Abstract Technological developments in both the collection and analysis of molecular genetic data over the past few years have provided new opportunities for an improved understanding of the global response to pathogen exposure. Such developments are particularly dramatic for scientists studying the pig, where tools to measure the expression of tens of thousands of transcripts, as well as unprecedented data on the porcine genome sequence, have combined to expand our abilities to elucidate the porcine immune system. In this review, we describe these recent developments in the context of our work using primarily microarrays to explore gene expression changes during infection of pigs by Salmonella. Thus while the focus is not a comprehensive review of all possible approaches, we provide links and information on both the tools we use as well as alternatives commonly available for transcriptomic data collection and analysis of porcine immune responses. Through this review, we expect readers will gain an appreciation for the necessary steps to plan, conduct, analyze and interpret the data from transcriptomic analyses directly applicable to their research interests.