Thursday, March 20, 2008

Windows DNA and Biztalk 2000

Being the certification freak, I subscribe to anything Microsoft related. A few weeks back, I have received an email notifying me that the Exam for BizTalk 2000 is going to be retired.!

Of all of the certification tests that I have taken, this is the one that has the most meaning to me.

It's been almost 10yrs since I first hear about this product. Why BizTalk? This is my story. Right at the beginning of the dot COM era, I was an independent consultant doing COM and MTS. I actually knew how to get Windows NT4 to work with DCOM. Those were the years that I have abandoned C++ and their MFC for VB4 and VB5.

I remembered being part of the beta tester for VB5 and VB6 and signing NDA's. I was just starting to play with SQL Server 6.5 when I got this offer from a consulting company up north. They were based on Michigan and they were looking for Developers to work on this new joint application with Ford Motors []. They mentioned that I would be working alongside Microsoft Consultants developing this new application that was going to revolutionize the automobile industry. I passed all 2 tech phone interviews and drove up there to meet them. Everything went fine, and I did get the Michigan Battle song played while talking to one of the PM's.! Funny, I don't really care about Football.

When the offer came, there were so many factors that I had to take into account. It was just about the same that I was making at that time in Columbus, so the money factor was not there. The challenge factor was there. It was the beginning of Internet boom, and as I can remember signing bonuses and stock options were very popular. Moving up north did not seem like a good career move, so with great dispair, I passed on this one offer.

2 years later, I am playing with this technology preview called BizTalk. Oh yeah, that was it. I am still doing the *what-if's* all of the time.

The buzzword of the day back then was Windows DNA [Windows Distributed InterNet Applications Architecture], then Microsoft stated their new strategy with the eCommerce .NET servers: Commerce Server 2000, Exchange 2000, SQL Server 2000, Application Center 2000, ISA 2000, BizTalk 2000 and some other that I can't remember. And BizTalk was one of the main core that will glue them all together.

I embraced this technology fully. It was the time that there were lots of mergers and acquisitions. Integration was starting to become a real enterprise problem. I had my share of integration projects with Unix and Windows.

The certification for this BizTalk 2000 did not come out until about 2001. I had to admit, I had to take this test 2 times to pass it. There were no materials to study for. At the time there were only 2 books that I could study from:

MCSE Training Kit: Microsoft BizTalk(tm) Server 2000 (Exam 70-230) (Hardcover) Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000 Administrator's Guide (Hardcover)

So finally I conquered this test.


Now, after obtaining every single BizTalk Certification (including the ones that dont exist... ;), I can only say that I will miss this test the most for the significance it had in my life..

It is amazing to sit here and think that this product has evolved so much in the past 10yrs. I can't hardly wait when Oslo comes out.

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