Jul 182007

What are your reasons for reading my blog?

  1. You like to read about my mistakes? (I hope not)
  2. You think I am funny? (probably not)
  3. You like the color scheme of my blog? (doubtful)
  4. You have nothing else to do at work but look like you are trying to be productive? (possibly)
  5. You like to look at a lot of pictures and hate so much reading? (maybe)
  6. You actually think that some of my content has relevance to the issues you are facing? (quite possibly)
  7. You have not where else to go to get some of your BizTalk issues answered? (probably)
  8. You have an RSS feed to my site and like Pavlov’s dog, you can’t help but look at the entry that I made? (Most likely)

Wouldn’t it be great if there was one place that you could go to find all of your answers about BizTalk? If there was such a place, what would that place have on it?

Let me give you a list of the things that I have thought of (with some help, which I will talk about later).

  • Little videos off to the side of each feature of BizTalk, when I press the F1 key there is a link to a description and a video of how to use that feature. Of course that video would need to have subtitles because my Alienware does not have enough speakers (actually I don’t want to bug my co workers).
  • Links to brown bag events that have to do with BizTalk.
  • Everything would have two use cases so not only do I have an understanding of what it is I am looking for, but also how it applies in the real world.
  • More pictures (you know a picture is worth a thousand words).
  • Have the ability for me to choose the topics I am interested in, and upon arriving on the msdn home page, have a list of the pages that have changed, so I can keep abreast of the things I am interested in and what on those pages have changed.
  • More use cases, more real world examples as a note on each of the pages, ex: how can this setting make my life easier?
  • image
  • Where is the RSS feed for this page? (Shouldn’t there be one?)

I being up at the SOA conference I had a wonderful raw meat meal with some great members of the documentation team! (If you didn’t know they are great, ask some people who started learning BTS in the prerelease of 2004 and compare the help to what it is now, Webster’s dictionary of great: BizTalk documentation team!) They asked me what I would wish for in the documentation, how it could be better. These are some of the things that I wish were in there. I am a visual guy, I can’t really learn much by reading, I learn more by watching and breaking and then hopefully fixing.


What would you like to see in the documentation, what type of stuff would lead you to the msdn site first instead of google?

  • Cristina

    Hey, I subbed to your RSS feed *because* I think that some of the content has relevance to issues I’m facing, so I object to the Pavlovian dog comparison. 😉

    – More use cases and real-world examples, definitely. I’m not expecting the MSDN site to do my project for me, but being thrown into the ocean with a huge book of theory on swimming is not my favourite way of learning either.

    – Nothing could make me go to the MSDN site first though, because I don’t like the way it’s structured, it’s just not intuitive for me. A lot of my BizTalk-related Google searches recently have led to msdn pages, which means the relevant information is there, but hard to get to.

    – I think most of us are visual learners, so more pictures would be welcome, but:

    – The “most wanted” title goes to the “how can this setting make my life easier” type of examples. A lot of the “Configuring X” docs just have the available list of fields listed, with minimal explanations of what those fields mean. Sometimes there’s a list of possible values that those settings can take, sometimes there isn’t, and most often there aren’t any clues on the actual implications of setting FooBar to True instead of False.

  • That is great feedback, as I have talked to them about some of your feedback already, more pictures! I can’t agree with you more about your last point, maybe except I want two examples of why I would use each setting for configuration X so I completely understand what is going on.

    Sorry about the pavlov’s dog analogy, it is just how I react to my RSS feeds on the people who’s blog I monitor.

  • Hi Eric;

    This would be wicked! I for one find assistance to ALL my BizTalk related issues either on blogs or via community groups; which are very scarse in my parts of the world … but not for much longer 😉

  • Thanks Ryan!
    These are just the things that I thought would be beneficial to me, but obviosly I am not the only one that sometimes feels left out in the cold. If you come up with any other suggestions, please feel free to comment on them here, as wild and crazy as they might seem, let us know and I will send those suggestions on.