Migrating BizTalk 2002 to 2006

Recently I was involved in migrating a BizTalk 2002 solution to 2006 for a large Candian customs and brokerage firm. With continued growth in the past few years and equally high growth forecast for future, the transaction load on the company's BizTalk Server 2002 environment had grown over many years
to a point where some transactions were taking close to 2 minutes to process. With future anticipated growth, it had become absolutely necessary that the environment be upgraded immediately, but the immediate need was to remove congestion and remove the single point of failure - which is the biggest Achilees heel of Biztalk 2002 - the lack of failover and clustering for redundancy.

BizTalk 2002, for those not familiar with it, is really a small subset of the functionality of what BizTalk 2006 today has grown to become. BizTalk Server 2006 is a significantly different product than BizTalk Server 2002. It not only provides a rich set of new features, but it provides new ways to do things. For example, imagine you have a business rule that must be invoked from numerous business processes. With BizTalk 2002, you can solve this challenge in one of two ways. You either implemented a decision shape in each orchestration or implemented the business rule in a custom object that is called from each orchestration. In BizTalk 2006, you may now choose to implement the business rule to execute within the Business Rules Engine that is called from each orchestration. The question then becomes, when I migrate this area of my BizTalk 2002 solution to BizTalk 2006, do I take advantage of the new Business Rules Engine?

The migration effort is riddled with issues like this. To help with the migration, I have attached a presentation comparing BizTalk 2002 and 2006 artifacts:

Comparision of BizTalk 2002 and 2006 artifacts

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