk servers, it is relatively straightforward to do so.
This tutorial is well written and helpful. However, should you experience trouble with it, do not despair. As this tutorial is the first contact with BizTalk for many users, it is an extremely popular topic in the newsgroups. As a result, trouble you experience might very well be exactly what many others have experienced, and checking the newsgroup postings could make short work of the solution. This tutorial is designed to help you learn BizTalk Server 2000 and some of its functionality, while testing the components within to make sure they are functioning properly.
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