Microsoft Patterns and Practices ESB Guidance 1.0 shown, and will be available in a few days

The second huge news from the SOA Conference is that the ESB Guidance 1.0, from the Microsoft  Patterns and Practices group, is done.  A lot has been done since the first early versions. The size of the team has grown substantially, as has the scope of the project. The end result will be available on MSDN within a week or so. Marty Wasznicky did a couple of sessions on it at the SOA conference last week in Redmond, both of them were in a huge room, and both were at full capacity with people getting turned away at the doors.

In a nutshell, the ESB Guidance is a set of prebuilt components, guidance, and best practices that allow BizTalk developers to quickly produce ESB-based solutions. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve seen the evolution of this over the past couple of years. The core concepts from the very early versions remain, but significant new functionality has been added (now up to about 60 projects, with tons-o-samples). The end result is a polished set of tools that are a huge benefit to BizTalk developers looking to deploy ESB-based solutions.

There’s far too much richness there to capture in a blog posting, but I’ll highlight a couple of the biggest new features.


Governance means different things to different people. The ESB Guidance now has hooks in it to both AmberPoint and SOA Software. The capabilities provided depend on which of those products you’re working with, but you can get goodness such as policy-driven security for services, policy-driven SLAs, end-to-end monitoring, and much more. This is a HUGE benefit.

Management Portal

There’s a new management portal that provides a highly functional out-of-the-box experience to both view system metrics and interact with the exception management and other subsystems.

WCF Integration

It’s all WCF now. The ESB Guidance is based on BizTalk Server 2006 R2. Services, on-ramps, etc  are now exposed as WCF services.

Smart Caching

As an optimization, endpoint information is now cached using a “smart caching” scheme that precludes the need to do resolution for every call.

[updated] It's now live at MSDN:



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