Excellent post by my colleague Charles entitled: BizTalk Server 2006: Auto-Construction of Orchestration Variables Considered Harmful. It talks about a problem he had with the way BizTalk auto-constructs variables that you use in your orchestration and how this caught him unawares. The main problem revolved around the fact that he was looking for a solution in the wrong place, based on the last action he had just performed. BizTalk was doing things behind the scenes which were probably designed to make things easier for developers, but turned out to be a pain.
One interesting aspect about his post is that it highlights one of the fundamental difficulties in using a framework built by someone else. Frameworks are great because they can accelerate development, reduce testing time and provide a wealth of functionality that doesn’t need to be built from scratch. However there’s also an assumption that you will be using things in the way they have been designed, and sometimes, if it were up to you, you would have built something in a different way. I could talk about frameworks pros and cons for sometime, but this is probably best done in a different post.
In the meantime, if you work with BizTalk 2006, check out Charles’ post, there’s lots to learn.