Begineer to BizTalk Expert : Interview with Glenn Colpaert

Welcome to Nineteenth interview of the series, today's expert is Glenn Colpaert.

Glenn Colpaert is an Integration Consultant and Microsoft Integration MVP at Codit.

He has been integrating businesses with BizTalk & Microsoft technologies for more than 5 years. During these years he was involved in many EAI and B2B projects - both on-premise and hybrid (cloud). 
He has gained a lot of hand-on experience during his projects and likes to share it with colleagues and the community.

Glenn is also part of the Microsoft Azure Insider program as well as the BizTalk Advisors group.
He became a board member of (, the Belgian BizTalk User Group and is an active blogger on the Codit Blog(

Glenn tweets via

Let's begin the Interview....

Mahesh: Who are you and what you do?
Glenn: My name is Glenn Colpaert and I’m based in Belgium where I live in a small town with my wife and son. I work as an Integration Consultant for Codit and next to my day to day job I’m also a Microsoft Azure MVP and organizing community events with the Belgian BizTalk User Group.

Mahesh: When did you start working on BizTalk?
Glenn: I started working with BizTalk in 2009 when I joined Codit. Basically I started working with BizTalk 2006 and beyond. 

Mahesh: How did you mastered BizTalk (Learning path, amount of time)?
Glenn: I received a two weeks training when I started my job and after that I really started learning BizTalk by using the product day to day at customers.
Mastering BizTalk is all about working with the product and discovering all the possibilities. Remember, there are tons of great resources out there to learn all about BizTalk and Integration in general.

Mahesh: Which are the major projects you handled so far?
Glenn: Over the last couple of yeast I have worked on quite a few BizTalk and Integration project. I also had the change to integrate with different types of applications and other technologies which allowed me to broaden up my knowledge about different systems.
If I have to choose one project out of the many I’d choose a project we did to connect 32 member states across Europe to exchange electronic information using the new AS4 messaging protocol.

Mahesh: How do you see BizTalk compare to other integration platform?
Glenn:Personally I do not have many experience with other integration platforms such as Oracle, Tibco or Websphere. But I believe that BizTalk is a very competitive and mature product and can perfectly compete with products from other vendors. 

Mahesh: What as per you is must to know to become an Integration (BizTalk) Expert?
Glenn: Hard question, what is an Expert? I believe becoming an expert is all about the hand-on experience, like I already stated: learn by doing!
There is however a shortcut, if you can master BAM you are automatically awarded expert level! :)

Mahesh: What are your thoughts on forums,blogs and articles etc.?
Glenn: Forums, blogs, articles, sessions, integration Monday,… These are all super important resources to be able to share knowledge across integration developers and people that are interested into integration. It is something that everyone can benefit from and it’s great to see that he BizTalk/Integration community has such a great set of contributors on all levels! And I want to thank each and every one for that!

Mahesh: Your suggestion to a newcomers? What should be approach to get sound knowledge in BizTalk?
Glenn: As I already mentioned couple of times during this interview there are a great set of resources out there to learn BizTalk. But in my opinion, and that’s also how I learned it, the best way to learn and to ‘master’ BizTalk is by doing it. Challenge yourself to build crazy integration scenarios and you’ll learn all the good stuff and pitfalls along the way.

Mahesh: What are your thoughts around BizTalk certification?
Glenn: Let me rephrase that question! ‘What are your thoughts around Certifications’?
Certifications are a necessary pain, it shows that you have knowledge of the product to a certain level, but it does not make you an expert on it. Therefor you need experience and work with the product or technology. 

Mahesh: What is the future of BizTalk?
Glenn: As Microsoft already stated ‘Integration is about to level-up’. Integration is really important in modern enterprises because they have lots of applications and endpoints that need to communicate with each other. I believe exciting times are coming for Integration people.

Mahesh: Any thoughts on cloud?
Glenn: Simple: Azure is awesome! :)

Mahesh: What motivates you to do the community work?
Glenn: I like learning about new technologies and play with them to build small demos or POC’s.  Because it’s a shame to let them sit there with no purpose I often share this with the community by writing a blogpost or giving a talk on that subject. I think it’s a combination of staying on the edge of technology and share those experiences with other people and try to create some sort of interaction.

Mahesh: Being MVP, do you feel that responsibilities get added? What is your thought on MVP?
Glenn: I see it more as opportunities rather than responsibilities. I’m really excited about the MVP Program because it allows me to interact on a regular basic with different Product Groups. It also provides me with the chances to test a product or service before it reaches the general audience.
Next to that, due to the MVP program I got to know lots of new people and experienced some unforgettable moments with them.

Mahesh: As per the Roadmap provided by Microsoft,LogicApps can be run on-premise in addition to Azure.Do you think Azure Stack Logic Apps on prem will supersede BizTalk Server?
Glenn: In its current state Logic Apps will not replace BizTalk, it is a product that is currently being worked on and is growing fast. I feel there is a big drive behind Logic Apps both from the community as the Product Group! They really take into account feedback and go back to the drawing board with it.
I’m not a visionary, but we all know BizTalk is a robust product and will be hard to replace.  But I believe with the proper investments and the combination of different services in Azure (Logic Apps, Service Bus, API Aps,…) Logic Apps will be something to watch.

Thanks a lot Glenn for sharing your insights and experiences, this will surely benefit many !!!

Feel Free to ask questions to Glenn in the comments!!!!!!!!

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