Things hard and not so hard.... RSS 2.0
# Monday, June 03, 2013

image

 

Wow – look what I found earlier today?

The starting point of a great cloud platform enabling REST Endpoints, transforms (aka maps) and many other EDI – “BizTalkie things”

In a very common scenario, I could have:

a) a RESTful endpoint

b) one or more transforms

c) a RESTful exit point (or it could be a request , response)

 

Given that it’s part of Azure, then all this magic would be taking place within my DC local to the bulk of my data and services.

Then we can always use the other Azure widgets such as ServiceBus, Queues, Tables, VPNs, etc etc.

Stay tuned for some posts in this area in the near future…

Monday, June 03, 2013 5:37:31 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | BizTalk Services | Integration | ServiceBus
# Monday, May 20, 2013

Well folks I’ve been greeted with the news that Microsoft Windows Azure will be in 2 geo-replicated places here on Australian soil, coming ‘shortly’.

As an Azure MVP & from Breeze (a leading Microsoft Cloud Partner) perspective we invest heavily in cloud technologies.

What does this mean and why should I care? I hear you ask… good question and I asked the same.

As most of you know I have a passion for Integration, sticking all sorts of things together from small RFID devices, hand made hand-held devices, raspberry PIs through to high end ERP, Financials & many other types of systems. So before I get to the WHY aspect, let me briefly set the context.

There’s some great data coming out of Gartner a report which caught my eye - http://searchsoa.techtarget.com/news/2240173583/Gartner-Better-collaboration-for-new-era-of-application-integration came out with these:

  • Integration Costs to rise by 33% by 2016, more than half of new system development costs will be spent on Integration
  • By 2017, over two-thirds of all new integration flows will extend outside the enterprise firewall.

So Integration just took on a whole new face – successful integration is about using the right tools (in the toolbox) for the right task. Now we have a whole new drawer in our toolbox full of Azure goodies & widgets. This functionality is just too compelling to be ignored….

…and now that it’s on Australian soil I’d be thinking that just about every Data center service provider should be giving you cloud functionality.

Some quick cloud advantages:

  • scale, provisioning and ease of use
    • Imagine being able to spin up a SharePoint site in the time it takes me to write this article.
      image
    • Imagine being able to ask for an extra load balanced highly available Server/Service at the click of a button. Importantly – Imagine being able to give it back again at the end of the weekend/day/next hour.
      image
  • Not wait the typical 12 weeks for a new server to be provisioned, oh and dont mention filling out the right forms. Running an application on those machines and getting a firewall port opened….that’ll be another 2 weeks…and on it goes.
  • The much beloved Enlightenment for many companies of achieving Single Sign-On – Imagine your customers being able to sign into your applications using their own Ids, Live Ids, + a bunch of other Ids without you needing to provision more services. You can house your identity accounts in Azure, locally or elsewhere – finally you don’t need a Quantum Analyst to setup Single Sign-on.
  • My experiences in the last few weeks on client sites have been back in the world of old – classic encumbered infrastructure service providers wanting to claim everything, put the brakes on any new ideas and have meetings around such concepts of adding an extra 10gb disk space to existing servers. These guys should be ‘can do’ people – it’s all about choosing the right tool for the job.
  • Microsoft have done a great job on the developer tooling front from the classic MS toolset through to Apple, PHP, Ruby, Phython etc. all being able to access, develop on, publish and deploy.
  • We could even give a bunch of HDD drives to Olaf (our gun cyclist @ Breeze) to ride to the Azure Data Center and offload our data, while we wait for the NBN to never come to our area.
  • There are some great options on the horizon coming down the track.

So let’s say we’re keen to explore – how hard/easy is it to get ‘my’ own environment & what does this mean.

The short answer is you get an Azure Footprint which could be running in a ‘Data Center’ in Sydney. Depending on what you’re playing with you could get:

- SQL Databases, Cloud Services, Scalable Mobile Device Services, Load balanced Websites/Services/Restful endpoints…and the list of ‘widgets’ goes on and on.

How do I interact with this environment:

Often the issue around alot of this is that because my beloved ‘servers’ are running somewhere else I’m concerned over how much control we get.

We enter into the Hybrid Integration space – where as you can imagine not *everything* is suited for the Cloud, there will be things you keep exactly as they are. So there will be many many scenarios where – we have something running locally as well as something running in Azure. Some options we have available are to make our servers ‘feel at home’:

  • VPN connection – we can have several flavours of a VPN connection that connect our Azure Footprint to our local network. for e.g. local network is 10.10.x.x/16, Azure network 10.50.x.x/16. Full access to all the machines/services and other things you have running. CRON jobs, FTP, scripts, processes, linux boxes, samba shares, etc etc.. (I do realise the integration world is never as easy as we see it in the magazines)
  • RDP Connections – standard level of service really from any Service provider.
  • Remote PowerShell Access
  • Azure Service Bus - Applications Level Web/WCF/Restful Services connectivity. An Application Service can run either locally or in the cloud and this feature allows your Service to be accessed through a consistent Endpoint within the cloud, but the calls are Relayed down to your Application Service. There’s a few different ways we can ‘relay’ but the public endpoint could house all the clients & their device requests, while your existing application infrastructure remains unchanged.
  • SQL Azure Data Sync – sync data between clouds & local from your databases. So for many clients, come 8pm each day, their local database has all the Orders for the day as per normal, without the usual provisioning headaches as the business responds to new market opportunities to support smart devices.
  • We even get pretty graphs….
    image
    • But wait there’s more…..
    • These details are typical performance monitor counters + diagnostic information. We can use Azure Admin tools to import these regularly and import them into our typical tools.
    • System Center does exactly this – so our ‘dashboard’ of machines will list our local machines as well as our cloud machines. Your IT guys have visibility into what’s going on.

We’ve been using Singapore DCs or West Coast US with pretty good performance times across the infrastructure. 

What does having a local Windows Azure Data Center mean to me:

  • Medical Industry – we have several medical clients allowing us to innovate around Cloud technologies using HL7 transports. Faster time to market and higher degrees of re-use.
  • Cloud Lab Manager – www.cloudlabmanager.com can run locally for all training providers. Breeze has created an award winning cloud based application that will certainly benefit from this piece of great news.
  • Creating a cloud based application is now feasible (this particular one was due to the sensitive nature of information it carried)
  • And lastly I can house my MineCraft server – well it’s my 10 yr old sons and half the school I reckon.

 

So for you…

Ask yourself the question – are you getting all these features from where you currently host/run your hardware?

Lack of infrastructure and provisioning challenges shouldn’t be holding back new ideas & business movement. iPads, smartphones, anywhere, any time access should be the norm, not like we’re putting another person on the moon.

It’s all about using the right tool for the job

Enjoy folks as it’s certainly exciting times for us Aussies ahead!!

Microsoft’s Announcement

Monday, May 20, 2013 12:23:00 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | Integration | ServiceBus | BizTalk | SharePoint | Dev | Events | General | Tips | Training | Win2012
# Saturday, April 27, 2013

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*** THIS EVENT IS CURRENTLY GOING ON WORLD WIDE even as we speak! ***

The wrap up of the day:

Saturday morning was nothing short of sensational in Sydney today, early morning sun, bright blue skies, smell of coffee and a city that felt like it was snoozing and waking for some playtime.

I walked into a room of curious minds, eager eyes and folks that were thinking of possibilities in technology. This technology was Windows Azure.

We were above capacity & for the first time I would be relieved if there were a few ‘no-shows’…but none happened. Even at 5pm we nearly had a full house.

Firstly I’ve got to thank – you the students for a great day, fantastic questions and giving your precious weekend time.

Secondly the expert speakers that have huge experience in the field.

  • Mark O’Shea – Paradyne
  • Olaf Loogman – author of a popular Win8 app CyclingTracker – Breeze
  • Don Jayasinghe – Breeze
  • Mick Badran (yours truly) – Breeze

and finally all the sponsors & people that helped enable us to bring this to you:

What were the plans for the day:

The Agenda was set to:

 

SYDNEY - topics

Start Time

Duration (Minutes)

Speaker

Introductions

9:15:00 AM

15

Compute & Storage/CDN

9:30:00 AM

30

Mark O'Shea

SQL Databases & Reporting

10:00:00 AM

30

Don Jayasinghe

Lab Time & Break

10:30:00 AM

60

 

Cloud Services

11:30:00 AM

30

Mick Badran

Building apps on azure

12:00:00 PM

45

Olaf loogman

Lab Time & Break

12:45:00 PM

60

 

Virtual Machines & Networks

1:45:00 PM

30

Mark O'Shea

Connecting To Azure

2:15:00 PM

30

Mick Badran

Lab Time & Break

2:45:00 PM

60

 

Q&A Planning Session - questions from the floor

4:15:00 PM

   

 

Some Interesting facts:

- we had 3 MVPs in the room (that I knew of)

- we had 2 Microsoft VTSPs

- a student drove 3.5hrs one way to be here with us during the day, then back to Canberra again after class. Massive commitment.

- we all came with Azure Subscriptions ready to go.

- a student created a WebSite, Database + Worker role working in a solution together during the day.

- Olaf has his Mobile Services demo fail (even though it worked at 10pm last night) due to the recent Azure Portal update at 2am this morning. He did have a PlanB, the autogenerated code from the Portal during the Mobile Services Application creation, generates un-compilable code for now. Well done Olaf, some nice tap dancing.

WP_20130427_001

(Olaf working his magic)

 

WP_20130427_002

(looking out to the North Wing)

 

Thanks to Magnus a fellow Azure MVP - for setting all this up world wide and good luck to all the other countries.

If you blog about it – then be sure to use the hashtag #globalwindowsazure.

 

Mick out.

Saturday, April 27, 2013 8:28:46 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | GWAB | Integration | ServiceBus
# Thursday, March 07, 2013

Folks – we’re into week 2 of the 6 weeks of Azure program and as I was planning these sessions out with Christian last year, I thought I’d like to bring some fun into the mix.

There’s many possibilities that you can do in Azure, but none other than building a bit of h/w, programming it & having it talk to Azure! Monitored, controlled – how good is that.

Enter the FEZ Kitswww.ghielectronics.com

(There’s also the Raspberry PI’s that run a flavour of Linux with a deployment of Mono – that let’s you run C# code straight onto a $35 computer! – I’ll save that for another post)

image

FEZ Kits

These are the ‘mans lego’ kit as I like to think of them as.

What makes these kits cool:

  • they run a flavour of .NET – .NET Microframework. So yes you can write C# etc that runs on the device.
  • you can get many many additional modules for these to plug into your masterpiece – things like temperature sensors, light sensors, colour sensors etc.
  • they run off USB power, even a set of 4 AAA batteries would do it.
  • you program them via USB cable from Visual Studio.
  • *rich* community and developer support - http://www.ghielectronics.com/support/.net-micro-framework

FYI – my kit I’ve added to over time and I’ve also got a Raspberry PI that I play with (good NFC reader).

image

My FEZ KIT on the left, with the PI on the right in my beautiful Lego box Smile

 

Now the best thing is that the FEZ Hydra kit (above) will be available to you (as a prize and the like) on the BOOTCAMPS as part of the 6 weeks of Azure.

Let me know how you get on and if you’ve got any questions about these guys – they’re great and good for developers.

--- from the official blurb ----
6 Weeks of Azure

Need in-person Azure Training? DevCamps are for you

Register for a DevCamp in Melbourne | Sydney | Brisbane to learn how to use the new Windows Azure features and services including Windows Azure Virtual Machines, Web Sites, and Visual Studio 2012 to build and move a variety of apps to the cloud.  You will see how to build web sites, mobile
applications, and enterprise-class applications. 

Need help with your app? Register for a Boot Camp

Register for a Boot Camp near you: Melbourne | Sydney | Brisbane. Our
Industry and Microsoft experts will be available to help complete your
Windows Azure app as part of the 6 Weeks of Windows Azure course.
There will be a FEZ Hydra Kit or two to win… not to mention some t-shirts and mice to giveaway.

6 Weeks
Forum

Thursday, March 07, 2013 12:06:00 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | 6WOA | Integration | ServiceBus
# Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Scott’s team of teams have been busy and have come out with a few changes:

Some of the improvements include:

  • Mobile Services: Android support, East Asia Region Support, iOS dev content
  • SQL Reporting Services: Support in the management portal
  • Active Directory: Support in the azure management portal, user and domain management
  • Availability Monitoring for Cloud Services. Virtual Machines, Web Sites, and Mobile Services
  • Service Bus: New configuration tab and metrics
  • Storage: Ability to download blobs directly in management portal
  • Media Services: New monitoring metrics and quickstart experience
  • Cloud Services: Support for .cer certificate files upload
  • Localization support for five new languages
  • Windows Azure Store Support in 22 Additional Countries

http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2013/03/04/windows-azure-updates-android-support-sql-reporting-services-active-directory-more.aspx

Tuesday, March 05, 2013 9:13:00 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | Integration | ServiceBus
# Thursday, October 25, 2012

Great news – Jurgen Willis and his team have worked hard to bring Microsoft’s first V1.0 WF Workflow Hosting Manager.

It  runs both as part of Windows Server and within Azure VMs also. It also is used by the SharePoint team in 2013, so learn it once and you’ll get great mileage out of it.
(I’m yet to put it through serious paces)

Some links to help you out…

What is it?

WF Mgr 1.0 – Code Samples

 

The following main areas for WF improvements in .NET 4.5: (great MSDN magazine article)

  1. Workflow Designer enhancements
  2. C# expressions
  3. Contract-first authoring of WCF Workflow Services
  4. Workflow versioning
  5. Dynamic update
  6. Partial trust
  7. Performance enhancements

Specifically for WorkflowManager there’s integration with:

1. Windows Azure Service Bus.

So all in all a major improvement and we’ve now got somewhere serious to host our WF Services. If you’ve ever gone through the process of creating your own WF host, you’ll appreciate it’s not a trivial task especially if you want some deeper functionality such as restartability and fault tolerance.

but…. if you want to kick off a quick WF to be part of an install script, evaluate an Excel spreadsheet and set results, then hosting within the app, spreadsheet is fine.

Let’s go through installation:

Download from here

image

Workflow_Manager_BPA.msi = Best Practices Analyser.

WorfklowClient = Client APIs, install on machines that want to communicate to WF Manager.

WorkflowManager = the Server/Service Component.

WorkflowTools = VS2012 plugin tools – project types etc.

And we’ll grab the 4 or you can you the Web Platform Installer

image

 

The Workflow Client should install fine on it’s own (mine didn’t as I had to remove some of the beta bits that were previously installed).

Installing the Workflow Manager – create a farm, I went for a Custom Setting install below, just to show you the options.

image

image

As you scroll down on this page, you’ll notice a HTTP Port – check the check box to enable HTTP communications to the Workflow Manager.
This just makes it easier if we need to debug anything across the wire.

Select NEXT or the cool little Arrow->

On Prem Service Bus is rolled into this install now – accepting defaults.

image

Plugin your Service Accounts and passphrase (for Farm membership and an encryption seed).

Click Next –> to reveal….

image

As with the latest set of MS Products a cool cool feature is the ‘Get PowerShell Commands’ so you can see the script behind your UI choices (VMM manager, SCCM 2012 has all this right through). BTW – passwords don’t get exported in the script, you’ll need to add.

Script Sample:

# To be run in Workflow Manager PowerShell console that has both Workflow Manager and Service Bus installed.

# Create new SB Farm
$SBCertificateAutoGenerationKey = ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText  -Force  -String '***** Replace with Service Bus Certificate Auto-generation key ******' -Verbose;


New-SBFarm -SBFarmDBConnectionString 'Data Source=BTS2012DEV;Initial Catalog=SbManagementDB;Integrated Security=True;Encrypt=False' -InternalPortRangeStart 9000 -TcpPort 9354 -MessageBrokerPort 9356 -RunAsAccount 'administrator' -AdminGroup 'BUILTIN\Administrators' -GatewayDBConnectionString 'Data Source=BTS2012DEV;Initial Catalog=SbGatewayDatabase;Integrated Security=True;Encrypt=False' -CertificateAutoGenerationKey $SBCertificateAutoGenerationKey -MessageContainerDBConnectionString 'Data Source=BTS2012DEV;Initial Catalog=SBMessageContainer01;Integrated Security=True;Encrypt=False' -Verbose;

# To be run in Workflow Manager PowerShell console that has both Workflow Manager and Service Bus installed.

# Create new WF Farm
$WFCertAutoGenerationKey = ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText  -Force  -String '***** Replace with Workflow Manager Certificate Auto-generation key ******' -Verbose;


New-WFFarm -WFFarmDBConnectionString 'Data Source=BTS2012DEV;Initial Catalog=BreezeWFManagementDB;Integrated Security=True;Encrypt=False' -RunAsAccount 'administrator' -AdminGroup 'BUILTIN\Administrators' -HttpsPort 12290 -HttpPort 12291 -InstanceDBConnectionString 'Data Source=BTS2012DEV;Initial Catalog=WFInstanceManagementDB;Integrated Security=True;Encrypt=False' -ResourceDBConnectionString 'Data Source=BTS2012DEV;Initial Catalog=WFResourceManagementDB;Integrated Security=True;Encrypt=False' -CertificateAutoGenerationKey $WFCertAutoGenerationKey -Verbose;

# Add SB Host
$SBRunAsPassword = ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText  -Force  -String '***** Replace with RunAs Password for Service Bus ******' -Verbose;


Add-SBHost -SBFarmDBConnectionString 'Data Source=BTS2012DEV;Initial Catalog=SbManagementDB;Integrated Security=True;Encrypt=False' -RunAsPassword $SBRunAsPassword -EnableFirewallRules $true -CertificateAutoGenerationKey $SBCertificateAutoGenerationKey -Verbose;

Try
{
    # Create new SB Namespace
    New-SBNamespace -Name 'WorkflowDefaultNamespace' -AddressingScheme 'Path' -ManageUsers 'administrator','mickb' -Verbose;

    Start-Sleep -s 90
}
Catch [system.InvalidOperationException]
{
}

# Get SB Client Configuration
$SBClientConfiguration = Get-SBClientConfiguration -Namespaces 'WorkflowDefaultNamespace' -Verbose;

# Add WF Host
$WFRunAsPassword = ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText  -Force  -String '***** Replace with RunAs Password for Workflow Manager ******' -Verbose;


Add-WFHost -WFFarmDBConnectionString 'Data Source=BTS2012DEV;Initial Catalog=BreezeWFManagementDB;Integrated Security=True;Encrypt=False' -RunAsPassword $WFRunAsPassword -EnableFirewallRules $true -SBClientConfiguration $SBClientConfiguration -EnableHttpPort  -CertificateAutoGenerationKey $WFCertAutoGenerationKey -Verbose;

 

Upon completion you should see a new IIS Site…. with the ‘management ports’ of in my case HTTPS

image

 

Let’s Play Smile

Go and grab the samples and have a play – make sure you run the samples as the user you’ve nominated as ‘Admin’ during the setup – for now.

Thursday, October 25, 2012 3:06:11 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Async | Azure | Integration | ServiceBus | BizTalk | 2010 | 2010 R2 | Dev
# Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hi folks,

What a great time we're in at the moment. Cloud(s) are knocking a the door, local devices, windows 8 etc.

No complaints from me that this world is getting more and more connected.

To maintain those connections and handle new ones - Microsoft BizTalk Server serves as your on-premise middleware platform.

We're running a course shortly on Design, Build and Manage your solutions within BizTalk Server.

We have a wealth of knowledge around Integration and Cloud technologies. As you and I know, integration is all about the systems you're integrating with.

Here's the details - and hope to see you there. Mick (you're new Azure Integration MVP)

Come along to our office for a week of BizTalk 2010 Bootcamp Training!

Agenda

We will take care of you with delicious catering, friendly staff and provide our state of the art BizTalk trainer. There are a limited amount of seats, so book now!

Click here to register

Start: Monday, November 12, 2012

End: Friday, November 16 2012

 

What is BizTalk?

For your business, BizTalk provides the "glue" to giving you a very good integration foundation for both internal applications as well as the outside world and giving you consistency across those interfaces as well.

BizTalk is a platform that is durable, reliable and fault tolerant right across your services, from email, FTP services, web services, database calls and much more, you will have something that retries all of those for you.

 

Why BizTalk?

BizTalk provides a level of maturity to customer operations as well as consistency. It is harder for customers to build themselves, the capabilities that BizTalk can offer out of the box. Our experience is that customers often start out building smaller applications here and there with eventually having over 100 applications talking to each other in a very specific way, all in a very ad-hoc approach and all very speciailised. Over time to maintain those systems becomes a big challenge for the client with increased complexity along the way.

Whereas by introducing a uniform, a best practice way of doing something, "business rules" such as within BizTalk, it eases that integration with the company to make it a lot simpler and easier to manage and everyone gets visibility in to the activity of those calls within the applications.

 

What our customers are doing with BizTalk today

BizTalk being a middleware product is being used in many different scenarios, from simple file transfers right across to complex business process automation.

Customers in one instance are getting real time notifications around FTP, where certain files appear, then systems have to react or respond immediately instead of within a polling interval that may occur at any time during the day. So being able to build out that infrastructure and apply or update databases, all of that happens right across the BizTalk layer, then exposed out via web services.

In-short BizTalk forms another tool in the client toolkit, using the MS integration stack, so on top of not only BizTalk and all of its' capabilities and adapters, we have WCF (Windows Communication Foundation), messaging, MSMQ and many others in the integration stack, not to mention Azure and cloud hybrid solutions we can deploy and employ today. So with clients it's not just about providing BizTalk to solve a problem, it's about using the tools in the toolkit to meet their requirements, whatever the tools may be, to solve their immediate challenge.

Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:29:10 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | Integration | ServiceBus | 2010 | 2010 R2 | Events | Training
# Monday, August 06, 2012

Hi folks, BizTalk has some great new features on the horizon and this CTP is jam packed of new and improved features. I believe the CTP is non-public atm, with MVPs etc. able to get access (or if you’re on the TAP program)

I’ve got a VM up and running with the setup and config working a treat – I’m not sure how much I can say, but I’d like to say I’m very pleased with what I’m seeing!

The official feature set blurb goes something like this…

Enjoy.

Details…

Improved productivity with new Microsoft Platform support

Customers can now leverage the latest and greatest platforms, such as Windows Server 2012 RC, SQL Server 2012, Visual Studio 2012 RC. All new BizTalk projects will target .Net Framework 4.5 RC by default. The CTP also provides support for latest LOB versions enabling customers to use BizTalk for integrating their applications with the latest versions of SAP, Oracle and SQL Server. The new adapters provide a seamless experience to enable hybrid connectivity, all done via configuration. The CTP provides native support for ACS authentication and is extensible for other authentication mechanisms.

·         Platform support

o   Windows Server 2012 RC, Windows Server 2008 R2

o   SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2008 R2

o   Visual Studio 2012 RC

o   Office 2010

o   Support for latest LOB versions

§  Support for SQL Server 2012

§  Support for SAP 7.2

§  Support for Oracle DB 11.2

§  Support for Oracle EBS 12.1 …

·         Adapters

o   WCF-WebHttp adapter, to consume REST service or expose REST service

o   SB-Messaging, for sending/pulling data from Service Bus Queues/Topics

o   WCF-NetTCPRelay, for hosting relays or sending data to NetTCPRelay end points

o   WCF-BasicHttpRelay, for hosting relays or sending data to BasicHttpRelay end points

 

Better B2B with schema updates

EDI standards evolve and one of the key investments made in this new BizTalk CTP is to ensure that we support the latest B2B standards natively. This enables you to transact messages based on the latest versions of EDI protocol.

·         B2B enhancements to support latest standards natively

o   Support for X12 5040, 5050, 6020, 6030

o   Support for EDIFACT D06A, D06B, D07A, D07B, D08A, D08B, D09A, D09B, D10A, D10B

o   HL7 2.5.1

We are working on further schema updates such as HL7 2.6, these will be enabled in the BizTalk 2010 R2 Beta.

 

Improved Performance

The CTP provides performance improvement for certain key scenarios. In case of two way MLLP adapter scenarios where ordered delivery is set, the tests have revealed up-to 5X performance improvement so far in our environments. We have also made enhancements in our engine to improve the performance in ordered send port scenarios.

 

Building hybrid applications

Today, there is an increase in the adoption of hybrid application scenarios where some components of an application run in the cloud and some other components/LOB applications remain on-premise. It then becomes important to integrate between these components and leverage the richness of both worlds. In this CTP release, we enable hybrid connectivity by providing first class support for integrating with Azure Service Bus Queues/Topics/Relays. We are introducing the following adapters

·         SB-Messaging, for sending/pulling data from Service Bus Queues/Topics

·         WCF-NetTCPRelay, for hosting relays or sending data to NetTCPRelay end points

·         WCF-BasicHttpRelay, for hosting relays or sending data to BasicHttpRelay end points

 

Integrating with Azure Service Bus entities is now just a few configurations away!

 

Integration with RESTful services

One of the other prevalent trends in the market today is the proliferation of RESTful services. Almost all new services, as well a lot of services created previously, have a REST interface exposed. For example, all services in Windows Azure, data market place, Salesforce, etc. have support for REST services. With this CTP release, we are making it really easy for you to integrate RESTful services with BizTalk Server using the new WCF-WebHttp adapter. All the REST operations like GET, PUT, POST and DELETE are now supported natively. It gets better. We received community feedback during and post TechEd conference that there should be a way to expose REST services as well from BizTalk. We listened to your feedback. Along with consuming REST services we are also really excited to announce that you now have an early preview to exposing REST services from BizTalk Server as well in this CTP.

 

BizTalk Server in Azure Virtual Machine role

All the above enhancements are available right away for you to preview with BizTalk Server in Azure Virtual Machine role. Setting up a new BizTalk Server environment usually involves long lead time to procure hardware, get the dependencies in place, set up the server, etc. This means long lead times before you can get started with your new BizTalk Server environment. We are now leveraging the power of the cloud and the richness of Windows Azure to provide an experience where you can get up and running with your BizTalk Server environment in matter of minutes and move your existing applications to the cloud without making any changes. Furthermore, the CTP provide improvements to the BizTalk multi machine configuration and now you can do this using some basic configuration settings with the click of a button in a single machine, without having to go and configure BizTalk Server Group in each of the individual nodes.

Monday, August 06, 2012 12:49:28 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | Integration | ServiceBus | BizTalk | 2010 R2
# Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hi folks, you've probably heard a fair bit about the make over of Azure into 'Azure 2.0' (the SDK is still 1.7)

There's some great new tools within VS.NET to manage your environment better, even a Service Bus 'explorer' which was much needed.

I've collected a few links to start with for you guys to read up on when you've got a moment:

Azure 2.0 Details on:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 11:54:11 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | Azure | Integration | ServiceBus | Events | Recordings | Tips | Training
# Friday, June 08, 2012

Hi guys, I gave an online presentation earlier this afternoon as part of Microsoft Readiness on Azure Virtual Networks.

I had the whole presentation prepared until the http://meetwindowsazure.com announcement, where I had to go to the drawing board and just share all this goodness that was pouring out in Azure V2.0.

Thanks to the healthy turnout for those online and to those who registered, then check the emails for a link shortly.

As promised here’s the slide deck guys that I used through my demos

Connecting Cloud and On-Premises Applications Using Windows Azure Virtual Network - Breeze_Mick Badran

Presentation:

Friday, June 08, 2012 9:24:57 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | Azure | Integration | ServiceBus | BizTalk | Insights | Events | Recordings | Readiness | Training
# Thursday, June 07, 2012
Thursday, June 07, 2012 11:31:37 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | Integration | ServiceBus
# Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Finally we get some info on what IP ranges are used for the Data Centers. Now when you have those conversations with the Network security folks and when they ask "What IP addresses are you hitting?", when they want to open up access for Azure Service Bus.

Here's the 'official' IP Ranges (you just hope it doesn't change on you...it works for 3 days of the week, then the 4th it stops...that was an interesting one to solve)

Windows Azure DataCenter IP Ranges

This appeases my grief in a previous post

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 8:25:50 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | Azure | ServiceBus
# Tuesday, May 08, 2012

http://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-renames-azure-services – article talks about MS renaming services and essentially dropping the ‘Windows…’ out of it.

My experience has seen this will appeal to the non-MS types that see ‘Windows…’ as something they don’t want to go near.
I personally think it’s a good move as sure it’s Windows but the Azure Platform offers so much more…..

Here’s some of the proposed changes….

Prior Service Name New Service Name
Windows Azure Compute Cloud Services
Windows Azure Platform - All Services All Services
Windows Azure CDN CDN
Windows Azure Storage Storage
Windows Azure Traffic Manager Traffic Manager
Windows Azure Virtual Network Virtual Network
AppFabric Cache Cache
AppFabric Service Bus Service Bus
AppFabric Access Control Access Control
SQL Azure SQL Database
SQL Azure Reporting Service SQL Reporting
Tuesday, May 08, 2012 10:57:37 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | Integration | ServiceBus
# Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Hi folks,

Scotty (aka Sco the Stig) Scovell is presenting this week on

Ten Must-Have Tools for Windows Azure as part of Microsoft Readiness.

We'd love to see you there - free event

LIVE Meeting: Ten Must-Have Tools for Windows Azure

Event ID: 1032500970

Language(s):  English.
Product(s):  Microsoft BizTalk Server and Windows Azure.
Any platform, by its own nature, creates an ecosystem for third-party tools and helpers. Windows Azure is no different. In this session we look at a variety of the third-party tools available in the Windows Azure ecosystem. Included are tools for both developers and IT professionals. We look at tools that will help manage storage and resources, migration, scaling, diagnostics and software components that will help you build cloud applications.

Registration

Tuesday, May 01, 2012 8:44:52 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Integration | ServiceBus | Events | Recordings | General | Training
# Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Should be an interesting month this April - http://www.arnnet.com.au/article/337290/australia_gets_azure_cloud_april/

Let’s see what the pricing will be… be great to handle alot of those data sovereignty issues.

It’s like waiting for Santa all over again Smile

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 7:39:28 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | Integration | ServiceBus
# Saturday, March 10, 2012

I’m finally back home after a great trip to Seattle and to see some fellow VTSPs from all over the globe. Very switched on bunch.

I was fortunate enough to be asked to present and with Scotty at the demo controls, we steered a pretty good session.

Thanks to ‘all y-all’ whom was in the session and I hope you got as much out of it as I did.

Grab the Public Version of the slide Deck – HERE.

So as promised on the advice of John Brockmeyer here’s some current limitations of the Azure ‘Integration’ Services.

Feature decision making  with Hybrid IT Solutions-Mick_Scott_1

Feature decision making  with Hybrid IT Solutions-Mick_Scott_2

Feature decision making  with Hybrid IT Solutions-Mick_Scott_3

Feature decision making  with Hybrid IT Solutions-Mick_Scott_4

Feature decision making  with Hybrid IT Solutions-Mick_Scott_5

Feature decision making  with Hybrid IT Solutions-Mick_Scott_6

Feature decision making  with Hybrid IT Solutions-Mick_Scott_7

Saturday, March 10, 2012 3:40:35 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | Integration | ServiceBus | BizTalk | 2010 | Events
# Thursday, February 23, 2012

Folks I’ve decided to list some useful links and tips that I’ve come across as part of our work we do. This list will grow and expand as time goes on.

Thursday, February 23, 2012 9:45:08 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | Integration | ServiceBus
# Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Folks, here’s a great page showing which Azure OS and SDK applies to what version.

One to keep handy – get prepared for a v1.7 SDK release

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/ee924680.aspx

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 7:06:12 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | Integration | ServiceBus
# Thursday, February 02, 2012

After ranting on a couple of emails today about a particular Azure issue, I’ve popped up a couple of features to vote on.

http://www.mygreatwindowsazureidea.com/forums/34192-windows-azure-feature-voting

Add yours now

Thursday, February 02, 2012 5:44:20 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | ServiceBus

With the ever changing Azure space, chances are you’ve had services working a treat and then one day just fail.

“Can’t connect…" etc.

This has happened to me twice this week – with over 14 IP Address ranges defined in the client’s firewall rules.

It appears that my service bus services were spun up or assigned another IP outside the ‘allowed range’.

It gets frustrating at times as generally the process goes as follows:

1) fill out a form to request firewall changes. Include as much detail as possible.

2) hand to the client and they delegate to their security/ops team to implement.

3) confirmation comes back.

4) start up ServiceBus service

5) could work?? may fail – due to *another* IP address allocated in Windows Azure not on the ‘allowed list of ranges’.

6) fill out another form asking for another IP Address…

By the 3rd iteration of this process it all is beginning to look very unprofessional. (in comparison, these guys are used to tasks such as ‘Access to SQL Server XXX – here’s the ports, there’s the machine and done’. Azure on the other hand – ‘What IP Addresses do you need? What ports?’… we need better information in this area)

Anyway – here’s the most update to date list 10/02/2011.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/windowsazureappfabricannounce/archive/2010/01/28/additional-data-centers-for-windows-azure-platform-appfabric.aspx

Thursday, February 02, 2012 1:15:07 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | Azure | Integration | ServiceBus
# Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Scotty & myself have had this error going for over 2 weeks now, and have tried many options, settings, registry keys, reboots and so on.
(we have had this on 2 boxes now, that are *not* directly connected to the internet. They are locked down servers with only required services accessible through the firewall)

Generally you’ll encounter this error is you install Azure SDK v1.6 – there has been people that have revert back to Azure v1.5 SDK when this error has been encountered and this seems to fix most of their problems.

Here I’m using netTcpRelayBinding, BizTalk 2010 but this could just have easily have been IIS or your own app.

Finding the outbound ports and Azure datacenter address space is always the challenge. Ports 80,443,9351 and 9352 are the main ones with the remote addresses being the network segments of your Azure Datacenter.

The problem: “Oh it’s a chain validation thing, I’ll just go and turn off Certificate checking…” let me see the options.
(this is what we thought 2+ weeks ago)

image

Here I have a BizTalk shot of the transportClientEndpointBehaviour with Authentication node set to NoCheck and None (you would set these from code or a config file outside of biztalk)

We found that these currently have NO BEARING whatsoever…2 weeks we’ll never get back.

Don’t be drawn into here, it’s a long windy path and you’ll most likely end up short.

I am currently waiting to hear back from the folks on the product team to see what the answer is on this – BUT for now as a workaround we sat down with a network sniffer to see the characteristics.

Work around:

1. Add some Host Entries

2. Create a dummy site so the checker is fooled into grabbing local CRLs.

Add these Entries to your HOSTs file.

127.0.0.1    www.public-trust.com
127.0.0.1    mscrl.microsoft.com
127.0.0.1    crl.microsoft.com
127.0.0.1    corppki

Download and extract these directories to your DEFAULT WEB SITE (i.e. the one that answers to http://127.0.0.1/…..)
This is usually under C:\inetpub\wwwroot (even if you have sharepoint installed)




-------------------- The nasty error -------------------

The Messaging Engine failed to add a receive location "<receive location>" with URL "sb://<rec url>" to the adapter "WCF-Custom". Reason: "System.ServiceModel.Security.SecurityNegotiationException: The X.509 certificate CN=servicebus.windows.net chain building failed. The certificate that was used has a trust chain that cannot be verified. Replace the certificate or change the certificateValidationMode. The revocation function was unable to check revocation because the revocation server was offline.
---> System.IdentityModel.Tokens.SecurityTokenValidationException: The X.509 certificate CN=servicebus.windows.net chain building failed. The certificate that was used has a trust chain that cannot be verified. Replace the certificate or change the certificateValidationMode. The revocation function was unable to check revocation because the revocation server was offline.

   at Microsoft.ServiceBus.Channels.Security.RetriableCertificateValidator.Validate(X509Certificate2 certificate)
   at System.IdentityModel.Selectors.X509SecurityTokenAuthenticator.ValidateTokenCore(SecurityToken token)
   at System.IdentityModel.Selectors.SecurityTokenAuthenticator.ValidateToken(SecurityToken token)
   at System.ServiceModel.Channels.SslStreamSecurityUpgradeInitiator.ValidateRemoteCertificate(Object sender, X509Certificate certificate, X509Chain chain, SslPolicyErrors sslPolicyErrors)
   at System.Net.Security.SecureChannel.VerifyRemoteCertificate(RemoteCertValidationCallback remoteCertValidationCallback)
   at System.Net.Security.SslState.CompleteHandshake()
   at System.Net.Security.SslState.CheckCompletionBeforeNextReceive(ProtocolToken message, AsyncProtocolRequest asyncRequest)
   at System.Net.Security.SslState.StartSendBlob(Byte[] incoming, Int32 count, AsyncProtocolRequest asyncRequest)
   at System.Net.Security.SslState.ProcessReceivedBlob(Byte[] buffer, Int32 count, AsyncProtocolRequest asyncRequest)
   at System.Net.Security.SslState.StartReceiveBlob(Byte[] buffer, AsyncProtocolRequest asyncRequest)
   at System.Net.Security.SslState.StartSendBlob(Byte[] incoming, Int32 count, AsyncProtocolRequest asyncRequest)
   at System.Net.Security.SslState.ProcessReceivedBlob(Byte[] buffer, Int32 count, AsyncProtocolRequest asyncRequest)
   at System.Net.Security.SslState.StartReceiveBlob(Byte[] buffer, AsyncProtocolRequest asyncRequest)
   at System.Net.Security.SslState.StartSendBlob(Byte[] incoming, Int32 count, AsyncProtocolRequest asyncRequest)
   at System.Net.Security.SslState.ProcessReceivedBlob(Byte[] buffer, Int32 count, AsyncProtocolRequest asyncRequest)
   at System.Net.Security.SslState.StartReceiveBlob(Byte[] buffer, AsyncProtocolRequest asyncRequest)
   at System.Net.Security.SslState.StartSendBlob(Byte[] incoming, Int32 count, AsyncProtocolRequest asyncRequest)
   at System.Net.Security.SslState.ForceAuthentication(Boolean receiveFirst, Byte[] buffer, AsyncProtocolRequest asyncRequest)
   at System.Net.Security.SslState.ProcessAuthentication(LazyAsyncResult lazyResult)
   at System.ServiceModel.Channels.SslStreamSecurityUpgradeInitiator.OnInitiateUpgrade(Stream stream, SecurityMessageProperty& remoteSecurity)
   --- End of inner exception stack trace ---
   at System.ServiceModel.Channels.SslStreamSecurityUpgradeInitiator.OnInitiateUpgrade(Stream stream, SecurityMessageProperty& remoteSecurity)
   at System.ServiceModel.Channels.StreamSecurityUpgradeInitiatorBase.InitiateUpgrade(Stream stream)
   at System.ServiceModel.Channels.ConnectionUpgradeHelper.InitiateUpgrade(StreamUpgradeInitiator upgradeInitiator, IConnection& connection, ClientFramingDecoder decoder, IDefaultCommunicationTimeouts defaultTimeouts, TimeoutHelper& timeoutHelper)
   at System.ServiceModel.Channels.ClientFramingDuplexSessionChannel.SendPreamble(IConnection connection, ArraySegment`1 preamble, TimeoutHelper& timeoutHelper)
   at System.ServiceModel.Channels.ClientFramingDuplexSessionChannel.DuplexConnectionPoolHelper.AcceptPooledConnection(IConnection connection, TimeoutHelper& timeoutHelper)
   at System.ServiceModel.Channels.ConnectionPoolHelper.EstablishConnection(TimeSpan timeout)
   at System.ServiceModel.Channels.ClientFramingDuplexSessionChannel.OnOpen(TimeSpan timeout)
   at System.ServiceModel.Channels.CommunicationObject.Open(TimeSpan timeout)
   at Microsoft.ServiceBus.RelayedOnewayTcpClient.RelayedOnewayChannel.Open(TimeSpan timeout)
   at Microsoft.ServiceBus.RelayedOnewayTcpClient.GetChannel(Uri via, TimeSpan timeout)
   at Microsoft.ServiceBus.RelayedOnewayTcpClient.ConnectRequestReplyContext.Send(Message message, TimeSpan timeout, IDuplexChannel& channel)
   at Microsoft.ServiceBus.RelayedOnewayTcpListener.RelayedOnewayTcpListenerClient.Connect(TimeSpan timeout)
   at Microsoft.ServiceBus.RelayedOnewayTcpClient.EnsureConnected(TimeSpan timeout)
   at Microsoft.ServiceBus.Channels.CommunicationObject.Open(TimeSpan timeout)
   at Microsoft.ServiceBus.Channels.RefcountedCommunicationObject.Open(TimeSpan timeout)
   at Microsoft.ServiceBus.RelayedOnewayChannelListener.OnOpen(TimeSpan timeout)
   at Microsoft.ServiceBus.Channels.CommunicationObject.Open(TimeSpan timeout)
   at System.ServiceModel.Dispatcher.ChannelDispatcher.OnOpen(TimeSpan timeout)
   at System.ServiceModel.Channels.CommunicationObject.Open(TimeSpan timeout)
   at System.ServiceModel.ServiceHostBase.OnOpen(TimeSpan timeout)
   at System.ServiceModel.Channels.CommunicationObject.Open(TimeSpan timeout)
   at Microsoft.ServiceBus.SocketConnectionTransportManager.OnOpen(TimeSpan timeout)
   at Microsoft.ServiceBus.Channels.TransportManager.Open(TimeSpan timeout, TransportChannelListener channelListener)
   at Microsoft.ServiceBus.Channels.TransportManagerContainer.Open(TimeSpan timeout, SelectTransportManagersCallback selectTransportManagerCallback)
   at Microsoft.ServiceBus.SocketConnectionChannelListener`2.OnOpen(TimeSpan timeout)
   at Microsoft.ServiceBus.Channels.CommunicationObject.Open(TimeSpan timeout)
   at System.ServiceModel.Dispatcher.ChannelDispatcher.OnOpen(TimeSpan timeout)
   at System.ServiceModel.Channels.CommunicationObject.Open(TimeSpan timeout)
   at System.ServiceModel.ServiceHostBase.OnOpen(TimeSpan timeout)
   at System.ServiceModel.Channels.CommunicationObject.Open(TimeSpan timeout)
   at Microsoft.BizTalk.Adapter.Wcf.Runtime.WcfReceiveEndpoint.Enable()
   at Microsoft.BizTalk.Adapter.Wcf.Runtime.WcfReceiveEndpoint..ctor(BizTalkEndpointContext endpointContext, IBTTransportProxy transportProxy, ControlledTermination control)
   at Microsoft.BizTalk.Adapter.Wcf.Runtime.WcfReceiver`2.AddReceiveEndpoint(String url, IPropertyBag adapterConfig, IPropertyBag bizTalkConfig)".

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 2:08:41 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
AppFabricServer | Azure | Integration | ServiceBus | BizTalk | 2010
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