BizTalk community is very much alive. Around the world sessions are given to the community by BizTalk Server MVP’s and members of the BizTalk community. The BizTalk events site will give you a good overview of events taking place around the globe. Besides the events there is a lot more activity going round in the community. Forums, TechNet Wiki, blogs and the publication of books.
One of the members that is active in the community is Randy. I sent him an email a few weeks ago with a couple of questions and he responded. So here is another story of a BizTalk community member I like to bring to the foreground: Randy Aldrich Paulo.
Randy Aldrich I. Paulo is 28 years old and from the Philippines. Last couple of years he is living in the Netherlands (Leiden) with his wife and two wonderful children ages 3 (son) and 8 (daughter).
Randy currently works as a BizTalk Consultant for a company in Sassenheim and aside from BizTalk development,he also works on ETL solutions using (SSIS) and multi-tiered .NET development (WCF/ASP.Net). His diversified experience and knowledge gives him an edge when it comes to deciding the right combination of technology to solve a specific problem.
Randy is a MCPD (web) and has a MCTS in BizTalk 2006/2010 and WCF 4.0. He maintains a blog, which contains posts focused on the previously mentioned technologies. From time to time he updates them based on his experiences to help developers and server administrators alike.
Randy started his career working as open source Web Developer using PHP and mySql. Later on he made a switch to ASP Classic and COM+. In retrospective:
“I think this is one of the good decision that I have ever taken. And also during that time I was introduced to BizTalk 2000. At first I thought what a horrible application that from time to time I couldn’t explain why it works when it shouldn’t work and why it works when it shouldn’t, and since I was only allowed to use Microsoft products at that time (volume licensing) that’s why I was stuck with it. I still remember building my own AIC and register it as a COM+ and the schemas and maps are just lying somewhere in the network.When Microsoft release BizTalk Server 2004 that’s where things get slightly organized and from there onwards I love building integration solutions with it. Most of the time I do BizTalk development & administration and I am aiming to be BizTalk architect in the near future.”
Since Randy has worked with earlier versions of BizTalk he was able to see how BizTalk evolved and matured as a product. He is happy with how the product is now, yet he is partly sad because in the future they’re planning to rename the product (BizTalk). Some of the buzz around it worries him.
Randy feels BizTalk is a strong brand and I agree with that. A brand that overtime has gained the trust of many companies and organizations. It is a reliable middleware application server. Randy is hoping that Microsoft would at least retain the BizTalk name.
“It is like a brand that comes to mind whenever you speak of integration in a Microsoft context.”
Rest assure that with the latest developments and announcements during Tech-Ed North America, BizTalk will be amongst us for quite some time.
In his spare time Randy likes to watch movies, TV-series and playing competitive online games like StarCraft II. He also from time to time browses the MSDN forums providing answers if he can (Randy’s MSDN Profile). In the Philippines, as it might sounds weird (since they’re not as tall as the Dutch) the number #1 sport is basketball. So when Randy was growing up he became a huge fan of Michael Jordan and played lots of basketball. He also likes watching soccer games especially when the Dutch team is playing.
Last but not least a final quote from Randy:
“Aside from mastering BizTalk, one should’ve at least a theoretical knowledge of different Microsoft Technologies as there’s no one solution for a real complex problems/scenarios. And you can’t just use BizTalk for everything.”
I would like to thank Randy for his time and contributions to the community.