Deploying BizTalk 2006 Applications

As a part of my new job I’ve been learning how to work with Microsoft
BizTalk 2006
. While I see some interesting possibilities for using
this program, at times the way it works absolutely baffles me.

In a clear violation of the Principle of Least Astonishment, in
order to deploy a BizTalk application to a BizTalk server, one must have
already deployed the application to a BizTalk server. Yes, you read that
correctly. To further explain, Visual Studio 2005 is the tool used to
create BizTalk applications. It is also used to deploy an application to
a locally installed copy of BizTalk. From there, you can use the BizTalk
utilities to create a .msi package which you can install on a production

In other words, I have to install BizTalk on my developer workstation in
order to deploy and test my applications. There does not seem to be a
way to deploy to a remote development server. Am I the only person who
finds this to be strange? I would much rather install BizTalk on a
virtual machine, and only have it running when I am actively working on
project that requires it.