Wow. Last night I had the greatest server product installation that I have ever had. I haven't even had a chance to play with the product much, and I already love BizTalk Server 2006 (currently in Beta 2 form).
I sat down at my desk with candles lit, voodoo doll in hand, preparing to whisper incantations at exactly the right moment. Let's just say that my experiences installing BizTalk Server 2004 on Windows XP have been less than confidence inspring for an application developer who is not skilled in the black magic of installing sophisticated infrastructure products.
What I found was an incredibly well-written installation guide, that explained step by step how to get prerequisites installed, as well as why you need each component (in case you don't need to bother installing it.) Great. Then, I just ran setup. It just worked. Then, it went directly into configuration. (configframework.exe is now simply configuration.exe) There is an option to have it configured automatically. Select that, and you'll see the list of what will happen. What it selected was exactly what I would have selected. I hit go, and everything, yes everything (even EntSSO, my mortal enemy in versions past on XP), just worked.
Wow. Mere mortals can now get this working and feel confident that it is configurd properly. I am overwhelmed by my installation experience. It's time to cut some integration code.