We covered a lot of topics and technologies in this whirlwind chapter, but this chapter might be one of the most important in terms of concepts. We started with a discussion about the history of distributed computing and compared the different paradigms as they relate to messaging. We looked at how XML has emerged as a key enabling technology for implementing platform-independent and flexible messaging systems.

Next we became familiar with two of the most important XML-based messaging systems, namely SOAP and Web Services. With Web Services we explored in detail their implementation and deployment using tools provided through .NET and other means.

Finally we covered the BizTalk Framework Initiative and exposed you to the functionality present in the BizTalk Server, which we will cover in more detail in Chapter 14.