Things hard and not so hard.... RSS 2.0
# Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Well not a bad one to track down and basically from reverse engineering the Microsoft.BizTalk.Pipeline.Comonents.dll your xpath expressions need to be in the a 'certain format' even though the traditional Xpath tools work beautifully.

I was dealing with some HL7 messages so my call stack maybe slightly different to yours - but it's something like:

Fatal error encountered in 2XDasm. Exception information is Microsoft.BizTalk.Component.ComponentException
at Microsoft.BizTalk.Component.XPathHelper.CheckXPathExpression(String strXPath)
at Microsoft.BizTalk.Component.XPathDenormalizer.Denormalize(String xpath, Boolean bAbsolute, Boolean bGetChildNodes)
at Microsoft.BizTalk.Component.XmlDasmReader.CreateReader(IPipelineContext pipelineContext, IBaseMessageContext messageContext, MarkableForwardOnlyEventingReadStream data, Encoding encoding, Boolean saveEnvelopes, Boolean allowUnrecognizedMessage, Boolean validateDocument, SchemaList envelopeSpecNames, SchemaList documentSpecNames, IFFDocumentSpec docSpecType, SuspendCurrentMessageFunction documentScanner)
at Microsoft.BizTalk.Component.XmlDasmReader.CreateReader(IPipelineContext pipelineContext, IBaseMessageContext messageContext, MarkableForwardOnlyEventingReadStream data, Encoding encoding, Boolean saveEnvelopes, Boolean allowUnrecognizedMessage, Boolean validateDocument, SchemaList envelopeSpecNames, SchemaList documentSpecNames)
at Microsoft.Solutions.BTAHL7.Pipelines.HL72fDasm.ParseMessageBody(IPipelineContext pc, ArrayList& xmlErrors, Boolean& fatalError)
at Microsoft.Solutions.BTAHL7.Pipelines.HL72fDasm.ProcessIndividualMessage(IPipelineContext pc)
at Microsoft.Solutions.BTAHL7.Pipelines.HL72fDasm.ProcessChunkedMessages(IPipelineContext pc)
at Microsoft.Solutions.BTAHL7.Pipelines.HL72fDasm.GetNext(IPipelineContext pc)

Microsoft.BizTalk.Component.XPathHelper.CheckXPathExpression(String strXPath) is the main culprit.

From my reverse engineering efforts I tracked the problem down to the result of this method call:

namespace Microsoft.BizTalk.Component

{

    internal sealed class XPathHelper

    {

        private XPathHelper()

        {

        }

 

        public static void CheckXPathExpression(string strXPath)

        {

            if (XPathCanonizer.Canonize(strXPath, true) == null)

            {

                string empty = string.Empty;

                string[] strArrays = new string[] { strXPath };

                throw new ComponentException((uint)-1061153675, empty, strArrays);

            }

        }

    }

}

 

//Here's essentially the code the above line calls -

 

public class CanonicalXPath

            {

                private XPathExpression _xpath;

 

                private bool _ignoreNS;

 

                public XPathExpression XPathExpression

                {

                    get

                    {

                        return this._xpath;

                    }

                }

 

                internal CanonicalXPath(string xpath, bool ignoreNS)

                {

                    this._ignoreNS = ignoreNS;

                    XPathExpression xPathExpression = new XPathExpression(xpath);

                    StringBuilder stringBuilder = new StringBuilder();

                    IQuery[] expression = xPathExpression.GetExpression();

                    for (int i = 0; i < (int)expression.Length; i++)

                    {

                        IQuery query = expression[i];

                        if (query is NullQuery)

                        {

                            break;

                        }

                        stringBuilder.Append("/");

                        XPathCanonizer.XPathCanonizerState.CanonicalXPath.StepCanonizer stepCanonizer = new XPathCanonizer.XPathCanonizerState.CanonicalXPath.StepCanonizer(this, query);

                        stringBuilder.Append(stepCanonizer.Process());

                    }

                    this._xpath = new XPathExpression(stringBuilder.ToString());

                }

 

                private class StepCanonizer

                {

                    private readonly XPathCanonizer.XPathCanonizerState.CanonicalXPath _owner;

 

                    private readonly StringBuilder _sb;

 

                    private readonly IQuery _toplevelQuery;

 

                    private string _name;

 

                    private string _namespace;

 

                    private bool _isAttribute;

 

                    public StepCanonizer(XPathCanonizer.XPathCanonizerState.CanonicalXPath owner, IQuery stepQuery)

                    {

                        this._owner = owner;

                        this._sb = new StringBuilder();

                        this._toplevelQuery = stepQuery;

                    }

 

                    private void _generate()

                    {

                        if (this._isAttribute)

                        {

                            this._sb.Append("@");

                        }

                        this._sb.AppendFormat("*[local-name()='{0}'", this._name);

                        if (this._namespace != null)

                        {

                            this._sb.AppendFormat(" and namespace-uri()='{0}'", this._namespace);

                        }

                        this._sb.AppendFormat("]", this._name);

                    }

 

                    private void _processAxis(BaseAxisQuery axisQuery)

                    {

                        if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(axisQuery.Prefix))

                        {

                            throw new XPathCanonizer.XPathCanonizerState.XPathCanonizationException();

                        }

                        switch (axisQuery.NodeType)

                        {

                            case XPathNodeType.Element:

                            {

                                this._isAttribute = false;

                                break;

                            }

                            case XPathNodeType.Attribute:

                            {

                                this._isAttribute = true;

                                break;

                            }

                            default:

                            {

                                throw new XPathCanonizer.XPathCanonizerState.XPathCanonizationException();

                            }

                        }

                        string name = axisQuery.Name;

                        if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(name))

                        {

                            this._name = name;

                            this._namespace = string.Empty;

                        }

                    }

 

                    private void _processFilter(FilterQuery fq)

                    {

                        this._processAxis(fq.Axis);

                        this._processPredicate(fq.Predicate);

                    }

 

                    private void _processPredicate(IQuery q)

                    {

                        Type type = q.GetType();

                        if (type == typeof(AndExpr))

                        {

                            AndExpr andExpr = q as AndExpr;

                            this._processPredicate(andExpr.LeftOperand);

                            this._processPredicate(andExpr.RightOperand);

                            return;

                        }

                        if (type == typeof(BooleanFunctions))

                        {

                            this._processPredicate((q as BooleanFunctions).BaseQuery);

                            return;

                        }

                        if (type != typeof(LogicalExpr))

                        {

                            throw new XPathCanonizer.XPathCanonizerState.XPathCanonizationException();

                        }

                        LogicalExpr logicalExpr = q as LogicalExpr;

                        if (logicalExpr.OperatorName != "EQ")

                        {

                            throw new XPathCanonizer.XPathCanonizerState.XPathCanonizationException();

                        }

                        IQuery leftOperand = logicalExpr.LeftOperand;

                        IQuery rightOperand = logicalExpr.RightOperand;

                        if (leftOperand is OperandQuery)

                        {

                            IQuery query = leftOperand;

                            leftOperand = rightOperand;

                            rightOperand = query;

                        }

                        if (!(leftOperand is MethodOperand) || !(rightOperand is OperandQuery))

                        {

                            throw new XPathCanonizer.XPathCanonizerState.XPathCanonizationException();

                        }

                        MethodOperand methodOperand = leftOperand as MethodOperand;

                        object str = (rightOperand as OperandQuery).GetValue(null).ToString();

                        string functionName = methodOperand.FunctionName;

                        string str1 = functionName;

                        if (functionName != null)

                        {

                            if (str1 == "FuncNameSpaceUri")

                            {

                                string str2 = (string)str;

                                if (this._namespace != null && this._namespace != str2)

                                {

                                    throw new XPathCanonizer.XPathCanonizerState.XPathCanonizationException();

                                }

                                this._namespace = str2;

                                return;

                            }

                            if (str1 == "FuncLocalName")

                            {

                                string str3 = (string)str;

                                if (str3 == null || str3.Length == 0)

                                {

                                    throw new XPathCanonizer.XPathCanonizerState.XPathCanonizationException();

                                }

                                if (this._name != null && this._name != str3)

                                {

                                    throw new XPathCanonizer.XPathCanonizerState.XPathCanonizationException();

                                }

                                this._name = str3;

                                return;

                            }

                        }

                        throw new XPathCanonizer.XPathCanonizerState.XPathCanonizationException();

                    }

 

                    private void _validate()

                    {

                        if (this._name == null || this._name.Length == 0)

                        {

                            throw new XPathCanonizer.XPathCanonizerState.XPathCanonizationException();

                        }

                        if (this._namespace == null && !this._owner._ignoreNS)

                        {

                            throw new XPathCanonizer.XPathCanonizerState.XPathCanonizationException();

                        }

                    }

 

                    public string Process()

                    {

                        Type type = this._toplevelQuery.GetType();

                        if (type == typeof(FilterQuery))

                        {

                            this._processFilter(this._toplevelQuery as FilterQuery);

                        }

                        else if (type != typeof(ChildrenQuery))

                        {

                            if (type != typeof(AttributeQuery))

                            {

                                throw new XPathCanonizer.XPathCanonizerState.XPathCanonizationException();

                            }

                            this._processAxis(this._toplevelQuery as BaseAxisQuery);

                        }

                        else

                        {

                            this._processAxis(this._toplevelQuery as BaseAxisQuery);

                        }

                        this._validate();

                        this._generate();

                        return this._sb.ToString();

                    }

                }

            }

 

Write a small test app:

1) Open VS.NET and create a console app

2) Reference - c:\program files\microsoft biztalk server XXXX\pipeline components\Microsoft.XLangs.RuntimeTypes.dll
2.1) Reference from the GAC - C:\Windows\assembly\GAC_MSIL\Microsoft.BizTalk.XPathReader\<your version>\Microsoft.BizTalk.XPathReader.dll

Here's my sample code - I'm still working through making my XPath compliant:

using System;

using System.Collections.Generic;

using System.Linq;

using System.Text;

using Microsoft.XLANGs.RuntimeTypes;

using Microsoft.BizTalk.XPath;

 

namespace XpathExpressionTester

{

    class Program

    {

        static void Main(string[] args)

        {

            var strFailed = "/*/*[local-name()='PRD_ProviderData']/*[local-name()='PRD_1_ProviderRole']/*[local-name()='CE_0286_0_Identifier'][text()='RT']/../../*[local-name()='PRD_7_ProviderIdentifiers']";

            var strGood = "/*[local-name()='Fred']/*[local-name()='PRD_ProviderData']/*[local-name()='PRD_1_ProviderRole']/*[local-name()='CE_0286_0_Identifier'][2]";//[text()='RT']"; // /../../*[local-name()='PRD_7_ProviderIdentifiers']";

            //var strGood = "/*[local-name()='Fred']/*[local-name()='PRD_ProviderData']/*[local-name()='PRD_1_ProviderRole']/*[local-name()='CE_0286_0_Identifier' and text()='RT']/../../*[local-name()='PRD_7_ProviderIdentifiers']";

            var xp = new XPathExpression(strGood);

            Console.WriteLine("We got {0}", xp.GetExpression().Count());

            RunTest(strFailed);

            RunTest(strGood);

            Console.ReadLine();

        }

 

        private static void RunTest(string str)

        {

            XPathExpression result = XPathCanonizer.Canonize(str, true);

            if (result != null)

                Console.WriteLine("We got {0}", result.XPath);

            else

                Console.WriteLine("BoomBoom - we failed");

        }

    }

}

 

 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 3:51:23 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | General
# Thursday, May 01, 2014

When we create certain sized VMs, the NICs associated with them are throttled for Outbound traffic. Here’s some numbers that were originally published from a little while ago (may have changed since, but these give you a guide):

Specifications

Extra Small

Small

Medium

Large

Extra Large

CPU

1.0 GHz

1.6 GHz

2 X 1.6 GHz

4 X 1.6 GHz

8 X 1.6 GHz

Memory

768 MB

1.75 GB

3.5 GB

7 GB

14 GB

VM Local Storage

20 GB

225 GB

490 GB

1,000 GB

2,040 GB

Network I/O Performance

Low

Moderate

High

High

High

Allocated Bandwidth

5 Mbps

100 Mbps

200 Mbps

400 Mbps

800 Mbps

Thursday, May 01, 2014 11:27:45 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | Integration | Dev | General
# Friday, April 04, 2014

image

 

Looks pretty snazzy :)

Friday, April 04, 2014 12:02:25 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | Azure | Dev | General
# Tuesday, March 25, 2014

image

Great day was had by all and after some issues with ‘guest wifi’ at the start of my presentation we were off. Top questions and a good vibe filled the room.

As promised – here’s my slides I used and see you this Saturday at the Global Windows Azure Bootcamp – Sydney (Worldwide event)

DEMOS - here

Have a great day folks and see you soon.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 11:13:43 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | Integration | BizTalk | Events | Recordings | General
# Thursday, February 27, 2014

Folks we’re finally here! The stage is set and light the lights as it’s all ready to go oooorrrrffff on March 29th 2014!

What is it – it’s back!!!!

 Global Windows Azure Bootcamp

The Global Windows Azure Bootcamp – over 134 locations will be delivering this world wide event at the same time (same relative time).

In April of 2013 we held the first Global Windows Azure Bootcamp at more than 90 locations around the globe! This year we want to again offer up a one day deep dive class to help thousands of people get up to speed on developing Cloud Computing Applications for Windows Azure. In addition to this great learning opportunity the hands on labs will feature pooling a huge global compute farm to perform diabetes research!

Where is it?

It’s back at Saxons in the city – 10 Barrack Street, NSW 2000 (see the rego page for all the details)

Why you?

It’s a free day of Azure training delivered by several MVPs and other community prominent experts.

Agenda for the day

We will be doing a combination of presentations and hands-on-labs around Azure and all the new features it has to offer.

The final agenda is yet to be determined but it’s something like:

  What the Days Play looks like…
8:30 – 9:00am  Arrive and get comfy, make sure everything is working.
9:00 – 9:15am  Intros, Outline what will be covered for the day & take your input as to what areas to drill into.
9:15 – 9:45am  What is Azure and what has it done for me lately?
9:45 – 10:15am  HOL #1
10:15 – 10:45am  Designing Hybrid Solutions to coexist with On-premise solutions.
10:45 – 11:15am  HOL #2
11:15 – 12:15pm  Exploring Azure and some snazzy items in the toolkit.
12:15pm – 1pm   L U N C H
13:00 – 13:30 Data strategies within Azure.
13.30 – 14:00 HOL #3
14:00 – 14:30 Azure Mobile Services
14:30 – 15:00 HOL #4
15:00 – 15:30 Setting up Azure Active Directory Federation
15:30 – 16:00 HOL #5
16:00 - …. Q&A & general tyre kicking.
   

 

*** What’s required from you on the day ***

BYOD – bring your own machine and internet access will be provided on the day.

Make sure you have a ‘Microsoft Account’ (aka live account) and have signed up for a free trial to Azure Services (I may have some codes for you, but dont count on it)

For the HOL material, we’ll take it from the Windows Azure Training Kit as a basis.

 

Get your skates on and get on over to a great day!

Register Here

Thursday, February 27, 2014 7:26:56 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | GWAB | Breeze | Events | General | Impack
# Friday, January 31, 2014

The buzz on the street is Satya Nadella to be the next CEO at Microsoft.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2092196/report-satya-nadella-to-be-named-microsoft-ceo-gates-out-too.html

Having met and spent time with him – he comes across as being very thoughtful with points in question being responded to carefully and measured.

Great innovator & I think will guide the ship where it needs to go to be successful during these technologically shifting times.

Wishing you all the success Satya.

Friday, January 31, 2014 11:48:50 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | MVP
# Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My take and some answers on ithttp://www.cloudsecurityalliance.org/topthreats/

Welcome back folks to a beautiful 2014 and I had an interesting one while going through a Cloud Solution Design
I came across this document The Notorious Nine Cloud Computing Top Threats in 2013 and I thought I’d talk through these concerns one by one.

  1. Data Breaches -  this issue can occur on many levels and I don’t think it’s just limited to ‘Cloud’ per se – it could be your insurance company down the road,
    the doctor, dentist etc. and we’ve all seen those TV shows where the ‘hustlers’ go through someone’s trash to pull out key gems of information to unlock the scam.

    Interestingly in the paper, the university of North Carolina Chapel Hill came up with a technique to steal data from a VM running as one of many within the same host, with the ‘unis VM’ able
    to steal data being transmitted through the other VMs. This was performed through a combination of monitoring various known factors of the host,
    such as thread scheduling, L1 cache and power. The paper highlighted that currently the virtualisation technologies need to do more about isolation.
  2. Data Loss – Cloud and non-cloud users fall foul of this with Cloud typically being a target for hackers. Geo-Replication, backups and Government policies on data and it’s storage all help here.
    Encryption could be something that you may want to employ to ensure some protection over the copies of data now present.
  3. Account Hijacking – gaining unlawful access to account details such as user/pass combination. Amazon in 2010 was foul to a cross site scripting bug that allowed 3rd parties to get access
    to user/pass credentials. With the explosion on the Cloud keeping your credentials safe becomes that much more important. Also changing passwords frequently would be a good habit
    to get into.

    The other interesting point here to note is that if your account is indeed hijacked then it maybe sometime until the hackers exploit this.

    Gaining access to someone’s account doesn’t have to be a hi-tech solution either. As in the movie Sneakers all that was required was a dinner conversation for the voice password
    ”My voice is my passport”
  4. Insecure APIs – Cloud based APIs form the under pinning of many software and services available today. Essentially ensure these APIs are secure to the best possible effort and
    while they may not be compromised, are they able to stand DDOS attacks for e.g.
  5. Denial of Service – With the advent of the Cloud and cloud services, these attacks could for e.g. hit your Cloud based website causing it to be unresponsive, but you’re still being
    billed for the usage. Also within Microsoft Azure web site configurations we can now add DDOS settings to indicate when the underlying load balancer should throttle the requests coming
    from a particular rogue client.
  6. Malicious Insiders – the focus here is both internal, hosted and Cloud based solutions. Policies and procedures are more important within the Cloud space – what procedures does your
    provider follow? Who can access the encryption keys? where are they stored? etc.
  7. Abuse of Cloud Services – The Cloud possesses many servers, elastic scale and dynamic compute power, making it the perfect platform
    for a bot-net to spin up in and get to work. Azure limits default subscriptions to 20 cores, more are available upon request.
  8. Insufficient Due Diligence – Don’t jump into the Cloud platform without examining the offer. Many hosting providers have added the word ‘Cloud’ to the front of their names as in ‘Cloud Hosting Providers’ with the underlying process and infrastructure the same, with the same vulnerabilities.

    In this space Azure has many ratified processes that get re-certified each year with some of these processes available to military grade specification.

    Cloud is big business for Microsoft and getting things like this wrong would be a true achilles heel.
  9. Shared Technology Issues – as Cloud providers share underlying technologies from CPUs, Services, Storage and other services. If these are exposed then so is your platform potentially.

Talk to you soon.

Mick.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 4:07:07 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | Integration | General | Other | TechTalk
# Wednesday, October 02, 2013

I received an email in the early hours of this morning right when Arsenal just slotted one home in the Champions League…and I thought…”Can this moment get any better?” – YOU BET! My MVP re-award email came through :)

Big thanks to the folks at Microsoft for bestowing this award to me again (9th year running) and being given the chance to be part of a great knowledgeable MVP community.

The real thanks goes to you guys in the community of which I try to make a difference in the Azure Space. With cloud offerings changing every other week (it feels like), it’s almost a full time job keeping on top of things. New numbers, bigger limits, faster storage, different ways to manage traffic, connections, deployments, code platforms… and the list goes on.

Thanks to each and all of you for making this award possible in this great country – Australia (down under, Oz… and any other name you know it as)

Boom!!

or as a friend says ‘Ka-Boom!’

Wednesday, October 02, 2013 2:45:44 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | Integration | BizTalk | Dev | General | MVP
# Tuesday, October 01, 2013

While search for some MS Events – I gravitated towards

https://msevents.microsoft.com and boom! I recognise her and her and me!

image 

image

 

image 

(there’s my hand in there)

Tuesday, October 01, 2013 3:06:02 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Events | General
# Monday, September 30, 2013

While on holidays full of fishing, camping and swimming I thought I’d give my Telstra 4G box a crack on a speed test.

Results are MUCH BETTER than I get at home! Maybe I’ll just have to be deserted for a long while…’Wilson…Wilson…where are you Wilson?’

image

Monday, September 30, 2013 6:01:22 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Tuesday, September 10, 2013

If you don’t hear from me for a while you’ll know things have gone horribly wrong…

Going in :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 7:12:15 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Win8
# Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Unexpected high traffic and high demand causes Myers website to fail…..

These stories are becoming more and more common place in todays world and the interesting thing is, that we have solutions available to this exact problem in place for several years.

Cloud – Azure – elastic scale, on-demand etc.

 

The secret is how do we go from on premise #fail to a hybrid blend scenario where we can use the best of both worlds – that is what we’ve been doing for years.

Read more here - http://www.breeze.net/news/breezetalk/traffic-causes-myer-stocktake-fail-let%27s-talk-cloud.aspx

Wednesday, June 05, 2013 11:59:41 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | Integration | General
# 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
# Monday, April 29, 2013

While looking into purchasing MSDN licenses for a client here’s what I found:

For the US:

image

 

Now when you change the drop down from US to Australia we get these prices (given that $AUD 1 = (approx) $USD 1

image

So for e.g. take a MSDN – VS.NET Test.

Aussie Dollar = $3,460   US= $2,170 which equates to $AUD 1 = $USD 0.627

this is what happens when living in a 3rd world country…. Smile - absolutely outrageous.

Monday, April 29, 2013 10:27:38 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | Dev | General
# Thursday, March 14, 2013

You may pass things like:

“Beware falling rocks do not stop”

on the side of the road while on a trip somewhere.

Here’s one I got today from Outlook:

 

image

 

“Was this info helpful?” – love it!

Thursday, March 14, 2013 12:05:54 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Wednesday, February 20, 2013

When I went to the Microsoft Partner Portal – Boom!

https://mspartner.microsoft.com/en/au/Pages/index.aspx

image

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 8:44:41 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Breeze | General
# Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Hi guys, while planning for an Azure Based Event (ABE) coming soooon….or at least after Santa has come and gone & given me a birthday pressie, I was directed to a new site in the wings.

Coatsy and his DPE crew have been busy creating a site just for us.

One that accepts our slang and other Aussie quotes.

Register and it will notify you of all the events and other up and coming tidbits.

http://azure.msdeveloper.com.au/Default.aspx?at=blogs

+1 for the Aussie know how (Even if we speak US (English) :))

 

Stay tuned…and keep this on the bat-utility belt. “Holy Azure Batman….”

Tuesday, December 04, 2012 5:20:03 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | Integration | General | Tips
# Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hi folks, I’m just blown away by all the goodies in these 2 releases

1) the SP1

2) the Feature Pack SP1

Both have some pretty big improvements, especially around the SharePoint 2013 <-> SQL scenario and pivot tables, analysis, mining etc.

There’s even SQL Services that continuously copy data from Oracle to SQL – this I’ll have to try on my next BizTalk project.

Check it out - http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35580

Now I’d love to have a single download for them all…. Smile

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 10:17:18 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | General | SharePoint | 2013

Folks with the unforeseen skill from Christian Longstaff,  we could be unveiling something great….. kicking around a few ideas and Christian’s talent for such things shone.

As with all amazing shiny new things it needed a place in the blog-sphere…

clip_image002

Could it be a book….a show….a movie….or something more….

Stay tuned….

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 5:19:27 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | General
# Monday, August 13, 2012

With Hyper-V now available on Win8 it's more important than ever.

VOTE here: https://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsServerFeedback/feedback/details/390443/hyper-v-needs-usb-support

The more votes...the more importance this issue has.

Let's get it in there.

p.s. I'm aware of the 'workarounds' after having to plug 183 usb devices into a virtual environment. Hours I'll never get back

Monday, August 13, 2012 7:59:38 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Dev | General | Tips
# Thursday, July 19, 2012
Thursday, July 19, 2012 11:54:44 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I am still in shock over this award and are very humbled in receiving it – over 3500+ entries and our story won. Thank you Microsoft, thank you Breeze team and thank you to our great customers in which all of this would not have been possible without you.

Application Integration
WPC11_WebBnnr_Anim_Winner

 

Cloud Partner
 WPC12_WebBnnr_Anim_Finalist

So today was the day at WPC2012 to receive the award up on stage here in Toronto. Not nervous at all Winking smile seeing we had a 2hr rehearsal yesterday.

What a time has this been so far at my first WPC!!! Compared to ‘techie’ conferences the dress standard is higher, different type of events and some great tech demos that are mind blowing (there was one on the keynote today where a partner had developed software around Kinect that created a 3d model of a person by moving the Kinect camera around the person, their software stitched the images together to produce a 3d model. Then the image/model was fed to a 3D printer and presto…out came the 3D person! Very cool)

So after having a photo down under the stadium we were to come out of I was ready to go….

Waiting in the tunnel:
WP_000094

 

My View from out in the middle:
WP_000096

 

Your view of the middle:

WP_000383

 

So all in all it’s been a great day, great time so far and well worth it. I was then fortunate enough to be invited to a Azure Round table discussion with Satya Nadella (President of Server and Tools) and what a lovely lovely lovely guy. He’s very switched on and a refreshing experience was had with myself and 6 others in the room.

He took away our Azure stories and feedback so let's wait and see what transpires – very inspirational stuff! Thank you Satya.

WP_000100

 

And I think I the Northern Hemisphere could be affecting me slightly…

WP_000099

 

More filming tonight and then I can relax!! Open-mouthed smile

WPC Day 2.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 8:25:41 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [1] -
Azure | Integration | BizTalk | Breeze | Events | 2012 | General
# Saturday, July 07, 2012

After getting tickets to the Mets V Cubs tonight 4 of us decided to go to the baseball. First game and I’m very sketchy on the rules.

What a night!! Great night and I can totally see why you get hooked on it.

Chanting and cheering through the game, a home run hit came our way hit from a Cubs player. I *caught* it(my brother was waiting for a hit all game unfortunately he was off buying food when all this was going on) and had the match ball in my hot little hand.

What to do next? – being my first game ever and not knowing too much about the traditions the whole crowd erupted all around me.

I thought it was just crown banter for catching the ball, it was intense as one half was screaming to keep the ball, the rest throw it back – either way I figured I was done for by someone.
The game was stopped in the meantime…

After conferring with some guys behind me, I ended up throwing it back as to a Mets supporter this indicates that the ball is not worthy of keeping. (The Cub’s supporter reciprocate while at home as well)

What a moment, what a game and what fun. Jane – one of the boys behind me later went and bought me a baseball, as a good will gesture. Thanks Jane that’s very kind of you.

Great fun – what a game.

WP_000069

Saturday, July 07, 2012 2:09:41 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Monday, June 04, 2012

I think at the moment, the short answer is no! Off to check the documentation…

”To continue with this installation or upgrade…please remove!…”

image

….

From the documentation – we uninstall TFS 2010 bits, but not the DB obviously and you do….

Step 3 Use Control Panel to completely uninstall the previous version of Team Foundation Server. If SharePoint Products is running on a computer other than Team Foundation Server, you have to uninstall the TFS Extensions for SharePoint from the SharePoint server, too. If SharePoint Products is on the TFS application tier, don’t worry: We’ll automatically uninstall the TFS Extensions for SharePoint while we remove the old version of TFS.

Uninstall previous version

Step 4 Run the Team Foundation Server install from the product DVD and then use the Upgrade Configuration wizard to upgrade your installation. But wait—if SharePoint Products is running on a computer other than the computer running Team Foundation Server, you’ll first want to install the new TFS Extensions for SharePoint on the SharePoint server. Similar to the previous step, if SharePoint Products is on the TFS application tier, we’ll automatically install the Extensions for SharePoint while we set up the new version of TFS.

Select upgrade

Monday, June 04, 2012 2:57:24 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | General | TFS
# Monday, May 28, 2012
Huge assortment of scripts for all the family on many many many different jobs....

http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/ScriptCenter/

Note to self: Why didn't I come across this sooner??

Enjoy,

Mick.

Monday, May 28, 2012 5:03:50 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Dev | General | Tips
# Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Folks, this is Scotty's 2nd presentation this week where he shares is love, scripts and years of experience in Managing Azure Applications (Breeze started back in early 2008).

Tune into this free event and to hear & see what Scotty has on offer.

Register

LIVE Meeting: Managing Windows Azure Applications

Event ID: 1032500972

Language(s):  English.
Product(s):  Microsoft BizTalk Server and Windows Azure.
So you just made your first Windows Azure deployment. Now what? Is it healthy? How many instances do you need? What will my bill be? When do I need to scale up? Was that a DoS attack? Will auto-patching break me? Getting an application into Windows Azure is the first step, now you have to run the application for the next three years. Come to this session and see how to manage and operate your Windows Azure applications.

Register

Tuesday, May 01, 2012 8:51:51 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Events | BizTalk2010 | Recordings | General
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
# Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pretty quick and Win8 is looking pretty slick.

It found all my drivers and in about 15 mins I was up and running.

Let’s see how we go over the next couple of weeks Smile

Sunday, March 11, 2012 11:42:48 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Breeze | General
# Thursday, February 09, 2012

Hi folks, I hope 2012 has been a great start for you as well.

Currently at Breeze I’m after 2 more BizTalk/SharePoint/.NET junior Developers to join a great team.

If you love technology and want to get your hands dirty then we should chat – ideally you’ve got sound .NET development experience and exposure to SharePoint and BizTalk.

We’re also a training company, so we will skill you up in required areas – the thing I’m looking for is a great attitude. The rest can be learnt…

If you want to get into the Software/Systems integrations space and start solving some great puzzles then let’s hear from you.

Here’s the Job Details.

Thursday, February 09, 2012 4:38:41 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Breeze | Jobs | General | Jobs
# Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Well folks it’s now 2 days after the swim and I’m beginning to feel back to normal.
(I have 2 more swims to go, but this was the big one)

Firstly I’d like to thank all of you whom sponsored me to face the sharks in

‘Jacques Cousteau’ style.

 

There’s a great video that does a good job of covering the race and the beautiful day we had.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?hl=en&v=YXk7NXysslA&gl=US

The Race
-
I got there with a bit of time to spare grabbed my PINK cap + ankle bracelet (which had to be worn on the LEFT ankle, as sharks eat only right ones Disappointed smile )
- The race kicked off at 10am with staggered starts and as it turned out my group 40-49yr males started last!
- I got pretty nervous before the start…I’d kill for a cocktail out the back.
- As the other groups were hitting the water, there were 16yr olds that I reckon would be done before I got out past the break.
- Livesavers were on hand, helicopters overhead and I stuck to my strategy ‘keep at least one other person between you and the ocean’.
- We hit the water and had about 400m around the first marker, and the 40-49s were up for some serious competition.
Elbows, knees, goggles off and I even had someone pull my foot. Anyone would think we’re doing Olympic time trials!!! And this is in the first 200m.
- The swell was up around the point and there was a lot of ups and downs, downs and ups with some guys seeking help from nausea.
- I swam close as I could to the rocks with the pack a good 100m to my left out to sea. I did think ‘Micks' taken the wrong track here’
- What seemed like forever around that headland and surf was up there, I finally rounded the point into Whale beach. (the video has a great shot of this spot)
- Headed for the last marker that I could see way down the other end of the beach.
- Turned and headed towards the only break I could see….caught a wave in – which made it all worth while and came in at 50mins (some people were around 25mins!)
- As I emerged out of the water about to kiss the sand like the pope, my family was literally 1m away right in front!!! Amazing!

Overall
It was a great experience with even an 82yr old man doing the swim – puts me in my place.

Thanks all for the support and 2 more to go for me.

Cheers,

Mick.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 1:17:08 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hi folks, we’ve set a cracking pace into 2012 and are in need of an additional team member.

If you love technology, we love technology and I’d love to hear from you to be part of my team.

You will be stimulated, constantly thinking and challenged – azure, integration, biztlak, sql, windows phone 7 and many other technology areas you’ll be exposed to. Integration is all about the glue we use to achieve the result.

If you’re keen for a chat check out the blurb - http://www.breeze.net/about/jobs.aspx

Cheers,

Mick.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 11:32:16 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
AppFabricServer | Azure | BizTalk | 2010 | Breeze | BET | Dev | General | Jobs
# Monday, December 12, 2011

WP_000629

Monday, December 12, 2011 10:43:40 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Xbox 360
# Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Well folks it’s week 5 of a 12 week program where the great Can Too swim coaches train you and put you through a challenge.

I signed up for a ‘2.5km’ ocean swim – Palm beach to whale beach. Which for me is well off my map and out of my comfort zone – so it’s a challenge for me mentally and physically, but really only a small price to pay for the challenges that cancer sufferers.

My endeavor is raise money for cancer research – you have the chance to make a tax deductible donation through my page - http://cantoosydneyswimprogram.gofundraise.com.au/page/Mick_Badran
(my target is $1250 in total)

My pledge is that I will swim 4 times a week, rain hail or shine (just so I don’t drown in this swim) – feel free to come and join me if you’re in the area. Early week – at Wileys Baths (near Coogee), later in the week Clovelly laps.

So what can I offer you as incentive – as an MVP each year I get a MSDN Subscription “Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN” (many thanks Microsoft).
Check out the versions - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/subscriptionschart.aspx

image

To whomever donates the most I will give you this! I’d also really like to put this subscription to good use.

You maybe starting out, starting up, or whatever – you will have all MS Products at your development disposal.

I challenge you for cancer research, good luck and Merry Christmas!!!

Important: You can contact me on twitter on - @mickba

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 11:58:13 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Events | General
# Thursday, November 24, 2011

image

So your SQL 2012 is US$6.8K/core which roughly equates to 4 cores = a SQL 2008 Ent license.

How many DB servers have 4 cores? I wonder if there’s a way now to limit the cores then that SQL 2012 will use on for e.g. an 8 or 12 core machine.

Will this change by RTM?? I wonder.

(on a side note – way back when ‘hyper threading’ originally came out, when 1 CPU looked liked ‘2’ to the O/S, MS wanted to license per visible CPU. Intel & AMD at the time said if you do that we’ll take the feature out…nowadays we call them ‘CORES’ and looks like the discussion has come full circle)

Thursday, November 24, 2011 3:41:44 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Events | General
# Tuesday, October 18, 2011

While wrestling with SharePoint 2007 SP2 today, I got a great error message.

“SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wiza” – Wizzzzzaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!
(this sits nicely with Shazza, Mappa, Timmy, Kimmy, and on it goes…”)

image

Now to sort the problem out…

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 12:52:55 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | SharePoint | Tips
# Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Now there’s hope, there’s an answer and a way out.

I’ve been fried, engulfed, pea shot and corn fodder with the darkness creeping up all around me.

Whether I’m lounging by the pool, or staring into thick fog with the occasional trip to the roof….

…the answer is here….

The addicts guide to PvZ!!

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2358604/plants_vs_zombies_how_to_cope_with.html?cat=19

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 11:48:51 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Other | Windows Phone 7
# Monday, March 14, 2011

“Good People talk plans….Great people talk logistics” :)

Thanks Rahul – had to write that one down.

Monday, March 14, 2011 3:30:21 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Windows 7 SP1 was released yesterday and after a 1.9GB download I was ready to install.

Or so I thought...

Ran the Upgrade from within my version of Windows 7 x64 on my Fujitsu laptop


After the installation and upon rebooting several times....the upgrade process was at the step of 'starting windows for the first time....' (not quite as this was an upgrade, but if we were installing from scratch that would be it).

I was lovingly greeted by a BSOD STOP 0x0000007B!!!

Going no further - message.

So I downloaded and burnt 'Win7 with SP1' and tried the whole fresh install again - same again. STOP ERROR


Alas....I'm writing this message while I'm re-installing just Win7 x64 without a hitch

Mick is avoiding SP1 like the plague right now!

I'm sure its been tested on a machine with SATA drives :)
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 4:15:23 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Wednesday, January 12, 2011

clip_image001

Courtesy of the Daily Courier – too good to pass up :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 2:46:54 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Today while typing away searching for something with BING in my IE8 I got this little experience…

(I was searching for the Windows Phone 7 SDK… but I got up to ‘wind’ and look what happened :) )

Note: the cloud!!! wow! AND it is raining ‘a bit’ today.

image

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 9:45:07 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Friday, August 13, 2010

Well folks, after a recent week of performance issues running a SharePoint 2010 VM image (40GB) on Virtual Box (v3.0.14 & v3.2.8) Olaf (a fellow Breezer) and I sat down and put our thinking caps on as how to improve things.

- Hyper-V wasn’t an option due to classroom setups and portability issues.

After scouring the forums, posts, blogs and other to see how to squeeze every last bit of performance from Virtual Box – I’ve come to the conclusion that current versions just don’t take full advantage of Core i7 architectures, hence they run dog slow (1 virtual cpu seems to run better than multiple).

Enter VMWare – I’m relatively new to the world of VMWare, although others on my team swear by it.

So I downloaded VMWare Player (free) image

And configured a Virtual Machine (or two)

image

So the issue is (as I’m sure you’re well aware if you’re reading this), is that booting up Windows 2008 R2 (in my case), the native disks are SCSI and we get the dreaded Inaccessible Boot Device error (stop 0x7B).

(Back in WinXP, Win2000 & Win2003 (I think) there *used* to be a recovery option that you could repair my boot environment and it would ‘rediscover’ all the disks etc and you’d be on your way)

The aim is boot into Windows, allow it to discover, load and install the VMWare SCSI drivers (from LSI…) and then in theory you’re good to go.

After drilling down through the VMWare forums (a foreign place for me), there’s a few articles on ‘injecting drivers’ into the system, startup etc – none of these techniques worked for me (I booted to Repair window and ran regedit to ‘tweak’ some startup registry keys).

Still stuck and after many hours we noticed that CD/DVD (IDE) was an available device on the system as follows:

image

I thought “I wonder if I can attach the VHD as an IDE??”

After locating the VMWare VM config file – a *.VMX file I saw a couple of entries…

ide1:0.present = "TRUE"
ide1:0.filename = “…MicksBootIso.iso”

 

So I thought, let me try

 

ide1:0.present = "TRUE"
ide1:0.filename= "D:\VHDs\VHDs\SharePoint2010_v2_Child.vhd"

 

image


Saved and booted up like a bought one!

So for now…this works fantastically AND THE PERFORMANCE is at least 3-4 times faster than Virtual Box for this image. Just really snappy!

Here’s a sample file attached – enjoy.

Windows Server 2008 R2 x64.zip (1.12 KB)
Friday, August 13, 2010 5:10:29 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | General | SharePoint
# Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Folks this is too good to be left out…

There’s an Octopus named ‘Paul’ that’s predicted 5 from 5 of Germany’s last results (wins + losses), with his previous success rate for the Euro 2008 being 80% where he wrongly predicted Germany would beat Spain and Spain won.

Now, with the Semi finals very close, the Octopus has predicted Spain to win.

Essentially his prediction is – they drop 2 cubes each with the nations flag on it, and in the cubes they have his ‘dinner’ (a muscle). The cube he opens the lid to first and eats the muscle is his prediction.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2010/07/07/2946732.htm

Let’s see how he fairs tomorrow morning (my time).

octopus

germanyvEng

germanoctopus2

germanyvSpain

Wednesday, July 07, 2010 8:29:14 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sorry I’ve been quiet folks – I’ve been sleep deprived, not really knowing which day is what and…I guess it’s like having a new born again. :)

My extended family is English and they sent through a cracker….

photo

See you soon,

Mick.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 10:17:10 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Events | General
# Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hi guys – Breeze is looking for talent that can hit the ground running in BizTalk and/or SharePoint.

Being a training company we’ll skill you up further and you’ll be working on a vast array of cutting edge technologies.

Ideally you must be Sydney based and full time preferred.

If you’re up then drop Nicki a line – n i c k i p @ <no spam> breeze (dot) net

Happy travels all,

Mick.

Saturday, March 13, 2010 9:48:46 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Jobs
# Sunday, February 21, 2010

Here’s a handy set of commands when using in particular Virtual Machines with a ‘demo’ environment.

We certainly create images for my students to take away with them and the common question is:

When will this OS expire?” or more likely on the 3rd day of a 5 day course I get the error popping up stating the OS has expired and will shutdown every 2hrs.

To know when the OS may expire from the command prompt:

c:\slmgr –xpr

To possibly EXTEND to trial period for the OS

c:\slmgr –rearm

(note – you can only get away with this a few times)

If this fails, you can always jump to MS and try and get a trial key off their site.

Sunday, February 21, 2010 9:57:49 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [2] -
General | Tips
# Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I got an email from David Marsh telling me about this new world from MS. Let me share a little…
Way back when…LOGO was one of the first languages I learnt as a kid.

Moving a turtle around on a page with commands such as PenUp, PenDown, RightTurn etc etc – pretty cool as a kid and then you could draw things (there was a big version of the Turtle that interfaced into an Apple II via a ribbon cable as wide as a 4 lane highway)

MS Dev Labs have released a great SmallBasic environment that is very simple to pickup (great for kids).
It’s got a very simple set of commands AND it outputs straight to Silverlight.


Pretty quick ways of building silverlight apps….nice!

Check out http://smallbasic.com –only if you have some free time smile_wink


Wednesday, February 10, 2010 2:39:38 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | General | Silverlight | Tips
# Monday, January 18, 2010

From time to time I check out on what’s happening in my favourite ‘moon lighting’ area – Silverlight.

Love the Silverlight potential – I’m a big fan.

So from http://silverlight.net – I found a Z-80 EMULATOR!!! (like what’s next an Apple II)

You hit the ‘Run’ button and far too many years has passed between me and my Computer Engineering Degree of Demorgans Theorem and Fast Fourier Transforms.

Great effort! (by someone whom had SOOO much time on their hands)

image

http://www.expertgig.com/slsample/sl_z80emu/SL_Z80emuTestPage.html

Monday, January 18, 2010 10:01:24 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Silverlight | Tips
# Wednesday, January 13, 2010
How is this?



16 cores and too much RAM to know what to do with.

I wish this was my latest laptop...but alas it's a test server for a bts project I'm on.....here's to dreaming.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 10:51:01 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Friday, November 27, 2009

There I was rebuilding a new VPC Image (which I'm running in Virtual Box) and the base VHD is a parent of 16GB.

For an install of Win2008, VS.NET 2010, SQL2008... it's pretty much game over with a full disk.

I spent the last 3 days shifting files around to clear space

So tonight I bit the bullet and Ghosted the partition over to a 200GB - much better :)

This issue I had was that the boot environment was different and 'in the good old days' we'd change the BOOT.INI and bobs your uncle.

Welcome to Vista and beyond...as you know we have the BCD Store
There's a very common tool (blogged about everywhere) called BCDEDIT.EXE which if GUIDs are your think and long command line options, you can 'manually' manage the Store (there's also a bunch of 3rd party apps that say 'lets do this from the UI' - I'm in recovery mode)

For the life of me I couldn't remember the tool I used last time this happened to me, which I said 'don't forget Mick'.

BOOTREC /rebuildbcd
Too easy...then if you can't sleep you could also crack onto BCDEDIT.EXE to 'customise' some aspect. (e.g. booting up off multiple logical CORES)
Bootrec
Bootrec
Bootrec

I will not forget Bootrec

Friday, November 27, 2009 11:24:24 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Tips
# Friday, November 20, 2009
As part of a 'dev' machine setup, I run on my latop Win2008R2 x64 Hyper-V...why? to simply run x64 hosts.
Virtual PC, Virtual Server - will run on x64, but not host x64 O/Ss. So really the only option is Hyper-V in the MS land.

I present, demo + and draw all over my tablet screen on a regular basis as well as cut code in Server O/S.

The main problems I faced:
- was my display was dog slow, especially running VS2010, ppt or generally anything else that an average user might do.
- I remove the Hyper-V role off my machine and low and behold it's back to normal.

A student pointed me to a TechNet article - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/961661 in which the resolution is to install a VGA Display driver.
This is kinda not an option for me presenting etc.

Still I needed to run those x64 bit guests.
I was contemplating getting a monster laptop (the other day I was training with laptops that had 8GB of RAM, 6GB allocated to the VM!) or setting up various 'Demo RDP Connections' back into the office, so when I'm onsite and I need to demo then (somehow) I can get internet connectivity and RDP back to a server based VM - lot's of potential issues with this approach)

So the MS Story in this space at the moment is:
- 1) you want to run 32-bit hosts, VirtualPC or Virtual Server running on x64 or x86. Only x86 guests!
- 2) you want 64-bit guests -> Hyper-V (therefore you're looking at running Win2K8/R2). At work we have 15+ VMs running on Hyper-V machines really well, so no complaints there when running on Servers. It's just running it on my laptop where's it's not special.

Problem is - going fwd, the latest wave of Server Products, SharePoint 2010, Exchange 2010, CRM 5 etc....only run on x64

So onto to my unbelievable experience....

Last night I caught up with a couple of buddies Andrew Mee and Guy Riddle, where Guy mentioned all the pain he'd had in trying to get a x64 but guest up and running on his laptop. Here is his current solution:

Guy mentioned his setup:
1) Win7x64
2) VirtualBox - for VM emulation - WITH USB SUPPORT!!!! wow! In the land of BizTalk RFID, I had major issues with USB devices trying to be picked up inside the VM - 3rd party solutions etc. crazy.


He mentioned there were a few things to do around the disks etc...but he could run x64 guests on his Win7 machine AND the VMs FLEW!

So I thought there was a touch of the amber fluid talking and maybe he was indeed onto something. When I got home later that night I decided tonight was the night to refresh the laptop (fujitsu lifebook t4215/4GB/T7400) and Install Win7x64.

My potential issue with Virtual Box:
-
I have a huge library of VHDs (parents, diffs etc) that for portability suites me down to the ground. I walk into a training room and can transfer my VHDs to the student machines and run them no hassles.
- If there's a VirtualBox specific format (VDI) then it yet another step in my export chain.

Alas - VirtualBox reads/writes VHDs automatically, unbelievable.

So I setup Win7x64 on my latop and got back to 9 sec bootup and shutdown times :-) - gee that was refreshing after so long without.

I installed VirtualBox - it installed like a treat, and does 'snapshots' and has a great user interface. I didn't need to visit the cmd line once.

So now for the test - I was going to fire up my SP2010 Beta2 (Win2K8 R2 x64) VHDs, 40GB in size, differencing and Parent, straight from Hyper-V with Hyper-V extensions (in the past when I've done something like this, there's usually a blue screen invovled saying 'boot device not found')

Let's give it a crack I thought - all from the UI.
1) Within VirtualBox, I created a machine, added 2 CPUs, 1 NIC and 1400MB of RAM.
2) Attached the Child VHD from my SP2010.
3) I even had 3D graphic acceleration options for my VM, along with amd-v and 'nested tables' for some sort of faster memory access. Turn them all on I thought! We'll put it through its paces.

Started the machine......
  1. upon first boot my hyper-v enabled VM booted straight up to the Login screen! Unbelievable I thought.
  2. logged in and it found my NIC within 10 secs and was on the network within 20 secs (through NAT). If you've ever experienced a Hyper-V update where your Guests don't talk to the network anymore, until you put the new hyper-v additions on - you'll know the pain.
  3. mouse/keyboard recognised.
  4. I then thought - let me install the VirtualBox additions - can't hurt.
  5. RDP support etc etc ...it's like shopping @ christmas - how good is this! yes I'll have that...and this...




    So back to Guy's immortal words - "it runs fast. Snappy, responsive etc"

    My SP2010B2 in 1.4GB RAM x64 VM runs fanstastic!
    - Fastest I've seen a VM run on my laptop for a long long time (unless it's WFW 3.11)
        It's just so refreshing to have a responsive VM running in reasonable memory. I found that if I allocated 2.5GB to a VM under hyper-v I wouldn't notice a marked improvement. It's not like it flew, and then I had to tweak it back to find that 'optimum sweet spot'

What an experience! What I'm seeing is that certainly for the desktop machine, VirtualBox can be a serious contender for x64 guests.

Thanks Guy for planting the seed!!!



Friday, November 20, 2009 2:24:03 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Tips | Training
# Monday, November 09, 2009

Guys – something that always gets me.
*** Update – I’m actually saying this is not good for a server ***

Q. Why when you install Win2K8/R2 out of the box settings have the POWER MODE=balanced???

I’m always amazed by this – there’s 101 other questions + answers you’re asked and you give. But nowhere does the system say (oh a server system mind you)

“BTW – you know the 8 Cores you have, you’re gonna use 2 of them at any one time…”

It’s a Server O/S not a desktop (Desktop I can totally understand – saving power, greener world etc etc) – server I don’t get.
(The flip side to that coin is - “if the server actually ran at a faster capacity – I’d be finished in 30 mins instead of 4hrs” –> therefore you save 3.30mins of green lush rainforest – or some nuclear radiation from entering the world)

I find this power setting is always one of those elusive settings on Server, upon first start up you get prompted for Roles, Features, Networking even IE Security Settings….but nothing about limping along.

You have been warned – you may think “What’s Mick on about”…did I tell you about the TWO production environments I recently visited and they thought I was a miracle worker…

I wonder is SCOM 2007 R2 reports that setting back to the main console??

Monday, November 09, 2009 8:20:31 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Tips
# Saturday, October 03, 2009

Well – October is always a special month for me…I’ve got family birthdays and my MVP Award is up for renomination. You basically keep getting assessed for the work done in the past year.

Keeps you on your toes and makes sure that complacency doesn’t creep in :-)

I’m happy to say I’m back for another year!!! Whoo hoo! It’s really you guys – the community that make my efforts possible. As long as you need them, I’ll do my best to help.

Bring on 2009/2010 – there should be some great advancements in our technology worlds, more agile, more cloud based and more accessible.
(‘Integration should just work’ – that’s the theory)

MVP Logo - Horizontal

Saturday, October 03, 2009 9:52:41 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
2009 | General | Other
# Friday, September 25, 2009

I woke up on Wednesday morning to a thick soup blanket of red.

No buildings, no cliffs, no grass…just Red. (We’d been teleported to Mars I thought)

Pretty amazing stuff, here’s some piccies that capture the moment :)

1
2
3

Friday, September 25, 2009 6:20:26 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Friday, September 11, 2009

At Teched this year I thought I’d catch up on a couple of exams…always lots to do (still didn’t do all of them) but I discovered a little tool on the MCP site – logo builder.
(I’m sure it’s been there for years :)

MCAD MCSD MCT Mick_MCTS

Notice the different colours – don’t know how that happened, but maybe I’ll plaster them up next to my ‘learn to swim’ and ‘tread water for 2mins’ certs.

Have a great weekend all – and hopefully see you sometime soon.

Mick.

Friday, September 11, 2009 9:41:23 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Thursday, July 23, 2009

This was being sent around our office today that I thought I’d just have to share with you….

image 

My first thought was ‘photoshop’….but one of the South African born Girls here swears black and blue that this is normal.

Everything about this picture is wrong…at any point the goat could say “forget this…I don’t have the right shoes on”
(he would probably bleat it out to his mates)

Just goes to show….we’re limited only by our own minds…

Thought for “Micks Day”

Thursday, July 23, 2009 2:54:06 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Tips
# Thursday, June 04, 2009

Well folks – that pain point SPAM, it’s normally pills, sniffers, adding inches, removing inches…

Lately I’ve been getting…”Just confirming for the online event X that is happening in 2 days <blurb> Click Here”

This latest one I had to share with you…

Essentially the SPAMMERs formula is… <Send Email><Add Words to Make User Click><Provide Dodgey Links that will track you for life><End Email>

Sent from a gmail acct (that makes it real… :)

-----------------------

Princeton Global Networks

<http://rm.resultsmail.com/customers/BGInc/img/new%20logo.jpg>

Dear Mick Badran,


It is my pleasure to inform you that you are being considered for inclusion into the 2009/2010 Princeton Global Networks "Honors Edition" of the Registry.

The 2009/2010 edition of the Registry will include biographies of the world's most accomplished individuals. Recognition of this kind is an honor shared by thousands of executive and professional men & women throughout America and the World each year. Inclusion is considered by many as a very high mark of achievement.

Upon final confirmation, you will be listed among a select few of accomplished individuals in the Princeton Global Network Registry. There is NO cost to be included in the Registry as a basic listing.

For accuracy and publication deadlines, please complete your application by using the link provided below and submit your information to us at the earliest opportunity.

http://www.formdesk.com/pgn/New (Link has been modified as it contained GUIDs that I reckon verify my addr)

On behalf of the Managing Director, we wish you continued success.

Sincerely,

<Bugs Bunny>

Editor in Chief

Thursday, June 04, 2009 12:38:18 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Other
# Monday, May 18, 2009

First time I’ve got this error… Wonder why 30 secs is the key.

I think I might put the 30 second retry on my application exceptions :)

image

Monday, May 18, 2009 11:11:16 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [2] -
General
# Monday, May 04, 2009

More Variation support, more standard document support, more bug fixes and an upgrade checker (to make sure you can apply SP2)

Should keep those sites happier for longer…

Details from http://blogs.technet.com/office_sustained_engineering/archive/2009/04/23/service-pack-2-for-the-2007-microsoft-office-system-available-today.aspx

Service Pack 2 for the 2007 Microsoft Office system available today!

We're pleased to announce the release of all languages for Service Pack 2 for the 2007 Microsoft Office System, the 2007 Microsoft Office servers, and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. As promised, this post contains a list of the products that are patched by SP2 with their corresponding knowledge base articles, information on how to obtain the packages, and links to additional SP2 resources. We hope you'll find this to be one of the best service packs produced by the Office team ever!



How to obtain SP2

Recommended Method: Microsoft Update

We recommend using Microsoft Update to apply SP2. Microsoft Update's detection will determine the products and languages you have installed and update your machine all at once.

Optional Method: The Download Center

If you choose not to use Microsoft Update, the SP2 packages are available for download from the Microsoft Download Center. Please click here to find links to the downloads.

Monday, May 04, 2009 3:00:07 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | MOSS | Admin
# Friday, April 17, 2009

As I’m looking into sizing up systems currently for a project, the question that you always ask “Is my CPU choice any good?” “Should I go Dual Quad Core or Quad Dual Core?”… and the questions just keep on coming, even in your sleep sometimes :-)

I recently came across a gem of a site that gave me all my answers. There’s a bunch of other CPUs and options available also. Check it out.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=%5BDual+CPU%5D+Intel+Xeon+E5420+%40+2.50GHz

image

Friday, April 17, 2009 9:56:27 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Tips
# Friday, March 20, 2009

At Remix09 there’s been news at the station.

Silverlight v3.0 is hitting the scene…I wonder whether the Adobe Flash support made it in… will dig through the details.

http://silverlight.net/getstarted/silverlight3/default.aspx#whatsnew

Friday, March 20, 2009 5:35:50 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Silverlight
# Sunday, March 01, 2009

Woke up now yesterday morning Sydney time (GMT+10hrs) feeling great, sunny day the beach was just glassy and really blue. What a day I thought…all perfect. :)

Upon checking into Sydney Airport for the flight, the check-in lady mentioned extra forms and electronic visa waivers that needed to be done (nothing that 5 mins online didn’t fix – but I still had to fill out all usual visa paperwork as per normal – so I’m questioning the value of my electronic visa waiver)

Before long I had met up with the usual suspects of Guy Riddel, Adam Cogan and new kid on the block Alessandro (from Brazil – Hyper-V MVP) at the boarding gate. Adam – just made it as he was late (I can’t print the *reason* why he was late – but let’s just say it was a unique situation); Guy pulled out the ‘I’m going Business boys’ see you at the other end after a sleep, massage and personal chef……

We were getting ready to go when the plane needed some battery replaced and the recharger – few of use had AA batteries and could find a charger from somewhere…but 1.5hrs later the real guys had done the real thing.

We’re off!

14hrs later we touch down into San Franciso (beautiful place) and Adam didn’t clear customs as ‘gracefully’ as the rest of us, but none the less he made it.

We picked up our baggage, dropped it off for the domestic flight and proceeded to the Alaskian domestic gate – Adam didn’t pass security as he was carrying 3 bottles of water and a Qantas wine bottle. After drinking the 3 bottles in front of the security official they let him carry on the wine (Adam liked the bottle)

So far all good…

We were about to board the 12.30pm Alaska Air flight straight to Seattle – 90 mins away from finish, a rest, shower and a bit of time to walk about Seattle.

The flight had a “Maintenance problem” which they were “fixing”…2 hrs later still nothing.

I made an executive decision to try and get to Seattle either a) road trip, hire a van and we all hop in; b) cycle; c) catch another flight…we took c) – a flight to Portland (I later found out there’s 2 Portland’s in the States!!! One is about an 18hr round trip flight – we got the other)

Portland we were headed – it was a rush and we just squeezed in the door with something that resembled a boarding pass (some of us had one, Adam had none and I had a boarding pass for the 2nd half of the flight Portland –> Seattle at a much later time) – we sorted all that out at Portland.

Finally landed in Seattle after taking another plane with propellers (like the planes that go Syd<->Canberra) and Adam was moaning at me as he’s scared of flying and I was forcing him into another take-off and landing.

Meanwhile our original plane in San Fran was still on the tarmac doing not much at all.

We finally arrived in Seattle at around 5pm – mission accomplished…

…or so we thought…

Our luggage was sitting there getting dizzy – so now the big question is – Where is it?

It’s now 11pm and no sign, don’t think she’s coming tonight and you may see me in shirts that say “I love Seattle” or “Save the Super Sonics”… you’ll know why :)

I just caught up with some of the BizTalk MVP Crew and it was great to see familiar faces after a while.

My brain is fried and I’ve decided to hit the hay.

It’s good night from Me.

Sunday, March 01, 2009 6:01:00 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
MVPSummit09 | General
# Saturday, February 21, 2009


What a week it has been folks - I left Sydney in 30C degrees with sun, sand and beaches.....I thought "How cold can it be?" (you never really get that appreciation till you hit the ground)

Cold....very cold!!! Now I've been skiing many times, but this was just something else.

It caused Beijing to be blanketed in snow and very beautiful - What a fantastic place!!! Definitely a come back place - just nothing like what I expected.

The people so friendly, helpful and always with purpose in their eyes. The food is some of the freshest I've eaten and such healthy diets (steamed cabbage, mushrooms etc etc) - nothing like the 'Western Chinese Resturants' back home :)

On to the reason why I was there - Training

I had approx 50 students coming to hear my Chinese English (which I must say is much better than me listening to them speaking Mandarin) and we covered in-depth BizTalk 2009 agenda

We covered some great material looking into Governance and ESB 2.0 due to hit around the same time as BTS2009 (June-ish I believe, earlier I'm told)

BizTalk 2009 Mick Badran Classroom Training 
We actually communicated quite well - I played many games and brought over a bunch of Aussie gifts for them (which consequently we found out were made in China!)

The usual areas of BizTalk were little used previous by students - SSO, Rule and BAM. For so little effort there's so much mileage in these guys.

Training Results
For the training the average mark I received was 8.5/10 across nearly 50 students, which for my first time in China I was very happy with. The most important thing for me though is not the marks, but what the students walk away having learnt!

Not all work Play Time
As luck would have it I had an extra day to play on my trip this time - so in negative degree temps I went to the Center of Beijing and put on my tourist hat and went to the Forbidden City (& surrounds).

Entering a new world

P2200119

P2200169

Lastly I learnt many things from my students this week with

1. KFC is a 'top class' resturant in Beijing
2. Starbucks is a 'romantic' place (where couples go for dates)

If we were on Mythbusters right now....... compared to Sydney - these are Busted!

Saturday, February 21, 2009 12:02:41 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | 2009 | General | Training
# Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I just came across a great demonstration of a fantastic new piece of kit.

Siftables they're called (shot this month) that 'interact' and play with each other on a desk, table what ever.

CubeWorld guys was something I'd had my eye on for a while.....

 

Siftables takes it far beyond the next level, check it out for yourself.

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/david_merrill_demos_siftables_the_smart_blocks.html

image

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 11:04:48 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | TechTalk | Tips
# Saturday, January 17, 2009

As my good friend pointed out - Rahul Garg, the BizTalk 2009 documentation is available for public download.

Things such as:

  • runtime engine
  • mapping
  • Orchestrations
  • Adapter V1.0 Frameworks
  • BizTalk Applications
  • BizTalk Deployment of Applications

Have all generally (obvious fixes and improvements as needed) stayed the same.

Whereas, a quick summary of things I'd be looking for in the documentation:

  • Incorporating BizTalk Project builds into automated tested suites (TFS etc) - Biztalk 2009 projects can now be built through MSBUILD as a regular project in the solution.
  • Individual components such as Schemas and Maps can be formally unit tested (previously we wrote our own helper classes to make this stuff happen) - although, at the moment when testing a schema, I haven't been getting back details of the error...just a pass/fail.
  • BizTalk Adapter Pack 2.0 (Sql, Oracle x 2, SAP, Siebel...) - based on WCF channel stack...very nice! (can be standalone if needed)
  • WS Federated bindings
  • and the list goes on.....

Download a Searchable BizTalk Help File - very handy to have when planning your upgrades or migrations.

Saturday, January 17, 2009 2:38:33 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | 2009 | Insights | General | Training
# Tuesday, January 06, 2009

"There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't."

Very funny!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 9:56:42 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Monday, January 05, 2009

Cant do

“The product cannot be installed on this machine since it seems to be a domain controller”

What a start to 2009!!! – the above dreaded message when trying to (in this case) install BizTalk RFID on a DC.
For me – this happens quite a bit, as I’m building up a proof of concept, a demo, something to show and present with.

I always…always….forget to install BizTalk RFID bits before I promote to a DC (this technique can also cause security acct issues after the machine has been promoted to a DC – depends on how the authentication is setup etc)

NOTE: BTW – Installing BizTalk RFID on a DC is NOT SUPPORTED (had to put that one in their – keeps both sides happy)

For love or money I’ve bounced this question around for a while and come up empty, until…today!!! Niklas Engfelt a senior MS support engineer came to my rescue (he famously provided those thoughts from left field which were on the money! Big thank you Niklas)

He suggested grabbing Orca from the Platform SDK and having a browse through – I’d used HEX editors, disassembled files, attached process monitors during installs and looked through any config file with a fine tooth comb…but I’d never tried a MSI Editor.

The steps to Enlightenment: (changing the installer validation conditions)

  1. Grab a download of Orca from here (I didn’t have the platform SDK currently installed and wasn’t about to install 1.2 GB worth either) and follow default install prompts.
  2. If you haven’t done so already copy the RFID_x86 or RFID_x64 folders off the install media to a temp folder nearby (note: sometimes on Win2K8, the system prevents copied files from being accessed until an admin comes along and says ‘these are ok’ by going into File->Properties on each file. It’s weird I know, but I get it every now and then)
  3. Locate the RFIDServices.msi under the RFID folder and you’re ready to go.
  4. Launch Orca and open RFIDServices.msi to get something like:
  5. image
  6. Under the Tables Column select LaunchCondition and drop the 2nd Row as follows:
  7. image
  8. Drop the Row and Save the MSI file again.
  9. Run Setup.exe as per normal.

Oh what a sweet day!

p.s. I’m sure you’d be able to employ this technique onto other MSI’s causing grief.

Mick

Monday, January 05, 2009 2:18:43 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [2] -
.NET Developer | BizTalk | RFID | General | Tips
# Friday, December 19, 2008

I've been getting this question quite alot recently, "BizTalk accessing SQL in another domain...", "SharePoint accessing Webservices via NTLM auth only in another domain..." etc.

Most of the time we can find a box to stick in a User Name/Password somewhere (e.g. File Adapter in BTS) that will more than likely solve the problem.

For the cases where you can't or there's some complicated RPC session (connect to \\server\IPC$ share) that's setup first (several MMC snap-ins for e.g.), then you're given access, "It's so much easier if we're all part of the same domain..." speech you give yourself over and over again....then I may have a technique to help you.

Basically we force our Windows to always use specific credentials when communicating with the remote machine X - on a per user by user basis.

It goes something like this:

(1) login to the local server in question under the acct that is needing access (e.g. svc_acct) - this is usually the 'Web App Pool identity' or the 'BizTalk Service Account' (generally NOT your day to day account)

(2) under control panel -> Stored User Names and Passwords (on Vista this is 'User Accounts')

Stored User Names and Passwords

(3) Then add the credentials to suit.

user2[1]

user3[2]

Viola - happy NTLM-ing & Merry Christmas.......

 

Mick.

Friday, December 19, 2008 8:59:47 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [3] -
General | Tips
# Friday, December 05, 2008

I came across this a while ago and thought it's too good to keep quiet. The classic problem we've all been in "works on my machine" says the Developer.

 

Basically this certification is easy - you launch the app, get to the main screen and shutdown.

If that can be done - you're in! :-)

Check it out below....

 

works on my machine, starburst

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000818.html

Friday, December 05, 2008 3:05:19 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Monday, November 03, 2008

Folks - while setting up some IIS servers for a BTS production environment I came across this handy little tool.

Basically gives you a Tree View of what things you'd like to install on your IIS Web Server from MS (mother ship).

Includes things like Service Packs, etc etc. - handy spot to grab all the new files in one spot.
(as opposed to the piece meal approach - of install asp.net, oh you need the .net 3.5 framework - install...oh...you also need SP1 ..with maybe a few reboots inbetween)

- single place for all the tools and other components that you'll need.

- great way to do them all at once.

Here's what you're after -
http://www.microsoft.com/web/channel/products/WebPlatformInstaller.aspx

 introPage

Monday, November 03, 2008 11:02:46 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | General | Tips
# Tuesday, October 28, 2008

When implementing/deploying and building all things BizTalk/Silverlight and related, there's going to be a time when you're needing to see what's on the wire.

I've currently found a few handy options:

  1. FireFox's FireBug - brilliant! a plug-in straight from the browser environment. Deals only in Browser initiated traffic though.

    Gives great anaylsis on HTML page composition/scripts and dynamic content source - A MUST for any Silverlight work
  2. Fiddler - sets itself up as a proxy that your browser requests through, once again, my browser has to initiate the calls.
  3. Smart Sniff - smsniff - 48kb and this is a full blown packet anaylser giving access to all packets to/from NICs. - THIS by far is my choice!

Check them out folks - Smartsniff small enough to go on any memory key.

 

All free!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:45:32 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Tips
# Tuesday, October 14, 2008

*rant

One of our staff recently got an iPhone after a vodafone sales rep suggested they should 'try' one......one piece of detail they left off......

Vodafone didn't put them on the appropriate plan (?????) as the iPhone can be a little chatty (as we all know).

First bill came in at a 500% increase from previous - wow!!! No phone calls, txts, reminders...nothing (but I get regular txts asking me if I want circus tickets??)

Upon asking them the big "Why" question - "Oh...you're not on an iPhone plan..." ???????? (Should have read "You're on our most expensive plan so we can squeeze more out of you!")

(But you sold me the iPhone......)

/*rant

The good thing that did come out of all this is that I discovered a site that compares all pricing/plans for iPhones from major carriers.

http://www.numbersinaflash.com/iphone-top-10-plans/ - even got knobs and dials!

Virgin Mobile look to be leading the way here

Problem#2 - How to move over to Virgin Mobile?

image

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 1:14:37 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Other
# Thursday, October 02, 2008

I've been re-awarded my BizTalk MVP - so a big thanks for allowing me to be part of the program for another year (at least :)

A focus of mine is the community - sharing and bettering information sources around the technologies we work and play with. So thanks guys hope you're getting value out of my efforts, and thank you for being part of our growing community.

This year should be a fantastic year in the SOA/ESB/BizTalk/Oslo/WCF/WF/MOSS/BDC/RFID (did I leave any off?) as we're going to see the emergence of several of these technologies play beautifully together.
(we saw this in the last .NET 3.5 Framework - with WCF/WF Services.....stay tuned...for one of my favourite pieces - Windows Workflow)

So for me lots of things to focus on, but one main area is doing more information integrating MOSS/SharePoint with BizTalk/InfoPath/RFID....... and of course workflows....... :-)

Stay tuned......

Thank you linesman and thank you ball boys for your hard efforts and major participation!!!!!

Life is short!

Mick.

logo_mvp

Thursday, October 02, 2008 10:20:47 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [2] -
General | Other
# Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Folks - it's been one of those weeks (I know it's only Tues :)

I just got to a point where I was just opening up tooo many RDP connections, managing them - some using Terminal Services Gateways, others not.

Configuring BTS boxes/SQL Servers/MOSS/Indexers/Search..... and the list goes on.

From client to client or even our network internally - my head was rapidly filling up with these random ip addresses that I wished I didn't have to remember.

So I wanted to have a way simply to manage all these windows (a crude version I wrote some years back was simply to drop 6 RDP ActiveX controls onto a web page an knock yourself out).

I needed:

- to work on Vista and Win2008 as well as the other list of usual suspects.

- be able to set Terminal Services Gateway on some.

They panned out as follows:

  1. Remote Desktops - found in Win2K3 Admin Tools SP1, which is OK as it presents a simple tree view and you're away.
  2. Terminals (currently 1.7) - SENSATIONAL!!! I almost wanted to get VNC etc just to use those bits.
    It's got - network tools, port scanners just absolutely brilliant, a well polished application with a very very handy toolbar.
    Only ONE problem for me......no TSG support :-(   - forums state this is planned..... :)

    terminals
    Check out TERMINALS HERE
  3. Royal TS - Supports RDP Terminal Service Gateway Connections :)
    So this one for the moment is one that I'm going with, just downloading .NET 3.5 SP1 as we speak and about to fire this up on Vista (x86).

    Does a very good job at managing RDP connections, it doesn't support any of the other clients.

    Presents a TreeView allowing groupings of connections (although I had to 'Create a Document' first)
    Breeze

    Check out Royal TS HERE

 

 

Conclusion:

Terminals *would* be the one I'd go for if it supported TSG connections......have to check back shortly.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008 7:56:18 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Tips
# Thursday, June 26, 2008

Proof is in the popping - http://labmylife.blogspot.com/2008/06/you-can-cook-your-brain-with-cell.html

Think of your ear/brain/head/eye in this space.......

On the lines of mobile phones - a while ago I decided to check out my latest phone and how much 'energy' it gave out
(you know - hot handset, hot ear etc after been talking on it for a while)

As I found out - as part of Govt. regulations there's some one who set a number/limit on this energy at 1.6. (for Australia)
The 'energy' reading is known as 'Specific Absorbtion Rate' (SAR) rating.

Check more out here:

http://www.sarvalues.com/what-is-sar.html
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2006/07/12/1152637733291.html

Lately here we have several top neuro surgeons throwing their mobiles out, due to the amazing increase in the number of brain tumours they treat - especially on the 'preferred ear'.

When this stuff comes out - there's always the 2 main camps, ones that say 'yes' it does and others that say 'what a joke'.
(we then recite - high voltage power lines, lukemia and the classic was smoking ads back in the 50s that state all the medicinal benefits of smoking. Big full page ads but a few years later we know more about smoking...)

So I figured that I'd go looking.....

...I went to the manufacturers website and I was able to get 63 properties and details about the phone. Battery life; bands; standby; talk time; features; dimensions etc.......

....but.....

....NO SARs number.....

....after doing a couple of web searches.....my phone comes out at 1.4 (the website also tells me that in the current phone market, 95% of all mobiles are better than mine!!!)

Interesting to say the least!

 

 

 

Thursday, June 26, 2008 3:23:24 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [4] -
General
# Saturday, June 07, 2008

http://blogs.msdn.com/webdevtools/Default.aspx

Some pretty cool features as I've previously posted

From my perspective I'm particularly interested in the supported 'WCF Dual HTTP Binding'.......more on that later :)

(updated**)

SILVERLIGHT 2.0 BETA 2 SDK is now available!!!!

Grab it here from the Getting Started section

Also get the videos, hands on labs, training material from HERE

Saturday, June 07, 2008 10:50:21 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | General | Silverlight
# Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hi folks,

While freezing in NZ (this week) I came across this this great MSDN article discussing some of the lower level implementation details around .NET 3.5 Framework.

The part that interests me is the Presence information (right at the end of the article) where once a connection is setup, you can get presence information about the other party - right from the .NET 3.5 framework.

If you've ever had to try and develop for that other ways i.e. by talking straight to communicator, or messenger or... etc.

You'll realise that they each have a slightly different API set, (some accept SIP, some don't, some require it, some don't...) and it's opening up trouble - cause on the target deployment machine...can you imagine the production guys when you say "hang on, I've just got to go and download Messenger (from Live)...."

Anyway - here's the article.

Enjoy - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc163356.aspx

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 5:05:16 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | General | Tips
# Sunday, May 04, 2008

It's a page that's hidden away and difficult to land on from a Search....so I thought I'd list it here for us all

http://www.pc-ap.fujitsu.com/support/drv_lb_vis64_t4215.html


 
LifeBook T4215
Windows Vista 64bit Drivers
Driver Name Readme file Version Size(bytes)
   Audio   V.6.10.0.5274A 5,352,330
   ACPI Device Driver (FUJ02B1)   V.1.23 11,655
   ACPI Device Driver (FUJ02E3)   V.1.20 11,434
   AuthenTec Fingerprint Sensor Driver (For model with Fingerprint sensor)   V.7.7.0.68 206,889
   Bluetooth Device Driver (For model with Bluetooth module)   V.5.00.07 29,491,323
   Fujitsu Tablet Button Driver and Utility Device Driver     654,550
   Intel Matrix Storage Manager Device Driver   V.6.2.1.1002 252,448
   LAN   V.9.16.2.3 164,250
   Modem   V.2.1.77 935,338
   SMSC Fast Infrared Device Driver   V.6.0.40001 55,209
   O2Mirco MultiMedia Devicd Driver   V.1.0.0A 2,236,416
   O2Micro SmartCard Device Driver   V.3.0.1.2 1,958,494
   TouchPad Mouse   V.9.1.11.0 6,710,882
   Video   V.7.14.10.1147R 10,535,384
   Wireless LAN for model with Intel 3945ABG module   V.10.6.0.46 3,701,179

Sunday, May 04, 2008 11:25:07 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Tips

After much trialling and not much success.....Skype would install on my Windows Server 2008 x64 no problems, but at the sign-in screen the app would crash.

This happened in many different ways over many different Skype install permutations.

I think I've cracked it with an older version being the goods:

http://www.oldapps.com/download.php?oldappsid=SkypeSetup_3.0.0.190.exe

Cheers,

Mick.

Sunday, May 04, 2008 11:23:27 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Tips
# Saturday, April 26, 2008

We've now got official Management Pack support for R2 and the newer things in R2 such as EDI and RFID.

I've had many students come up to me and say "Mick - what in the world are you talking about?"
(mind you I get that at home as well - but let's not go there)

Have you ever asked the question:
I wonder how our BizTalk (et. al.) servers are going?
(this is where you could send the work experience kid around to all the servers gathering details and report back to you by lunch.....but not all of us have work experience kids)

The answer to this is relatively complex - as you'll need know things like:

  1. Services - stopped, started, uptime. BizTalk Services, SQL Services, WCF/IIS Services etc.
  2. Database sizes, Spool table lengths
  3. Queue Lengths - disk etc.
  4. Memory details
  5. BizTalk Orchestration details
  6. Messaging Details
  7. .... and the list goes on.

SCOM2007 with the management pack gives you that - in near enough realtime with all sorts of graphs and charts.

One of the *best* things I like about SCOM2007 is that you install the Management Pack(s) only on *one* machine - usually the SCOM2007 Central Administration machine, and as more applications are installed on servers on the network, the appropriate management bits are 'auto-deployed'.

Grab it here -

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=389FCB89-F4CF-46D7-BC6E-57830D234F91&amp;displaylang=en&displaylang=en

Saturday, April 26, 2008 10:59:16 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Insights | RFID | General | Tips
# Friday, April 25, 2008

I came across this Microsoft Page while on my travels which lets you browse for your VHD by product!!!!!

e.g. SQL 2008, BizTalk, SharePoint, VS2008 etc etc. Grab the VHD for your needs.

They are public domain VHDs so I'm guessing they're 'limited' in some way (probably time) - which means don't go building your VOIP/RFID Corporation on them :)

Have fun!

Friday, April 25, 2008 7:13:53 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Thursday, April 24, 2008

BizTalk RFID 'v2' is in early TAP (Technology Adopter Program/phase) and runs on Windows Mobile Devices...pretty cool!

Now Microsoft have moved RFID not only into the common household framework, but also provided the reach with Mobile devices.

Rather than in the classic RFID model where tags move and Readers are *fixed*. We now can have Readers that move and tags that are *fixed*.
(lots of ideas for this one!)

Check out a stream of RFID 'stuff' from YOUTUBE

RFID goes Mobile...

 

What is RFID....

Future Supermarket!

Thursday, April 24, 2008 10:18:43 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [1] -
BizTalk | Insights | RFID | General
# Thursday, March 20, 2008

I get alot of questions about this - for those of you who have been mentally scarred with early editions of BizTalk (haven't we come along way since then :-) there was a BizTalk Partner Edition (lower priced for hub/spoke type implementations) which was limited in some way with the number of Orchestrations/Tradining Partners etc etc. (like 10 Orchs, 2 partners from memory).

With BizTalk 2006 R2 we have the Branch Edition which retails for approx USD$1500 and it gives you........

- BizTalk Business Rules Engine (alot of people are wanting to use the BRE as a centralised rule store in a cost effective manner, until now it was BizTalk Standard at least that you needed to get, as the BRE is not available separately)

- BizTalk RFID (what can I say here!!!)

A perfect application of the Branch Edition is to drop this in on your trading partner's site typically meaning less time to get up and running (for the price, if consultants are spending more than 1.5 days trying to establish communications with the other end, then you should be considering the Branch Edition as it understands all the classic forms of comms with BizTalk 'proper'. By no means is it limited to just BTS)

I thought I'd also give you the more formal description of what the Branch Edition has/has not under the hood:

---------------------------------------------

BizTalk 2006 R2 Branch Edition

BizTalk Branch Edition is a specialty version of BizTalk Server designed for hub and spoke deployment scenarios including RFID.

Scenarios:

1.     Hub-Spoke Deployment. In this scenario the Branch edition is located in the regional / or point of sale locations and communicate with the hub (BizTalk Enterprise Edition).

2.     RFID Deployment. In this scenario the BizTalk Edition applies rules and business process to the raw data and communicates with the hub (BizTalk Enterprise Edition) to send aggregated business data.

3.     Standalone Deployment. In this scenario the Branch Edition is used to execute a business process, execute rules on the business data but not communicate with any central or hub.

Supported Capabilities:

1.     General Transport Adapters like FILE, HTTP, HTTPS, MSMQ, FTP, SMTP, POP3 are available

2.     RFID Manager and RFID Adapter

3.     Host Integration Adapter

4.     Remote or local SQL Server database is supported. SQL Server Databases may be installed on a failover Windows Cluster providing high availability of the BizTalk Databases.

5.     BizTalk base capabilities like Messaging, Orchestration, BRE, BAM, Management & Operations and Development Tools are available

Limitations:

1.     No Line of Business Adapters are available.

2.     No Accelerators are available.

3.     Only one BizTalk Application can be deployed.

4.     BizTalk Server Group supports only one BizTalk Server. This means there is no fault tolerance, no scale-out, and no failover clustering

5.     A maximum of 2 – Processors are supported

6.     No Virtual Processor is supported. This means the dual core is not leveraged in dual core processors

7.     Two or more Branch Editions separately deployed in different locations cannot communicate with each other

References:

1.     http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/editions/default.mspx

 

Thursday, March 20, 2008 10:17:39 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | RFID | General
# Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hot off the 'Hot-Cross Bun' RFID Conveyor belt (Happy Easter all also!!!) - myself and local Sharepoint MVP funny man - Ivan Wilson will be delivering the sessions...
(How do you have a conversation with more than 3 MVPs in the room??? you don't- they all talk about themselves :-) - that's mine, not Ivan's)
which will be great news....just have to get the content together...shhhhh...you didn't hear me say that smile_wink

MS Partner Training Schedule in the land of MOSS

This is for an Instructor Led 'Chalk & Talk Session' designed for Pre-sales Technical Consultants, Technical Consultants, Technical Project Managers, Architects and Business Analysts 

Dates First:
Brisbane – April 3 & 4
Melbourne – April 7 & 8
Sydney – April 10 & 11

REGISTER HERE

What is being covered is:

1.     MOSS Capability Overview - a brief discussion of the six major functional areas in SharePoint 2007:

o    Collaboration

o    Portals

o    Search

o    Web Content Management

o    Business Forms

o    Business Intelligence

2.    Understanding the "MOSS Building Blocks" - a description of both the physical and logical components that make up a SharePoint solution. We discuss how they fit together and how you can combine these to ensure your solutions can scale to meet demand

3.    A tour of the Central Administration site - gain an insight into how a SharePoint Farm is administered.

4.    Applications, Site Collections and Subsites - explore the main components used to build any SharePoint site. Learn what capabilities are managed at each level.

5.    Inside a sub-site - now that we understand the high level components we can get into the details of what makes up a subsite. We examine:

o    Document Libraries and the SharePoint Document Management concepts

o    Lists

o    Web Parts

o    Security

o    Navigation Controls

6.    Search - we look into the rich functionality in MOSS to allow users to quickly locate content that exists inside and outside of SharePoint. We look at how the search capabilities are administered and what options are available to fine-tune the search engine to match your client's needs.

7.    Web Content Management - we look at how SharePoint incorporates Web Content Management functionality. This overview includes:

o    Workflows

o    Master Pages

o    Page Layouts

o    Content Deployment

o    Variations

o    Examples of public sites that use MOSS

8.    Business Data Catalog - the BDC provides a framework to gain access to information stored in third-party products. Learn how SharePoint can make use of this content directly within its own environment

REGISTER HERE
Wednesday, March 19, 2008 3:24:59 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | MOSS | Training
# Thursday, March 06, 2008
Thursday, March 06, 2008 12:54:47 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Other
# Monday, February 25, 2008
Kirk Allen Evans recent blog post caught my 'silverlight eye'.

Silverlight.JPG

Shows some interesting effects that can be done with Silverlight and importantly has the src code there for you to learn from.

Well done Kirk!



Monday, February 25, 2008 2:35:18 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | General | Other | Tips
# Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The conference is going well and it's good to catch up with some familiar faces such as Angus Logan and Andrew Connell.

Basically a message that I'm getting out of the conference so far is that to do Development in/for Sharepoint is to grab a collection of 'helper tools' (that each presenter has built or partially built) to do a little bit along the way.
Collectively they do things like:

  • Create Feature/Element XML of your current project getting ready for deployment.
  • Packaging a VSNET Project into a Sharepoint Solution
  • Easy Solution Deployment
  • Visual Studio Extensions for Sharepoint 1.1 (should have a VSNET2008 version in June)

All in all there's a bunch of little tools needed (some I mentioned in a previous post) in and outside of VSNET. So I'd imagine it's a bit of a 'watch this space' with respect to Microsoft and their 'official toolset' for developers.

Off to catch some more sessions and will report back soon.....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 6:27:23 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Events | General
# Monday, February 11, 2008

I'm currently off at ODC2008 here in the heart of Silicon Valley with Clayton James and pre-conference sessions have started.

Free WiFi networks are everywhere on the streets and just about everywhere.....except for our Hotel!! Where it seems to be the only place in Silcon Valley where there is no *free* Wi-fi...nearly all the hotels have some kind of free WiFi in their foyers...except ours. Very bizarre.....

I had a session about the BizTalk Adapter Pack (blogs.msdn.com/adapters)

We're in a session where they mentioned a few 'must' have deployment tools:

  1. SPDeploy - gives you a new Sharepoint Project Option, psexec commands to remotely execute commands.
  2. STSDev - Andrew Connell and co. have come up with their bits and pieces - that go away and 'create' projects in line with what you want to do. So probably a good idea to do run these first.
  3. WSPBuilder
  4. SharepointInstaller

Monday, February 11, 2008 3:58:30 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Events | General | Office
# Saturday, February 09, 2008

I'm off on a US Road trip today - landing in San Fran tomorrow and catching a train down to San Jose for the Office Dev Con conference (as an attendee this time :). I'll be meeting up with a great Sharepoint developer/instruction Clayton James (fellow Microsoft Readiness Instructor) who has attacked Sharepoint with such a passion - I swear he studies the APIs at night. He's developed some brilliant solutions in the last couple of years - great knowledge.

With a 'brief' bit of skiing in between I'm off to Redmond for the RFID Solution Days where the focus will be:

  • Real-time software solutions for enterprise deployments, across verticals

  • Hardware innovation and changes driving mass adoption of RFID with focus on performance and price

  • Cross Industry-Priority solution efforts at Microsoft that will utilize RFID and sensor data to deliver efficiencies for a People-Ready business across the value chain

  • Microsoft’s platform vision, deliverables, and roadmap for RFID and Sensor based solutions


Breeze is running the two day BizTalk RFID training course 'post-conference' where last count I had 80+ students........worried....hmmm.....love a helper or 10!

Wish me luck folks........if you're attending.....don't be a stranger!

Mick.

Saturday, February 09, 2008 10:57:30 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | RFID | Events | General

Hi, (add our next meeting straight to your calendar)

Wow!! I’m back on deck (and in Sydney) and rearing to go into 2008.

Some thoughts on 2008!
The world of BizTalk this year is certainly looking great with many opportunities emerging and (from what I see) our market solidifying the need to be better connected.

As part of our BizTalk User Group I’m aiming to equip you the best with the best knowledge and provide a great network of fellow BizTalkers!

Being proficient in BizTalk from a technical, system architect, soa expert etc., is not only knowing BizTalk but also the surrounding systems (MS based or not).

The BizTalk Team is now part of (has been for a while J) the Connected Systems Division (CSD) which includes .NET Framework, WF and WCF technologies. As BizTalk evolves this year more remedial ‘stuff’ will be pushed down into the .NET Frameworks 3.5+ (4.0+), freeing BizTalk up for some super cool stuff on top of the .NET Framework.

You can expect us to cover technologies and topics such as:

(1)   64-bit BizTalk Computing – getting the most out of it.

(2)   Essential BizTalk Solution Testing with BizUnit.

(3)   How can Windows Workflow help in a BizTalk world.

(4)   The BizTalk Adapter Pack – unearthed.

(5)   Developing practical solutions with BizTalk RFID.

(6)   Integrating BizTalk and WSS/MOSS using the Sharepoint Adapter

....plus a whole lot more.....these meetings will be for FREE (I get alot of questions on that one)

BizTalk Scene – What’s been happening lately

There’s always alot going on, it’s a matter of summarising it for you.

(1)   {Heroes Happen} with the Wave2008 launch (SQL2008, VS2008, Win2008) – I’ve got 30GB worth of VPCs, Hands On Labs and learning material on getting you across the new releases – jammed packed technical information. I will provide a LOAD FEST at our meetings for you – bring a removable drive and it’s yours J

Also as part of the ‘Wave2008’ launching Andrew Coates (MS DPE) has thrown down the gauntlet to the user group to help get you CERTIFIED. Basically if you pass a MCP exam, MS will give you 1 freebefore May 1!!!
J

The BizTalk exam (or any other) awaits you!
(If enough people are into it, we’ll have another exam cram night
J - let me know)

(2)   BizTalk RFID World Wide Solution Days – conference being held in Redmond(MS HQ) in a couple of weeks.
Yours truly will be running the training there with our BizTalk RFID Course....wish me luck, last count I have 80 students.....

Watch this space.

(3)   Labs.BizTalk.net – service broker service – if you haven’t seen this, have a look at a future glimpse of the next BizTalk.

(4)   Volta – a draft technology from MS that allows for the distribution of solutions via attribute tags on classes etc. ....stay tuned on that.

(5)   A ‘Multi-touch Surface’ back in 2006 pre Microsoft Surface and pre Google Earth – just a fascination of mine J

(6)   ESB Guidance kit for BizTalk 2006 – Microsoft Guidance kit. Handy to keep for the buzz word of the time.

 

What is in store for our Feb 27th Session

Where:
Microsoft, North Ryde
1 Epping Road

When:
6pm - Beer + Pizza
6.30pm - Kick off
Feb 27th 2008
(add our next meeting straight to your calendar)

-          LOAD FEST going on in the background.

-          TOPIC THIS MONTH: What can the .NET Framework 3.5 do BizTalk environments.

 

Presenter: Mick Badran (aka me) – MVP BizTalk and experience in Biztalk since its inception (1999/2000).
Mick as extensive real world experience in BizTalk and integration

 

Session Outline

In this session we will be focusing on some new features in WCF Services and WF Services within the Framework.

1)      Writing Persistent WCF Services

2)      Building dynamic WCF Services

3)      Exploring the WCF Workflow Runtime class

4)      Calling .NET 3.5 code from BizTalk

 

Feel free to forward this to any of your collegues/friends I may have missed (tell them to register on the Sydbiz.org site to be included)

Love to see you there – and reply to this email to let me know for catering.

Cheers,

Mick Badran (MVP - BizTalk) | Microsoft Readiness Instructor
Collaboration and Integration Specialist
Breeze Training Pty Ltd | m: +61 404842 833 | fx: +61 2 9362 4898
http://blogs.breezetraining.com.au/mickb

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Saturday, February 09, 2008 12:37:56 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Usergroup | General
# Thursday, February 07, 2008

Well we've just finished our first MCT Summit in Australia for a long time.
I and other fellow MCTs I had a chance to catch up - thought it was a great event. :-)

I gave 3 sessions including one on Using Silverlight from within Sharepoint.

Am I sold on Silverlight? Oh YEAH!!!! It's sensational with a huge range of content delivery options.

Firstly here's my slide deck from:

Download Solution - SilverLight Solutions.zip

Basic Steps to get Cracking in Silverlight 1.1 (aka Silverlight 2.0)

  • Grab VS2008 Beta/RC+ (I used RC)
  • Visit Silverlight.net and download Silverlight 1.1 Alpha (or later) - there are some API changes between versions, but it should settle down.
  • You're ready to get cracking and start building your webparts.

    Some great sites to check out also:

http://premium.quiksilverlive.com/
Silverlight Data View Web Part
Media Player Webpart for Sharepoint
Sharepoint Silverlight Document Browser
Silverlight Display Web Part

Thursday, February 07, 2008 9:37:31 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [1] -
General | Training

I received an email from a good friend of mine Venkatesh (who has just moved into his own company) and has a wealth of knowledge in BizTalk RFID - he headed up the development team in India in creating the product.

Top effort! Great product.

Venkatesh ran some of our first RFID training sessions over Christmas in Singapore and India - and with Venkatesh as talented as he is has come up with a 'Tool' to help all of you troubleshoot and resolve BizTalk RFID related issues.

Enter RFIDMon - monitors events, WMI etc. - helps to keep your BizTalk RFID looking good :)

Love the new site too!!!

Check it out here - RFID Monitor

Watch this S3Edge space

Thursday, February 07, 2008 6:47:22 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | RFID | General | Tips

In recent times the 'Connected Systems Division' (CSD) team have been talking about Oslo and the capabilities of a 'business process' modelling tool.

This is all very much on the round table discussion stage - but similar in concept to the modelling capable within VSTS.

You would 'create a model', deploy it to some runtime environment which would (if needed) pre-process and compile the bits into something runnable.

Essentially the model is key to this concept in both the design/development environments to the runtime/hosting type environments.

Well as a start along this path here's an article http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1159 discussing a 'new' language 'D'

Enjoy.

p.s. D# is something totally fictitious as this point :)

Thursday, February 07, 2008 4:30:07 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [2] -
BizTalk | Insights | General
# Monday, January 07, 2008

Hi folks,

I got some sad news over this holiday period that Steve Ross suddenly passed away while on holidays with his family. What a shock!!! just never a thought that crosses your mind.



'Chipper' as he was better known to all and sundry was a reminder to me on how to love life to its fullest.
Even though he was the GM of DDLS his door was always open and always up for a chat and to lend an ear.

Family was one of his most treasured aspects - having a good one and being all that you can to them. They're the most important.

Chipper has done so much for me personally and for Breeze over the years, along with the priceless mentoring that goes without asking.

He leaves a huge hole and some very big shoes to fill - I'll miss you Chipper and thanks for every second!

Life is short my friends - make the most of every ounce of it!

Funeral Details:

Chipper's funeral is on Friday 11th January at 2pm at St Matthew's Anglican Church, The Corso, Manly.


St Matthew's is on the corner of The Corso and Darley Road, halfway between the Manly wharf and the beach.
A bus will leave the DDLS Sydney office at 1pm (to be confirmed) on Friday to travel to the funeral.
The DDLS Sydney office will be closed on Friday.

The family has asked for donations to be made to the Cancer Council of NSW in lieu of flowers.

Dale, Joel and Chanel invite you to join them afterwards at the The Manly Wharf Hotel at Manly Wharf.

If you would like send a card: Dale, Joel and Chanel Ross 19 Blamey Road, Allambie Heights 2100. John (Dale's brother) is happy to take calls 99382742 or 99392172.

Monday, January 07, 2008 10:49:16 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [2] -
General
# Friday, December 07, 2007

Finally the word on the street is out with Volta finally being announced (cool name).
volta

What is it? What can it do for me? (lately :-)

Here's an example scenario:
- you write a classic .NET Winform/Client App.
- put your 'Volta' hat on and nominate sections, routines etc. of your app and which tier/layer you would like the components/classes/sections to run on.
- You then nominate Web Layers or classic CLR client layers etc.
- Volta crunches your design and boom!!! You've got your SENSATIONAL multitier app from your original single whole app.

In fact - check out this great Walkthrough for the 'Hello World app'

You don't need to worry about app splitting yourself the Volta 'directives' do the work.

When I was at Uni this sort of thing was in an area of my studies (simplified and more specific though - nominating code sections to run concurrently across many distributed CPUs....yeah I know - I'll get back to some English).

Where is this going?
Did I tell you about the next version of BizTalk codenamed 'Oslo'....

My take is that this is (and this is purely just me kicking some tyres with you guys) that BizTalk vNext is all about Modelling. Having a central repository that holds all forms of 'models' that describes not only the process, design, test....but Volta is a preview on the 'deploy' aspect of these Models.

The important point in BTS vNext is that *it is the Model that is executed* not some result of a process that you've run a week ago on that model, otherwise these models get out of date quite quickly.

Here's the 'official Volta blurb'-
------------------------

On Wednesday, December 5th, Live Labs will announce Volta, an experimental developer toolset that enables developers to build multi-tier web applications by applying the familiar techniques and patterns of developing .NET applications.  In effect, Volta extends the .NET platform to further enable the development of software+services applications, using existing and familiar tools and techniques.  Similar to other technology previews from Live Labs, the purpose of releasing Volta as an experiment, allows for testing of the model with customers and partners in order to gather early feedback and continually influence the direction of Live Labs technologies and concepts.  In addition, where and how Volta will fit into a product roadmap is not the end goal, but rather to experiment with new alternative models to enable Microsoft to continue to be innovative in this new generation of software+services.

Volta Key Messages:

  • Volta is an experimental developer toolset that enables developers to build multi-tier web applications by applying the familiar techniques and patterns from the development of .NET applications.
  • Developers can use C#, VB, or other .NET languages utilizing the familiar .NET libraries and tools.
  • Volta offers a best effort experience in multiple environments without requiring tailoring of the application.
  • Volta furthers Microsoft's software+services efforts by making it easier to write and build multi-tier applications.
  • Volta automates certain low-level aspects of distributing applications across multiple tiers, allowing programmers to devote their creative energy to the distinguishing features of their applications.
  • Via declarative tier splitting, Volta lets developers postpone irreversible design decisions until the last responsible moment, making it faster and cheaper to change the architecture to accommodate evolving needs.
  • Through MSIL rewriting, Volta follows developer's declarations to turn a single-tiered application into a multi-tiered application, generating boilerplate code for communication and serialization.
  • Volta, like other technology previews from Microsoft Live Labs, is an example of the rapid innovation of web-centric technologies happening at Microsoft.
  • The purpose of the technology previews, such as Volta, is to test new technologies and product concepts with customers and partners and to gather early feedback to influence the direction of Live Labs projects.
Friday, December 07, 2007 11:48:51 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | BizTalk | General | Tips
# Thursday, November 22, 2007

I recently came across - Distributed Pub/Sub Project up on CodePlex (judging by its date/time stamp this project has been there for a little while)

What is interesting is to see where MS are looking to take these sort of systems and why - the whitepaper is a *must* read.

Coming from the land of BizTalk where we typically eat/sleep/breathe pub/sub - here is a 'new' prototype project designed at building a low latency distributed pub/sub eventing system (but I won't mention ESB .... I promise :) )

Check it out - I'd love to know your thoughts

Cheers,

Mick.

Thursday, November 22, 2007 4:56:41 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | General | Tips

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=333325FD-AE52-4E35-B531-508D977D32A6&displaylang=en

Live and very available.

One of the biggest benefits I see is the WorkflowHostService class - a class that provides the glue between the WF world and the WCF world....very nice!

Enjoy!

Thursday, November 22, 2007 4:40:50 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | BizTalk | General
# Saturday, November 17, 2007

As part of the RFID end to end course we decided to get the students to create a RFID provider. Or more specifically this is Scott's little brain child - he's a human dynamo on this stuff. Talk about an idea and this is what he produces....

A little while ago I fielded a question on one of the internal D/Ls around
“Can you write a provider that interfaces with ‘sensor’ type equipment for BizTalk RFID?” – so now you create a provider that demonstrates how to do that.

This comprehensive provider (these aren’t the course lab notes – just a quick readme that Scott did) is based on a Folder on the File System. As part of the management APIs the Provider goes searching for ‘Antenna’ which are sub-folders.

When files are dropped into these folders that acts as a ‘Tag Read Event’ and the Provider also supports Tag Writes/Prints.

Thought you might enjoy it ahead of time smile_regular



Well done Scotty!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007 9:30:55 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | RFID | General | Training
# Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hi you hard working (non-surfing, bbq-ing) MCTs who dedicate a good portion of your life ensuring that your classes run smoothly; no one runs out of the room crying; all labs are do-able with work arounds when needed; notes have your scribble all over them; some courses (of late) you may teach saying one thing on the title, only to have an entirely different course between the covers :)

.... all in all as we all know, people in the class never get to see the work that goes on in the 'background' (unless you're prepping for a first teach each night of the course and your eyelids are being held open by matchsticks :)

So come along and meet the others in MCT land.
Meet:
(a) the dinosaurs... who start off every sentence with "I remember when..."
(b) those that are passionate about the MCT program and have big voices.. (Steve did I say that? :)
(c) other MCTs teaching MODL courses.
(d) and even more MCTs doing 'secret squirrel' stuff in Europe that could be a 'new form of learning'....(Kyle - I swear that was the truth serum working from my current interrogators)
(e) other MCTs who find beds on top of grand pianos in lobbies.......I'm not going there :-)

What ever your reasons - it's Christmas (or a little after), it's holidays and Santa's been and gone.

See you there,

Mick.

Microsoft have announced a MCT summit
(from the Horse's mouth)

..... For the very first time, Australia  will be hosting its very own MCT Community gathering to gain and share knowledge!

This exciting Event is from Jan 29 – 31st 2008.

For more information, https://www.local.microsoft.com.au/australia/events/register/home.aspx?levent=993019&linvitation

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 4:44:41 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [1] -
Events | General

Move over Thierry Henry(shame he's gone to Barca :), Kylie and U2..... make room for .NET 3.5 up on your wall.

The folks at MS have been super busy, while talking about what will be in .NET 4+ they release the posters.

Stay tuned for more!

Grab the .NET 3.5 Common Types and Classes

net3.5

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 3:03:55 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | BizTalk | General | MOSS | TechTalk | Tips
# Friday, November 09, 2007

I remember a few versions ago when Adobe Acrobat Reader was around 6MB - even then I thought he's a little on the large size.

Then the last few versions weighing in at 20-32MB, and the installation process involved side stepping Toolbars, Gorillas, caching, 'community' accelerators - the works. Painful!! All for the occasional PDF read.

Nelson - a friend of my put me onto FoxIt! (I'm loving the name already). Around 3.5MB later and I'm rocking with PDF reading. Simple and it doesn't hijack my machine looking for new versions *every* time you start up.

Check it out here!

Friday, November 09, 2007 3:01:04 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General

I came across a previous comment on my blog from Thiago and noticed his sensational and very comprehensive article in setting up Load Gen on a BTS project (equipped with pictures!!!).

Grab LoadGen here

and check out his great Article here - ahhh if only all the manuals were this easy :)

Well done Thiago - keep it up!

Friday, November 09, 2007 8:21:17 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Insights | General | Tips
# Thursday, November 08, 2007

Talk about exciting times - we were developing a great course started pre-R2 launch and were just working out some of the finer details on this, when the folks at MS came along and loved the course and asked to provide a version for them.

"Why not?", I said and away we went.

Here's the course outline with MS Training dates scheduled in Sydney, Singapore, Beijing + Redmond in the near future (I guess we'll have great frequent flyers :))

We decided to call it 'BizTalk RFID End-to-End' which implies we take the student right from the hardware in your face layer, to watching 'enriched data' pop out in BizTalk Server and BAM, while consuming some WCF Services along the way.

Also in the RFID space I did a joint interview with Steve Sloan (MS BizTalk team - great down to earth guy) and a PodCast (first one :))

Interview - Australian Manufacturing

Podcast - Australian Manufacturing Podcast 
(this brought back some of my past comedy routines when I performed on stage.....)

Enjoy!

Thursday, November 08, 2007 6:09:21 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [2] -
BizTalk | RFID | General | Training

If you're thinking of getting into RFID then you can't go past Microsoft BizTalk RFID Services.

Low cost standard, scalable solution - it's brilliant. You can get it as part of the BizTalk 2006 R2 Branch edition.

As far as training goes and a course to suit your needs...myself and my team have been working hard to develop not just 'a course' but a fantastic course that takes you from the low layers in RFID to integration and implementation.

During the course

- the student will get their OWN 'developer' RFID device to play with on the course AND take home!!!! (I'm the sort of person that learns by doing - so I needed that)
- you install, create + implement RFID based processes
- make synchronous calls to WCF based services.
- enrich the data travelling through the process.
- implement Business Rules in the BRE engine.
- Then we use BizTalk + BAM + Performance Monitoring using Operations Manager 2007 +........
(being a BizTalk MVP....we decided to put in a BizTalk Server piece)

.....but one of the Best things about this course is.....
it's been bought by Microsoft and will be used for their deliveries
(we have Sydney, Singapore, Beijing and Redmond on the map with scheduled dates so far....)

Here is the course Outline - love to hear what you think!

 

BizTalk RFID Workshop – End-to-End


The aim of this 2 day hands-on course is to take the student from the “nuts and bolts” of BizTalk RFID to enriching and utilizing BizTalk RFID information streams as part of Business Intelligence. The course also teaches the students how to integrate with external systems, create and call Business Rules, as well as put in place proactive monitoring around the end-to-end solution.

 

As part of the ‘student pack’ for this course, each student is provided with a real (non virtual) BizTalk RFID compatible RFID Reader that will be used throughout the course, which the student can take home at course completion.

 

The course will teach students how:

·          Develop and implement low level BizTalk RFID Interfaces in implementing their own BizTalk RFID Providers and Process Components.

·          Develop and incorporate Business Rules to help drive the BizTalk RFID process.

·          Active solution Monitoring using Operations Manager 2007 and the BizTalk R2 Management Pack.

·          Create and call an exposed WCF Service synchronously.

·          Integrate with a BizTalk 2006 R2 environment.

·          Enable End-To-End Business Activity Monitoring.

 

The course is aimed for developers and solution architects

 

Module 1 – Introduction to BizTalk RFID

  

This module introduces Microsoft BizTalk RFID and typical solutions it provides to common business problems. The module also looks at the BizTalk RFID architecture and discovers how BizTalk RFID operates under the hood.
 

Specifically this module covers:

  • Introduction to RFID and innovative industry solutions
  • BizTalk RFID architecture
  • Topology – How BizTalk RFID services operate
  • LAB: Design and discussion lab that highlights the key factors in determining small, medium and high Microsoft BizTalk RFID Services topologies (paper based - class discussion).

 


Module 2 - Installing BizTalk RFID

 

This module describes the types of installations supported, and guides us through installing BizTalk RFID for the first time. There is also a walk-through of the RFID Services Manager, which highlights the difference between physical and logical devices.

 

Specifically:

  • BizTalk RFID components (e.g. RFID Server, RFID databases, RFID Manager)
  • Planning security
  • Types of installations and pre-requisites
  • Troubleshooting and repairing an installation
  • LAB: Installing and identifying the default settings of Microsoft BizTalk RFID
     

Module 3 - Examining Physical Devices

 

This module will explore the various types of RFID devices available. We will install your very own RFID device and get it up and running on your machine.

Specifically:

  • Types of devices
  • Installing physical devices
  • Developing against device API’s
  • LAB: Installing, configuring and testing your RFID Device. Also some sample code on complex read/write of tags using device’s native API – this will serve to highlight later the ease of writing tags through the DSPI layer.

 


Module 4 – BizTalk RFID Device Providers Explained


This module will look at the device provider’s role in the BizTalk RFID stack. We will look briefly at the DSPI and examine how it provides a unified way for our business applications to manage, configure, and communicate with various physical RFID devices. The module will show sample code using BizTalk RFID object model.

Specifically:

  • The role of device providers
  • Types of device providers
  • Device Service Provider Interface (DSPI)
  • Registering device providers
  • Testing and monitoring device providers
  • LAB: installing, configuring and testing the Device Provider for your RFID Reader. Reading and writing your first Tag using the BizTalk RFID Object model outside an RFID process. Examining the Read Tag Event structure.
    Lab extension: Building your first DSPI provider class within Visual Studio
    (we will look into creating a provider that wraps a file system folder and exposes it as a ‘Provider’. Drop a file into the folder and this will simulate a Tag Read etc.)


Module 5 - Building RFID Processes

 

In BizTalk RFID we manage logical groups of components in RFID processes. In this module we will examine the types of components that make up an RFID process, understand the difference between logical and physical devices, and see how we use bindings to connect them. We will learn what an event pipeline is and take a look at the various out-of-the-box components that ship with BizTalk RFID.

 

Specifically this module covers:

  • Components of a BizTalk RFID Process
  • OOTB Components
  • Binding BizTalk RFID Processes
  • Starting a BizTalk RFID Process
  • Deploying RFID Processes
  • LAB: Creating, testing and logging your first RFID Process. Capturing the Read Tag Event. Writing to a DB table using the OOTB Sql Sink component.
    Lab Extension: Create a SQL Reporting Services report to report on Tag event data in sqlsink db and display the enriched data
    (cool!)

 


Module 6 – Creating Custom RFID Event Handlers 


This module will focus on the event processing pipeline, as we learn when and how to create our own event handler components to filter, enrich, and process tag event data.


We will examine the following topics:

  • Asynchronous Event Processing - terminating, continuing components
  • Filtering, Enriching, and Terminating event data
  • Error Handling
  • Deployment and registration
  • LAB: Creating a simple custom component to enrich tag event data using a DB Lookup while adding custom properties to the tag Event data. The enriched data will be made available for downstream consumers. This lab highlights the importance of keeping the TagEvent data structure within these processes.

 

Module 7 - The Role of Business Rules

 

The Business Rules Engine allows for externalising key decision process points. This allows RFID processes to be more flexible and highly repeatable. In this module we will examine the OOTB rule engine policy executor component as well as looking at how we can call business rules from our custom event handlers.

The focus points are:

  • Benefits of the Business Rules Engine (BRE)
  • Why BRE is crucial for any RFID Process
  • The RuleEnginePolicyExecutor component
  • Calling business rules policy from custom event handlers
  • LAB: extending your RFID Process to incorporate Business Rules.
    Create a Business Rules. Use Rules to process business logic and output the results back to a DB Table. The results are posted to the SQL Sink database for further consumption.

 


Module 8 - Publishing and Consuming WCF Services in BizTalk RFID

 

Enabling BizTalk RFID processes to consume WCF Services provides enormous value to upstream process consumers, such as Microsoft BizTalk Server. Integration and instrumentation of BizTalk RFID throughout the Enterprise provides rich, meaningful information ideally delivered to the user’s desktop, thus abstracting the actual process to another information stream within the Enterprise. This module will discuss consuming and publishing BizTalk RFID processes with WCF Services, essentially allowing for the ease of integration. Both Synchronous and Asynchronous message patterns will be examined.

We will cover the following:

  • Consuming WCF Services  - calling a WCF Service synchronously
  • Topology options for reliable interfacing to BizTalk RFID
  • Performance considerations
  • LAB: Calling an existing WCF Service from within a RFID Process synchronously. Create a WinForm Application that hosts a WCF Service that is called synchronously. Here the operator deals with the scenario and the results are returned back to the RFID process in question. The user can see the results in the UI. Publishing a local WCF Service allowing for optimized consumption with integration partners, e.g. security considerations.

 

Module 9 - Consuming and BAM enabling End-To-End RFID processes in Microsoft BizTalk Server

 

This module will walk through the ease of integrating BizTalk RFID with Microsoft BizTalk Server and will integrate the BizTalk RFID processes with BizTalk Server allowing for the Orchestrating of BizTalk RFID processes within the larger Business Process and the Enterprise.
 

  • A BizTalk Server’s perspective of BizTalk RFID
  • Reliability, interoperability and performance considerations.
  • Using WCF BAM Interceptor and custom BAM APIs from the BizTalk RFID environment.
  • LAB: Building a simple BizTalk BizTalk Server Orchestration that processes published BizTalk RFID Tag Event data.  This lab illustrates the basic framework required to integrate BizTalk Server. Using BizTalk Server 2006 R2 BAM WCF Interceptors and BAM API from within RFID, system components will report back BAM eventing information for further analysis.

 

Module 10 - Effective Monitoring + Performance Consideration for Microsoft BizTalk RFID Deployments


This module will discuss effective BizTalk RFID System and Process monitoring within different scenarios to actively monitor for better health from a Microsoft Operations Manager 2007 environment. The module also focuses on steps to take for proactive monitoring, rather than reactive. The student will also learn how to configure and setup this environment to ensure effect health monitoring of their BizTalk RFID Environment.
 

Specifically this module covers:

  • Determining the health of BizTalk RFID through Operations Manager 2007, Alerts and key performance monitor counters.
  • Packaging and deploying existing BizTalk RFID Processes - a closer look at RfidClientConsole.exe
  • Performance considerations within BizTalk RFID Services and its processes.
  • LAB: Package and deploy your existing RFID Process, examine performance monitor counters and highlight key performance factors within RFID Services.



Module 11 - BizTalk RFID Tips and Tricks

 

This module will cover key tips and tricks when implementing BizTalk RFID, with respect to maximising performance, optimising the BizTalk Rules Engine for performance, deployment and tweaking the IIS hosted BizTalk RFID Processes.

 

Specifically this module covers:

  • IIS 6.0 considerations for BizTalk RFID - post install suggested tweaks.
  • Getting the most out of your BizTalk Rules engine - determine rule set and fact cache policy durations.
  • Best practices when packaging up your BizTalk RFID Processes and deciding whether to GAC or not additional BizTalk RFID artifacts.
  • LAB: Create a new IIS Web Site to specifically host BizTalk RFID Processes. Setting the IIS Web Application Pool . Configuring the BizTalk RFID Server to use non-default IIS web site as well as adjusting some of the BizTalk RFID settings.


 

 

Thursday, November 08, 2007 4:07:21 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [1] -
BizTalk | RFID | General | Training

Nice post Dan and it's all true....wow what a roadmap from there until here, or then until now.
Hope you're all well and kicking goals like the Arsenal the Aussie rugby team smile_eyeroll.

I thought you should know.....recently announced at the big BizTalk conference known as the SOA and BPM conference at Redmond (put that in your wish list to attend - it would be great!) was the next version of BizTalk - vNext code named 'Oslo' (...checking the north wall.....kccck...clear!.....south....kccck...clear also).

Great to have a plan I reckon! So here's the low down of it.....

Oslo will be:

- timeframe 2009+

- services enabled and model driven

- Have the following components (at this stage):

  1. Built on .NET V4.0 framework
  2. Server - deeply integrated with WF and WCF to host 'stuff'
  3. Services - "BizTalk Services in the cloud stuff"
  4. Tools - vs.net "10", app lifecycle
  5. Repository - common across management, tools + runtime to manage the 'deployed' bits.



What to do from here - not too much at the moment. It's sort of a nice to know and for those keen at heart go and check out http://labs.BizTalk.net where the current offering is for BizTalk Services V1.0

Register and away you go! Brilliant.

Have fun!

Thursday, November 08, 2007 3:25:09 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Insights | General
# Thursday, November 01, 2007

A friend of mine Sezai spent a great deal of time putting together a great list of WSS/MOSS articles. Thought I'd share them with you - thanks Sezai!!!

SharePoint Products and Technologies 2007 Customization Policy
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=92311&clcid=0x409

Deploying and Supporting Enterprise Search with MOSS 2007 at Microsoft - White Paper
http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/5/3/253f0074-5c2c-4b45-a1c6-62c2c288c6eb/deployingandsupportingenterprisesearchtwp.doc

2007 Office System Document: Bringing Web 2.0 to the Enterprise with the 2007 Office System
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=8b48bd31-f043-4ab4-96eb-c6e958fe4ec9&DisplayLang=en

Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Document: Using Blogs and Wikis in Business
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=6224AA0B-2EB5-4780-8161-C8C94D86B9E9&displaylang=en

Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Document: Microsoft Office Programs and SharePoint Products and Technologies Integration – Fair, Good, Better, Best
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=e0d05a69-f67b-4d37-961e-2db3c4065cb9&DisplayLang=en

2007 Office System Document: Understanding Workflow in Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and the 2007 Microsoft Office System

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=DBBD82C7-9BDE-4974-8443-67B8F30126A8&displaylang=en

 

Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Document: Transform Your Business With SharePoint Products and Technologies

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=CF5BB5E2-909D-4910-A8BB-3F4718BEE8F7&displaylang=en

 

Microsoft Best Practices Analyzer for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and the 2007 Microsoft Office System

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=CB944B27-9D6B-4A1F-B3E1-778EFDA07DF8&displaylang=en

 

Information architecture in Office SharePoint Server (case study for Fabrikam Industries)

http://technet2.microsoft.com/Office/logredir.aspx?MODE=CT&CTT=ToExternal&target=http%3A%2F%2Fgo.microsoft.com%2Ffwlink%2F%3FLinkId%3D91053&referrer=http%3A%2F%2Ftechnet2.microsoft.com%2FOffice%2Fen-us%2Flibrary%2F902bbfaa-d6cc-4e8b-a1f5-6215168f47681033.mspx&reldir=en-us%2Flibrary

 

Windows SharePoint Services Document: Application Templates for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 – Under the Hood

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=C49A6B00-E0AA-4102-B585-B25CD3CBB383&displaylang=en

 

SharePoint Server 2007 Document: Role-Based Templates for SharePoint My Sites — Under the Hood

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=8248ab85-3ef7-4dd2-a5a6-2615683f6f6d&DisplayLang=en

 

Plan for building multilingual solutions by using SharePoint Products and Technologies

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=79322

 

Planning and architecture for Office SharePoint Server 2007, part 1

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=79552&clcid=0x409

 

Planning and architecture for Office SharePoint Server 2007, part 2

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=85548&clcid=0x409

 

SharePoint Server 2007 Sample: Creating a Custom User Site Provisioning Solution with Office SharePoint Server 2007

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=5B6C8FB0-9B67-47DB-8A09-BCA76BC9A5D1&displaylang=en

 

SharePoint Products and Technologies Templates: Web Part Templates for Visual Studio .NET

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=CAC3E0D2-BEC1-494C-A74E-75936B88E3B5&displaylang=en

 

Best Practices: Writing SQL Syntax Queries for Relevant Results in Enterprise Search

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb219479.aspx

 

Managing enterprise metadata with content types

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=101604&clcid=0x409

 

Evaluating and Customizing Search Relevance in SharePoint Server 2007

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb499682.aspx

 

Chapter 3: Customizing and Extending the Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007 Search (Part 1 of 2)

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb608302.aspx

 

Chapter 3: Customizing and Extending the Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007 Search (Part 2 of 2)

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb608305.aspx

 

Best Practices: Common Coding Issues When Using the SharePoint Object Model

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb687949.aspx

 

Upgrading an MCMS 2002 Application to SharePoint Server 2007 (Part 1 of 2)

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb466172.aspx

 

Upgrading an MCMS 2002 Application to SharePoint Server 2007 (Part 2 of 2)

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb466171.aspx

 

Development Tools and Techniques for Working with Code in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (Part 1 of 2)

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb530302.aspx

 

Development Tools and Techniques for Working with Code in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (Part 2 of 2)

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb530301.aspx

 

Using the Business Data Catalog and Smart Tags with the 2007 Microsoft Office System

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb608684.aspx

 

Sample governance plan

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=92333&clcid=0x409

 

“Creating Shared Hosting Solutions on Windows SharePoint Services 3.0” whitepaper

http://office.microsoft.com/search/redir.aspx?AssetID=AM102157711033

 

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Document: Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services Quick Reference Guide

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=80FD0D64-4BD0-476B-BFD9-39DA34C22EFB&displaylang=en

 

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Sample: Example Master Pages

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=7C05CA44-869A-463B-84D7-57B053711A96&displaylang=en

 

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Document: Tips and Tricks - Using Wikis in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=BA4B9AFB-C06E-4480-B816-26B7E009E35C&displaylang=en

 

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=D51730B5-48FC-4CA2-B454-8DC2CAF93951&displaylang=en

 

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Application Template: Application Template Core

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=C1039E13-94DA-4D7D-8CAE-3B96FA5A4045&displaylang=en

 

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Application Templates: All Server Admin Templates

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=AAE4CB5A-91D2-4F1B-9A45-3BB894E218F8&displaylang=en

 

Enterprise Content Management From Microsoft

http://office.microsoft.com/search/redir.aspx?AssetID=XT102253281033&CTT=5&Origin=HA102063591033  docx

http://office.microsoft.com/search/redir.aspx?AssetID=XT102063611033&CTT=5&Origin=HA102063591033  doc

 

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 on HP ProLiant Servers - Performance Summary

http://h71019.www7.hp.com/ActiveAnswers/cache/497613-0-0-0-121.html

 

Working with Large Lists in Office SharePoint Server 2007

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=95450&clcid=0x409

 

SharePoint Server 2007 SDK: Software Development Kit

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=6D94E307-67D9-41AC-B2D6-0074D6286FA9&displaylang=en

 

White paper: Using database mirroring with Office SharePoint Server

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=83725&clcid=0x409

 

White paper: Chaos no more: Steps for building governance into Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=92602&clcid=0x409

 

White paper: Integrating Office SharePoint Server 2007 and SAP

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=91026

 

White paper: Configure Office SharePoint Server for SAP iView Web Parts

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=96087&clcid=0x409

 

White paper: Data protection and recovery for Office SharePoint Server in small to medium deployments

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=102839&clcid=0x409

 

White paper: Managing social networking with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=98123&clcid=0x409

 

White paper: Upgrading Large Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Intranet Portals to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=91410&clcid=0x409

 

White paper: SharePoint Products and Technologies governance checklist guide

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=91896&clcid=0x409

 

2007 Microsoft Office System Business Intelligence Integration

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=98657

 

Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) Installation/Configuration Guide for SharePoint Integration Mode

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=98664

 

White paper: Guide for Office SharePoint Server Management Pack

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=94824&clcid=0x409

 

White papers: Role-based My Site template setup guides

http://technet2.microsoft.com/Office/f/?en-us/library/f1ddbcec-af41-4c3e-8c85-f30480329d491033.mspx

 

White papers: Excel Services step-by-step guides

http://technet2.microsoft.com/Office/f/?en-us/library/eea3ace8-0863-429a-b1e8-041254ed2fc41033.mspx

 

Sample project plan: Office SharePoint Server 2007 deployment (Office Project 2007 format)

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=101328&clcid=0x409

Sample project plan: Office SharePoint Server 2007 deployment (Office Project 2003 format)

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=102043&clcid=0x409

 

Downloadable book: Web Publishing and Planning Guide with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=92330

Thursday, November 01, 2007 5:30:57 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | General | MOSS | Tips | Training
# Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hey folks - I'm excited, as it's that time again.

Feels like ages since we last got together - at the launch :)

Full Details here - Sydney BizTalk User Group's Meeting tonight

See you TONIGHT :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 12:46:37 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Usergroup | General
# Monday, October 29, 2007

The boys (some how the girls weren't up for the hairy upper lip competition?) are up for the Movember challenge and are taking the bull by the horns.

It's all about donations to Prostrate Cancer Foundation and hair - lots of both!!

So I'd love you guys to sponsor (tax deductible) us - Team 'Lost My Mow-o', all you need to do is:
- jump to this location Sponsorship and enter my rego number: 92055
(or you can search using my name - Mick Badran)

Be great to have you aboard the Movember machine!

First few days should be ok, once I start getting the itch it's going to be alot harder!

Thanks for your support!

Monday, October 29, 2007 2:26:46 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hi guys, if you've ever embarked down the 'hey I want to monitor my bts system through Operations Center 2007', you'll realise that there is a fair conversion process to take the original BTS2006 MOM Pack from *.AKM format to the newer *.XML format.

Essentially you do:

1) Install a conversion tool on MOM 2005 SP1 machine

2) run the conversion process

3) take the exported file to your Operations Manager 2007

4) Import the *.XML to Ops Mgr 2007 to generate the classes.


Or........ you could download the ready made version - http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=389FCB89-F4CF-46D7-BC6E-57830D234F91&displaylang=en

Wow what a winner!!!!

Problem solved....... cross that one off the list smile_regular

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 3:59:57 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | General | Tips
# Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hard working and always available 'Big Kev' aka Scott Scovell has come up with a gem in his latest blog post.

Grab the sequence and the order of components, as well as finer details around the need to change BizTalk RFID Services from using your default website (usually if Sharepoint is on the box, then it's a good idea to)

Well done Scotty! Nice one.

Saturday, October 13, 2007 6:32:58 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
RFID | General | Tips

Well what a week.....I've finally put a media interview that I originally started with Steve Sloan and Christine Bishop for Aussie FEN Magazine. I was there representing the local industry topology around RFID and MS RFID Services.

It was one of those things that as we were all talking, I did have a thought flash across my mind - "Mick if that comment is taken the wrong way, or you say the wrong thing......then you'd better cherish your last MVP year :)"

Coming through the other side and a Podcast later - it's all looking very cool. There's some great news to be released in this space....more on this later.

Anush Kumar Mr RFID Services himself - had a ball at the R2 Launch and we got to once again hang out. All superb!
There's a handful of people who you meet in your travels that are just great guys.....he's one! And I'm overlooking the fact he wants to get out there on the cricket pitch and play for India!
http://blogs.msdn.com/biztalkrfid/archive/2007/09/28/other-biztalk-rfid-ers-in-blogosphere.aspx - it's all true folks :)

Another guy who's making huge leaps and bounds in the RFID space is our very own Scott Scovell. Scott and I are working on some serious RFID stuff at the moment and he also has a wealth of stories/knowledge from right down at the coal face in not only implementing BizTalk RFID Services but a very good head for the whole integration environment. Stay tuned....... I promise we'll share soon :)

Rocking and rolling.....

Saturday, October 13, 2007 6:26:10 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | RFID | Events | General

I was onsite the other day on a WinXP machine doing some work. I had a few moments to kill before I entered the time of 'men are men....and women are satisfied' and had to perform (something close :)

I came across http://universal-vista-inspirat.en.softonic.com/ie/screenshots

These guys have done some great work around the screen, UI, control panel, applets and there's even a MacOS x still chooser bar......stacks of options. (e.g. I love the number of 'bounces' an icon will do when you double click on it to launch the app) - all free.

This has got the big thumbs up from me..... I'm very tempted to install XP just for this theme!

Saturday, October 13, 2007 5:53:04 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General
# Friday, October 12, 2007

A friend of mine Dan, gave a great recount of his very first experience with BizTalk when I came in and built a prototype in a couple of days (no pressure or anything - not that the business decision makers were watching over my shoulder at every move). Later I realised that Dan's company was doing the 'Pepsi' challenge on me, by giving Microsoft and the others a set of 25 tasks to do within the integration space.

No pre-canned demos, real live sink or swim stuff. Two days later I came out of the 'Tribal Council' with immunity and they had a great path forward. I then went on to help them with their actual implementations.

Dan recounts a little of this encounter here - http://techtalkblogs.com/blog/archive/2007/10/10/3221.aspx

Friday, October 12, 2007 6:29:04 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Insights | General | Tips
# Sunday, October 07, 2007

Monitoring tends to be one of those areas that's overlooked until you hit Defcon 5 in production, servers are melting all over the floor, people are suddenly disappearing and cashing in on their time owing, and there's not one business process in site...... sound familiar?

I've always been fascinated at given the price of MOM (mega cheap) why people don't have effective monitoring solutions in place - it's not rocket science to setup.....or you could have the work experience kid watching the lights on the front of the servers to make sure they're on! :)

Here's some details from the R2 Management pack....check them out.

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa561939.aspx 

snippet of the msdn page - BTW at the bottom it mentions MOM2005, this will also work in Operation Manager 2007

------------------------------------------

Contents of the BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Management Pack

The Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Management Pack enables you to:

  • Monitor BizTalk Server events.
  • Collect BizTalk Server-specific performance counters in one central location.
  • Raise alerts that require operator intervention.

The BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Management Pack contains rules that cover the following categories:

  • Availability Monitoring
    Availability monitoring rules monitor the availability of service from computers running BizTalk Server. Unavailability of the BizTalk Server service, receive locations, and databases are issues that cause the BizTalk Server service to become unavailable to a client or a user. Availability monitoring rules have names prefixed with "Service Unavailable.”
  • Health Monitoring
    Health monitoring rules monitor for different types of errors in BizTalk Server that require operator intervention. There are four types of health monitoring rules, which have names prefixed with "Error," "Critical Error," "Warning," and "Information:"
    • Error: Errors are events that usually represent processing problems with individual messages. In isolation they represent problems that can be rectified either at the sender end or the receiver end of a message transmission.
    • Critical Error: Critical errors represent events that indicate a significant problem has occurred. This can affect a large degree of functionality of BizTalk Server.
    • Warning: Warnings are typically problems that are intermittent in nature. They do not represent major problems in operation and may be considered lower priority compared to other alerts.
    • Information: Information alerts include information about BizTalk Server. These messages are neither errors nor warnings.
  • Utilization/Performance Tracking
    Utilization/performance tracking rules enable you to monitor the operationally relevant performance counters for BizTalk Server. These are divided into measurement rules and comparison rules.
Availability MonitoringAvailability Monitoring

The BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Core rule group contains the following rules to address availability monitoring, that is, monitoring related to whether BizTalk Server is currently operable, and able to process work. All of the rules are configured to suppress duplicate alerts for identical event content. This means that a repeat count will be incremented for a single alert rather than seeing multiple alert instances in the Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 Operator Console. This helps to avoid a flood of alerts that an administrator must deal with; too much information can be as problematic as too little. None of the rules contain automated responses, such as e-mail/pager notifications, though you can easily add these as needed.

Rule Name Enabled

Service Unavailable: A receive location is shutting down.

Yes

Service Unavailable: All receive locations are being temporarily disabled because either the MessageBox or Configuration database is not available.

Yes

Service Unavailable: BAM Portal cannot connect to Primary Import Database - Login failed.

Yes

Service Unavailable: BizTalk HTTP receive adapter failed to initialize itself.

Yes

Service Unavailable: Error connecting to the BAM Primary Import Database - Db not found.

Yes

Service Unavailable: Failed to connect to BizTalk Management database.

Yes

Service Unavailable: Failed to initialize UPM profile context.

Yes

Service Unavailable: The Messaging Engine could not contact the SSO server.

Yes

Service Unavailable: The Messaging Engine encountered an error initializing a receive adapter.

Yes

Service Unavailable: The Messaging Engine failed to initialize a transport adapter.

Yes

Health MonitoringHealth Monitoring

The BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Core rule group contains the following rules to address health monitoring, that is, monitoring related to various non-fatal failure modes. Typically, the situation may be isolated to individual interchanges or may possibly resolve itself. The BizTalk Server service is still, in some capacity, able to process work. The primary intent of these rules is to provide operations staff with information relating to messages that are stuck in the system and that require manual intervention of some sort, and to give them the information required to rectify the root problem.

All of these rules are configured to suppress duplicate alerts for identical event content. This means that a repeat count will be incremented for a single alert rather than seeing multiple alert instances in the Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 Operator Console. None of the rules contain automated responses, but you can easily add such responses if necessary.

Rule Name Enabled

Consolidate Inbound Message Rejected on Authentication Failure

Yes

Critical Error: A BizTalk host instance has stopped and is not processing information.

Yes

Critical Error: A BizTalk subservice has failed while executing a service request

Yes

Critical Error: A stored procedure call failed.

Yes

Critical Error: Monitor BizTalk NT Service Availability

Yes

Critical Error: The Messaging Engine failed to register an adapter.

Yes

Critical Error: The Messaging Engine failed to retrieve the configuration from the database.

Yes

Critical Error: The MSMQT subservice failed to start because Windows MSMQ service is running on the computer.

Yes

Error connecting to the BAM Primary Import Database – DB server not found

Yes

Error: A message going to a one-way send port is being suspended. The send port configuration corresponding to the message was not found.

Yes

Error: A receive location is invalid or incorrectly configured.

Yes

Error: A response message is suspended.

Yes

Error: An adapter raised an error during message processing.

Yes

Error: An attempt to connect to a BizTalk database failed.

Yes

Error: An outbound message is being suspended by the adapter.

Yes

Error: BAM Interceptor detected a SQL Exception

Yes

Error: BAM Portal Encountered Internal Server Error

Yes

Error: BAM Portal Encountered Internal Server Exception - Web Services may have received badly-formatted requests

Yes

Error: BAM Technical Assistance Required

Yes

Error: Connection to a SMTP host failed

Yes

Error: Error connecting to the BAM Primary Import Database - Referenced DB not found

Yes

Error: Failed to archive the processed message.

Yes

Error: Failed to delete processed message

Yes

Error: Failed to un-mark the file

Yes

Error: FILE-Receive-Message Suspended

Yes

Error: FTP-Receive-Message Suspended

Yes

Error: HTTP-Receive-Message Suspended

Yes

Error: Invalid IC Schema Error

Yes

Error: Messaging Engine has suspended a message. Failed to correlate a response message to an existing request message.

Yes

Error: MQSeries-Receive-Message Suspended

Yes

Error: MSMQ-Receive-Message Suspended

Yes

Error: Orchestration instance suspended due to errors, needs manual intervention

Yes

Error: POP3 adapter could not authenticate to the server using supplied credentials

Yes

Error: POP3 adapter could not establish connection with the POP3 server

Yes

Error: POP3-Receive-Message Suspended

Yes

Error: SMTP send adapter could not authenticate with the SMTP server

Yes

Error: SOAP-Receive-Message Suspended

Yes

Error: SQL-Receive-Message Suspended

Yes

Error: The FILE send adapter cannot open file for writing.

Yes

Error: The host instance failed to connect to the BizTalk Configuration database.

Yes

Error: The HTTP send adapter cannot connect to the remote server.

Yes

Error: The Messaging Engine is dropping the message due to an authentication failure.

Yes

Error: The processed file is either read-only or a system file.

Yes

Error: There was a failure executing a receive pipeline at an http receive location.

Yes

Error: There was a failure executing a receive pipeline.

No

Generic Error: All error events from BizTalk Server 2006

No

Generic Information: All information events from BizTalk Server 2006

No

Generic Warning: All warning events from BizTalk Server 2006

No

Information: A BizTalk Server Host Instance Windows Service Has Stopped

No

Information: Mismatched Interceptor Configuration

Yes

The Messaging Engine has suspended one or more inbound message(s).

No

The Messaging Engine has suspended one or more outbound message(s).

No

There was a failure executing a send pipeline.

No

There was an error executing a pipeline component.

No

Warning: Cube DTS has not been run

Yes

Warning: FILE receive adapter cannot reach a receive location due to network problems

Yes

Warning: TDDS failed to batch execution of streams

Yes

Warning: The Messaging Engine encountered an error publishing a batch of messages.

Yes

Utilization/Performance TrackingUtilization/Performance Tracking

There are two types of performance rules within MOM: measurement rules and comparison rules. Measurement rules gather data from Microsoft Windows performance counters, or other data sources, with a specified sampling rate between 5 and 15 minutes and store the data for historical analysis. Comparison rules allow actions to be taken and alerts to be raised when a given performance value varies by a specified threshold from expected values, which can include averages of past samples. Some of the comparison rules require customization based on your particular environment. In addition, you can change the default sampling rates as needed based on your environment.

The table below shows the performance rules for the BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Core rule group.

Note
All of the counter values for the BizTalk Tracking Data Decode Service (TDDS), otherwise known as the BAM Event Bus Service, performance object are stored with 15 minute samples.

Note
Within the XLANG/s Orchestrations performance object, all counters are stored with 15 minute samples, except the following: Megabytes Allocated Private Memory, Orchestrations Created, Orchestrations Created/sec.

Measurement Rule Name Enabled

BizTalk Messaging Active Receive Locations

Yes

BizTalk Messaging Inbound Latency

Yes

BizTalk Messaging Outbound Latency

Yes

BizTalk Messaging Request-Response Latency

Yes

BizTalk Messaging Request-Response Timeouts

Yes

BizTalk: WSS Adapter % Web Service Call Failures

No

BizTalk: WSS Adapter Total Receive Commit Failures

Yes

BizTalk: WSS Adapter Total Receive Message Failures

Yes

BizTalk: WSS Adapter Total Received Messages

Yes

BizTalk: WSS Adapter Total Send Message Failures

Yes

BizTalk: WSS Adapter Total Sent Messages

Yes

BizTalk: WSS Adapter Total Web Service Call Failures

Yes

BizTalk: WSS Adapter Total Web Service Calls/sec

Yes

BizTalk:TDDS Total Events

Yes

BizTalk:TDDS Total Records

Yes

BizTalk:TDDS-Total Failed Events

Yes

CPU Usage BizTalk Machines

Yes

CPU Usage BizTalk Server Process

Yes

CPU Usage BizTalk Server Processes

Yes

CPU Usage BizTalk Servers

Yes

Documents processed

Yes

Documents processed/sec

Yes

Documents received

Yes

Documents received/sec

Yes

Documents suspended

Yes

Documents suspended/sec

Yes

FILE receive Adapter Bytes

Yes

FILE Receive Adapter Bytes/Sec

Yes

FILE Receive Adapter Messages Received / Sec

Yes

FILE Receive Adapter-Messages received

Yes

FILE Send Adapter Bytes

Yes

FILE Send Adapter Bytes/Sec

Yes

FILE Send Adapter Messages Sent / Sec

Yes

FILE Send Adapter-Messages Sent

Yes

FTP Receive Adapter Bytes Received

Yes

FTP Receive Adapter Bytes Received/sec

Yes

FTP Receive Adapter Messages Received

Yes

FTP Receive Adapter Messages Received/Sec

Yes

FTP Send Adapter Bytes

Yes

FTP Send Adapter Bytes/Sec

Yes

FTP Send Adapter Messages Sent

Yes

FTP Send Adapter Messages/Second

Yes

Host - Instance State Message References - BizTalkServerInProcessHost

Yes

Host Queue Size - All BizTalk Hosts

Yes

Host Suspended Queue Size - All BizTalk Hosts

Yes

HostQ - Instances - BizTalkServerInProcessHost

Yes

HTTP Receive Adapter Messages Received / Sec

Yes

HTTP Receive Adapter Response Messages Sent / Sec

Yes

HTTP Receive Adapter-Messages received

Yes

HTTP Receive Adapter-Response Messages sent

Yes

HTTP Send Adapter Messages Received

Yes

HTTP Send Adapter Messages Received/Sec

Yes

HTTP Send Adapter Messages Sent/Sec

Yes

HTTP Send Adapter-Messages Sent

Yes

ID Process

Yes

Logical Disk %Free Space BizTalk Servers

Yes

MessageBox databases connection failures

Yes

MessageBox Dead Processes Cleanup

Yes

MessageBox Instances Size

Yes

MessageBox Msg Cleanup

Yes

MessageBox Parts Cleanup

Yes

MessageBox Spool Size

Yes

MessageBox Tracked Message Copy

Yes

MessageBox Tracking Data Size

Yes

MSMQ Receive Adapter Bytes Received

Yes

MSMQ Receive Adapter Bytes/Sec

Yes

MSMQ Receive Adapter Messages Received

Yes

MSMQ Receive Adapter Messages Received/Sec

Yes

MSMQ Send Adapter Bytes Sent

Yes

MSMQ Send Adapter Bytes/Sec

Yes

MSMQ Send Adapter Messages Sent

Yes

MSMQ Send Adapter Messages Sent/Sec

Yes

Orchestrations completed

Yes

Orchestrations completed/sec

Yes

Orchestrations Created

Yes

Orchestrations Created/sec

Yes

Orchestrations dehydrated

Yes

Orchestrations dehydrated/sec

Yes

Orchestrations discarded

Yes

Orchestrations discarded/sec

Yes

Orchestrations rehydrated

Yes

Orchestrations rehydrated/sec

Yes

Orchestrations resident in-memory

Yes

Orchestrations suspended

Yes

Orchestrations suspended/sec

Yes

Orchestrations-% used physical memory

Yes

Orchestrations-Database transactions

Yes

Orchestrations-Database transactions/sec

Yes

Orchestrations-Dehydratable orchestrations

Yes

Orchestrations-Dehydrating orchestrations

Yes

Orchestrations-Idle orchestrations

Yes

Orchestrations-Megabytes allocated private memory-<All>-15.0-minutes

Yes

Orchestrations-Megabytes allocated virtual memory

Yes

Orchestrations-Pending messages

Yes

Orchestrations-Pending work items

Yes

Physical Disk %Idle Time BizTalk Servers

Yes

Physical Disk Average Disk Queue Length BizTalk Server

Yes

POP3 Receive Adapter Active Sessions

Yes

POP3 Receive Adapter Bytes Received

Yes

POP3 Receive Adapter Bytes/Sec

Yes

POP3 Receive Adapter Messages Received

Yes

POP3 Receive Adapter Messages Received/Sec

Yes

Runnable orchestrations

Yes

Running orchestrations

Yes

SMTP Send Adapter Messages Sent

Yes

SMTP Send Adapter Messages Sent/Sec

Yes

SOAP Receive Adapter Messages Received

Yes

SOAP Receive Adapter Messages Received /Sec

Yes

SOAP Send Adapter Messages Sent

Yes

SOAP Send Adapter Messages Sent/Sec

Yes

SQL Receive Adapter Messages Received

Yes

SQL Receive Adapter Messages Received/Sec

Yes

SQL Send Adapter Messages Sent

Yes

SQL Send Adapter Messages Sent/Sec

Yes

Comparison Rule Name Enabled

Monitor Host Suspended Q Size

No

Monitor HostQ Size

No

Monitor HostQ Size - BizTalkServerApplication

No

Monitor MessageBox Instances Size

No

Monitor MessageBox Spool Size

No

Monitor MessageBox Tracking Data Size

No

Total Failed BAM Events During Flush

Yes

Total TDDS Events Failed Exceeded Limit

No

Total TDDS Failed Batches Exceeded Limit

No

Warning: BizTalk Throttled on High Database Size for a significant period

Yes

Warning: BizTalk Throttled on High Inprocess Message Count for a significant period

Yes

Warning: BizTalk Throttled on High Process Memory for a significant period

Yes

Warning: BizTalk Throttled on High Thread Count for a significant period

Yes

Sunday, October 07, 2007 5:44:06 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Insights | General
# Friday, October 05, 2007

I recently came across this and thought I'd share it with you - keep it handy for those planning meetings :)

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2  Editions - Comparison Chart

SKUs

Microsoft BizTalk Sever 2006 R2 Editions

 

Enterprise

Standard

Branch

Developer

Primary Scenario

Designed for customers with enterprise-level requirements for high volume, reliability, and availability

Designed for businesses with moderate volume and deployment scale requirements

Specialty version of BizTalk Server designed for hub and spoke deployment scenarios

Available for development and testing purposes, and BizTalk Server 2006 Evaluation Edition (EVAL) is for free evaluation purposes

License

Per processor basis

Per processor basis

Per processor basis

Per processor basis

Price (in US Dollars)

$30K per proc

$8.5K per proc

$1.8K per proc

$500 per proc
(free with MSDN Universal)

Functionality

Complete EAI, B2B, and Business Process Management functionality

Complete EAI, B2B, and Business Process Management functionality

Subset of BizTalk Server functionality appropriate for intra-enterprise hub-and-spoke scenarios

Complete EAI, B2B, and Business Process Management functionality

Accelerators

Includes all vertical industry accelerators (RosettaNet, HIPAA, HL7, and SWIFT)

Includes all vertical industry accelerators (RosettaNet, HIPAA, HL7, and SWIFT)

-

Limited solely to designing, developing, and testing solutions

Adapters

Includes all current and new application and technology adapters

Includes all current and new application and technology adapters

-

Includes all current and new application and technology adapters

RFID

Includes BizTalk RFID

Includes BizTalk RFID

Includes BizTalk RFID

Includes BizTalk RFID

Host Integration Server (HIS)

Includes Host Integration Server 2006 Server Edition

Includes Host Integration Server 2006 Server Edition

Includes Host Integration Server 2006 Server Edition

-

Applications

Unlimited

Five

One

Unlimited

Failover

Scale out/failover multiple message boxes

-

-

Non-production (must participate in the ISV Royalty Program to sell these SKUs)

Maximum Processors

Unlimited

Two

Two

Not Applicable

Virtual Processors

Unlimited

-

-

-

Friday, October 05, 2007 7:30:03 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | General | Tips
# Friday, September 21, 2007

In transit with a little time to spare I thought I'd share some thoughts around an area that is set to boom in the near future - 'Business Activity Monitoring'

I know you must be thinking - What? why? who....? what's Mick on about.

Let's have a quick chat on my thoughts:

  1. Within the next 3 yrs there is going to be even less 'custom raw code' being written and more 'integration code' within the MS product stack. Of course there will be specific needs, but in general across the board for business related applications - why build it from scratch? will be the reasoning.

    We can see this today heavily with the Sharepoint boom - why build an ASP.NET app when you can plug your bits into a WSS V3.0/ASP.NET app?

    Many other products such as OCS, Speech Server, MOSS etc etc. are all conducive to integration code. (If you don't have to write 20 000 lines of code - integrate and customise and write 2000. But us developers want to do everything by hand....so in some ways, we're our own worst enemy)

    It would not be uncommon to have several products making up a solution.

    How do we keep an eye on that? (We could send the work experience kid around the the servers to make sure they are all running well? but how many work exp. kids do we have?)
  2. BizTalk Services - if we look at the increasingly important role that BizTalk is playing within organisations in providing THE Application Server where WCF Services, Business Processes etc can all be hosted within. Out of the box slicing and dicing of load/capacity and so on. (It will be an interesting time when the finer details are nutted out with IIS 7 WAS - who does what)

    As we start building all sorts of systems that require point to point or connectivity between the components, typically we would look to WCF to provide that glue while conforming to standards (e.g. WS-*) future proofing extensions.

    We would then need to house those WCF Services and IIS could be an option...... BTS provides fault tolerance and durability around these services as well.

    BTS provides not only connectivity at the transport level, but also at the application level such as SAP, Siebel.... all out of the box. Being able to consume, transform and publish services/information at all these levels is one of the things that BizTalk does very well!

    Looking into BizTalk Services - things like 'Event buses' and 'Subscribing' to these events seem to be possible. These may span end-to-end on the enterprise so departments will be able to do their own local processing from a 'corporate received event' (just my thoughts at this point) - similiar to MSMQ technology, but with ALOT more functionality.
  3. Ok - onto the chase....(just had to go and pick my mobile up in the airport lounge - left it somewhere....head's not screwed on right :)

    So in essence looking within the next 3 years, systems will be made up of many disparet sub-systems each - we need to get a view of "How are we going?" (in a business context - not the flux capacitor is running well)
  4. Enter BAM (BizTalk) - Business Activity Monitoring:
    1. Allows for the creation of 'SQL OLAP Cubes' from Business Key Performance Indicators (a business person *can* sit down in Excel and define all these numbers - except my winning lotto numbers...I'm still waiting :) - then hand them the BAM and boom! a cube is born.

      This is the way *it MAY* be pitched - but my experience is that it's a Techo that does it - with the business person looking over the shoulder.)

      e.g. Order Total, Order Time Taken, Order Average Fulfillment Time, Order Destination.
    2. We can populate these cubes (& their values) from WF Workflows, custom .NET code, Business Rules, BizTalk and WCF Services.

      That friends is the missing piece to the puzzle. So as your system is crunching away, business intelligence is obtained from the working system in the context that you specify (a fancy way of saying - your business values).

      The capture of this information is done through BAM Interceptors (different flavours depending on if it's a Biztalk process, WF Workflow, WCF Service, Buffered, Direct...)

      The cool thing is that BAM databases can be aggregated etc. So we may have a business process running in Perth and a similiar in Syd with the end result being viewed in Melb.

      All in all - we're in a cube. All the existing BI tools can hook into the Cube as per normal.
    3. How can I interpret and work with my cubes? I've heard MOSS has 'dashboards' and other things that may help me......

      ENTER THE DRAGON......no I meant to say "Performance Point" (what a great movie that was!)

      Perf. Point is driven out of MOSS (perfect for the whole sharing/caring/collab world that Sharepoint pushes - alerts/presence info etc etc)

      It provides intelligence and the ability to forecast/plan/manipulate information from many different sources of which BAM is one. Perfect - you're very own rockect scientist on call.

      You business processes is just another area that plugs into this :)
    4. Tying it all together in a nutshell.....
      systems - more integration code, less custom code/app silos -> complex solutions comprising of many components -> how to intelligently track/monitor -> BAM -> BAM -> Cube(s), easy, distributable -> Perf Point, MOSS based very easy

      If I was a partner and wondering what technology to get into right now.....apart from BizTalk R2 :)..... gotta be Perf. Point -> 18 months time, you won't have enough perf. point people! :)

      Enjoy your Friday folks!

Friday, September 21, 2007 10:47:13 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Insights | General
# Sunday, September 16, 2007

What a great event - BizTalk, BizTalk and more Biztalk.

It was great to see all those who attended and especially those from the user groups (Sydney, Brisbane and Melb)

I personally had a great day - the weather was great. It was sunny, it hailed and then in true fashion the sun was out again.

So this means that BizTalk 2006 R2 is now RTM - grab it from here

Scott (another BizTalk super hero) & I put together a great RFID Demo (I can say *great* being not too bias).

Come 2am the morning before the launch Scott & I were wondering 'was there going to be a demo?'. In true show style it all came off on the day :)
I'll blog about the demo shortly....it went down a treat

There were some great sessions (I wasn't able to get to them as I was a 'booth babe' for the day).

The thing that I was most impressed about on the day......was the amount of support from the Corp BizTalk team. Well done guys!!! smile_regular
The team had been on the road launching R2 in 3 world wide locations (in Taipei they were treated almost like rock star status!).

We had Oliver Sharp (BizTalk PM) and major figures in his team - the guys were great and always willing to lend an ear. (Some of them were off surfing at Bondi the following day - that's the way it's done !! :)

In mentioning the team I can't fail to mention MR. RFID of MS - Anush Kumar. What a great genuine guy. He's always got a brilliant story to tell around Microsoft RFID Services. RFID, Integration, surfacing, WCF, BizTalk, BAM, TagEvent data - these are all words he uses. This is a huge Microsoft story - and what the RFID team has achieved it the last 3-4 years both on the hardware/software space is amazing. Standardising readers (c.f. ODBC and ODBC drivers) and providing momentum to standards bodies on various tags and their formats.

R2 here we come....time to update some VPCs.

Sunday, September 16, 2007 12:36:12 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Insights | RFID | Events | General
# Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I got an interesting piece of BizTalk trivia for you all from folks at Corp........

Factoid

Source

12 of the 15 largest Retailers in the World run Microsoft BizTalk

Elsevier Food International, September 2006 (sourced from PlanetRetail database)

5 of 10 largest Hotel Chains in the World with over 2 Million rooms use Microsoft BizTalk

Hotels Magazine, July 2007

6 of the 8 largest U.S. Pharmacuetical Companies use Microsoft BizTalk

Fortune 1000 by Industry, April 30, 2007

4 of the 5 largest U.S. Electronics Parts Manufacturers use Microsoft BizTalk

Fortune 1000 by Industry, April 30, 2007

9 of 10 largest U.S. Telecommunications Companies use Microsoft BizTalk

Fortune 1000 by Industry, April 30, 2007

9 of the 10 largest Aerospace and Defense Companies in the U.S. run Microsoft BizTalk

Fortune 1000 by Industry, April 30, 2007

5 of the 8 largest U.S. Chemical Companies run Microsoft BizTalk

Fortune 1000 by Industry, April 30, 2007

4 of the 5 largest Railroads in the U.S. run Microsoft BizTalk

Fortune 1000 by Industry, April 30, 2007

9 of the 10 largest Insurance Companies in the World run Microsoft BizTalk

Insurance Information Institute (from Fortune Global 500 data)

23 of 27 EU member governments use Microsoft BizTalk to provide more efficient government services

European Union web site



The only thing I say is ...... "What am I doing wrong" :)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007 2:14:31 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | General | Tips
# Monday, September 03, 2007

Some information I got just recently is that MS will be locked down for during APEC.

So I guess......there's no user group there this week......

BUT......we've moved it

At the R2 Launch(14th Sept) we'll having a *special session* at the end of the day in Darling Harbour - with members of the product team.

See you there for a great Q&A Session with the Product team.
 

Monday, September 03, 2007 4:37:41 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Usergroup | Events | General
# Friday, August 31, 2007

The ever vibrant Andrew Coates pinged me an email yesterday asking for my involvement in becoming a TechTalk Blogger........

I'm currently on this Island called 'Hamilton' at a 'Partner' Conference (yeah right!!! :)) so naturally I said 'yes!' (not too many people are saying 'no' around here)

I've got some great stories around RFID, BizTalk R2 and obvious integration into WSS/MOSS and what that means.

Hope you're going to join me on a great journey together! Gotta dash the scuba diving boat is waiting for me... (erm...the next 'partner activity')

Mick. 

Friday, August 31, 2007 11:57:01 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Events | General | MOSS | TechTalk
# Thursday, August 30, 2007

I'm currently kicking back at the partner conf. here on Hamilton Island - I have to kick myself to remind me that I am on a conference. Beautiful scenery and temperature....I'm sure you get the classic sunset palm tree over a beach image in your mind........no more need to be said.

What I did want to share - I'm currently listening to Ian Polangio (MS Sharepoint TS) where he brought up a couple of great (beta) Search sites.

1. http://mrsdewey.com/ - here's a talking person who acts and 'shows' parts of your search results.
(She has a bit of attitude to boot as well)
image 

2. http://www.tafiti.com/ - silverlight based search site. Builds trees and it's quite interactive.
I did a search on my name 'Mick Badran' and some interesting results came up :-)

Very interactive in Silverlight - lots of things spinning and moving and pinning

image
image

Thursday, August 30, 2007 12:11:10 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | MOSS | Office | Tips
# Monday, August 27, 2007

BizTalk 2006 R2 when installing the EDI/AS2 component (or when re-installing), sometimes there are some SSIS packages/jobs left that need to be manually deleted

My good mate Rahul has entered the world of blogging!!! and has blogged about this very issue and what he did to get around it.

Well done Rahul!!!!

Also I might add upon  a reinstall of BTS 2006/R2 sometimes there are the BAM Alerts notification service instance left over as well - that typically needs to be manually removed from within the Sql Workbench.

Enjoy

Monday, August 27, 2007 12:01:36 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Insights | General | Tips
# Saturday, August 25, 2007

The other day I came across a great MSDN article that explains how to do this across all the BTS Services from SSO through to the rules engine.

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa561505.aspx

Saturday, August 25, 2007 7:37:48 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | BizTalk | General | Tips
# Thursday, August 23, 2007
What a great relase of a new WSS/MOSS SDK (couldn't have come at a better time for me :-).

In this latest release we have some goodies packed in to the SDK - the BDC Tool - which allows you to visually create a BDC Application Config file (.xml) that is based on both OLEDB/ODBC and Web Service data sources.

This was one of the major complaints from business when looking into the BDC (BDCMan did do a great job)

Sharepoint SDK Refresh (175MB!!)

BDC TOOL

Brief Summary of What's included (taken from the Sharepoint page above):
-ECM Start kit also included
-updated workflow samples
-SSO provider samples (to use SSO to access your own people stores)
-BDC Tool + further BDC samples (SAP, custom etc)
-Document Inspector custom sample
-Document Converter custom sample
...and the list goes on.....

either which way - this release is BIG!

Enjoy

Thursday, August 23, 2007 1:57:59 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | General | MOSS | Office
# Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Folks, I know we're all interested in the next and latest release of BizTalk R2.

The big question is - "What will happen to my existing setup?".

The answer is - "R2 has a 'Wizard based upgrade' that will upgrade from 2004/2006/2006R2 Beta 2".....so things going to plan all bases will be covered :)

We'll have to wait and see....

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 8:21:43 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Insights | General | Tips
# Monday, August 20, 2007

In the previous beta this tool supported a huge range of different blogs and their respective APIs....except Sharepoint.
(There was a tweak we could do, but essentially you had to turn off NTLM authentication and go with Forms.....generally this wasn't going to happen anytime soon)

Enter - LW Beta 2 - pick up your copy HERE

Enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2007 12:32:54 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | General | Other | Tips
# Sunday, August 05, 2007

Another piece of software has come up and saved my bacon - a couple of days out from a conference and I would love to Demo RFID. Do I migrate my images to VMWare? (that's another story in itself - I've heard good + bad)

After researching I came across this....... USB Anywhere
*** UPDATED: USB Redirector solves a  couple of 'driver not working' issues I found on the others ***

This guy is GREAT!! Let's you share USB devices via IP addresses between host + remote machines.
(you even get plug and play messages!)

Now all my RFID devices are rocking!!!

Sunday, August 05, 2007 11:31:55 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Insights | RFID | General
# Tuesday, July 17, 2007

If you're like me and run a few virtual machines each day, then running them with ease is key I reckon.

Generally I've found on dual core machines etc. virtual server makes better use of multi-cpu based hosts than what Virtual PC2007 does (VMWare vs VPC is another debate :)

The only draw back is that I've always had to setup this IIS based website and it gets painful, particularly on a laptop etc. when all sorts of things get installed and uninstalled etc. IIS sites sometimes stop working and thus your only lifeline to the running virtual machines.

Well VMRCplus is the answer! (This used to be an internal MS tool which it looks like they've released to the public)

YOU DO NOT NEED IIS with this baby - it uses the COM Api behind the scenes.

Grab it here........

VMRC PLUS

Some features to wet your appetites:

    • Direct control of local or remote instances of the Virtual Server service. IIS and IE browser are no longer required!
    • Tabbed interface to quickly jump between Virtual Server hosts and guest VMRC sessions.
    • Reusable saved states: this feature allows users to preserve a particular saved state and return to that state at any time.
    • Multiple guest selection supported for startup/shutdown/save/display.
    • Browse button navigation for media, hard disk images, ISO images, .VMC files, etc.
    • Drag and Drop support for .VMC files, ISOs images, VHD and VFD files.
    • Resizable desktop support for guests running Virtual Machine Additions (maximize VMRC window supported).
    • Limited cut and paste of text from host to guest (only).
    • A built-in utility to take JPG screenshots of running guests. Useful when filing bugs.
    • Built-in error notification with Virtual Server eventlog viewer.
    • A Virtual Networks Manager and Virtual Disks Manager that cover all features.
    • Keyboard shortcuts (e.g. Ctrl-S to save state a guest).
    • Create multiple guests at once.
    • Create guest from parent (or multiple guests)!
    • Automatic reconnect to a designated Virtual Server host.
    • Toolbars in both Guest and Console Manager for quick access.
    • Unlimited number of guests.
    • Maximum of 32 Virtual Server hosts.
    • Sorting on columns of guests so you can sort based on status and multi-select.
    • Automatic detection of Virtual Machine Additions and notification.
    • Detection of Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 9:20:15 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Tips
# Thursday, July 12, 2007

There's the whole suite of products on here now! From 2004 to R2 (you thought I was going to say BTS2000!!!! ....I try to push that out of my mind)

http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/evaluation/roadmap/default.mspx

Thursday, July 12, 2007 3:41:39 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | General | Tips
# Tuesday, July 10, 2007

We've got a decent PDF IFilter from found on the MS IFilter Blog.

The IFilter team have been busy and while this IFilter is by a third party, I believe it has under gone some internal MS testing.

One of the things I've had trouble with in the past has been Native Adobe Compression within PDFs. In the later versions of PDF writer/distiller etc. when outputting a PDF, one of the options is to select the amount of compression (a slider bar from memory).

I was onsite and noticed that out of the 400 PDFs in our 'test' folder, around 50 were not being properly indexed (only filename, filesize, location etc were 'extracted').

All of these 50 documents had PDF compression set to 'high' (there were 4 different compression settings)

You may or may not have to add the work around below - Foxit have updater their installer.

---- snip ------

Long awaited 64-bit PDF IFilter finally available.

Finally we have a 64 bit PDF IFilter - surprisingly the solution is not from Adobe or Microsoft, but from a company called Foxit Software.The IFilter is compatiable with the following Microsoft products: Windows Indexing Service, MSN Desktop Search, Internet Information Server, SharePoint Portal Server, Windows SharePoint Services (WSS), Site Server, Exchange Server, SQL Server and all other products based on Microsoft Search technology.

 There's one simple workaround to get the filter running on 64 bit MOSS 2007. The steps are given below.

1. Install Foxit 64bit PDF Ifilter. http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/ifilter/

2. Add a pdf extension in MOSS search settings

3. Open regedit, locate [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office Server\12.0\Search\Setup\ContentIndexCommon\Filters\Extension\.pdf]

4. Change the default value to {987f8d1a-26e6-4554-b007-6b20e2680632} .

5. Recycle the search service: net stop osearch
                                              net start osearch

6. Start a full crawl to index your pdf documents :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 12:38:24 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | MOSS

Years ago we struggled when clients surfed to web pages, to try and get any sort of information out about them.

To get more info, we would present a little page with some client script to determine ('mine' being the operative word) their capabilities (cookes, script, even had access to Navigation History etc etc)

I was recently contacted by a site and part of the request I was presented with my User_Agent string for my initial request.

HTTP_USER_AGENT=Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.04506; Tablet PC 2.0; InfoPath.2; FDM)

Who can determine the most out about this machine?

So your default User Agent strings *do* tell alot about the software you're running. We can modify this, but you run the risk of websites etc. not interacting fully with you (and I know how much we all love our Ajax!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 9:21:56 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [2] -
General | Tips
# Monday, July 09, 2007

Over the times parents have named their kids many things...but I do feel sorry for this little girl being called Vista.

A father called his daughter Vista....does this mean the son will be called 'LongHorn' and who knows about upgrades, boyfriends and remote offsite camping trips.

Wonder no more why so many people change their names over in the US.

Monday's tidbit.

Monday, July 09, 2007 1:54:35 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [2] -
General
# Saturday, June 30, 2007

Wow what a night planned!!! WF 101 (even good for managers! :)); BTS hosting WF and making it all happen under BizTalk Labs (that's next after R2)

Check it out and looking forward in seeing you there......

-------- Details ---------

Examine Windows Workflow talking to BizTalk R2 and BizTalk Labs.

Firstly a BIG thanks to those that enjoyed the exam cram we did last month (we had to order additional pizza!) and I’ve since heard that several of you have sat and passed the EXAM!!! Well done!!

With R2 just around the corner......I decided to tackle the Windows Workflow(WF) question.
The message is usually BTS vs WF, never BTS AND WF.

We’ll cover:

1.      Workflow 101 (you should be able to bring your manager along to this one J)

2.      Hosting Workflow’s within BizTalk with the new BizTalk extensions for WF SDK

3.      BizTalk Labs – life after R2....and where we are heading.....

Meeting details:

When: July 4th Food at 6pm, kick off 6.30pm. Finish up around 8pm.
Where: Microsoft
1 Epping Road
Riverside Corporate Park
North Ryde NSW 2113 Australia.
(parking available)

 

WF Session Focus Details:
1.First
up we will look at the fundamentals of Workflow; what makes them run; communications; and how do we host them.
(WF is the technology that is brightly coloured in VS.NET and comes with .NET 3.0) – you could even workflow your toaster if you wanted to.

 

2.Next – we’ll take a Workflow and use WCF under the covers to act as the communication medium between BTS R2 & WF. Very nice.
So now in BTS R2 we can host WF (through a small ‘Orchestration wrapper’) meaning that when BTS persists, WF does too – WF is now running inside BTSNTSvc.exe.
(cross off the list – ‘find a place for my WF’s to live’)


3.Thirdly – Imagine being able to call our creation from anywhere and behind umpteen firewalls between caller/sender.....enter into the ring
BizTalk Labs!!! Very exciting – labs.BizTalk.net.
(what communications do you think we use.......WCF......hmmm....seems to be a common thread here!)
So it’s a night on WF/R2 wrapped up in WCF – wow what a great set of technologies!!!!

 

See you there and let me know your coming
Mick Badran.
p.s. I’ve fallen in love with Microsoft Surface.......wow!!!

Saturday, June 30, 2007 2:02:26 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Events | General | Other | Training
# Monday, June 18, 2007

Currently I'm setting up a system and found an interesting 'challenge'. After some sweat and tears I stumbled upon this Microsoft article.

In the article it appears that running IIS 6.0 on a 64-bit box is cool. (obviously or there'd be trouble)

It's also cool to run 32-bit ASP.NET apps in 1.1/2.0

It is not cool to run a mix of 32- and 64-bit in the same IIS.

Thought I'd save you my pain!

Monday, June 18, 2007 4:39:40 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Insights | General | MOSS | Office | Tips

I could talk about it........I soooo wouldnt do it justice........forget the pacman cocktail machine.

See MS Surface

Here’s a Microsoft Surface demo:

Monday, June 18, 2007 3:58:45 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Tips
# Sunday, June 17, 2007

I'm pretty excited about this one! BI - Business Intelligence. It usually comes up towards the end of my project (especially BizTalk ones), what do we now do with our information within our SQL Cubes?? I find that the subject of BI is never properly addressed - whitepapers etc etc. How do you set this up, more importantly - how can you make it effective and meaningful for your Organisation.

*Good question I think* - I know SQL 2005 has a whole bunch of prediction models etc etc....once I get my winning lotto numbers out of it....this blog will be just cease.....till then :)

So what's cooking (the paperback version) of this offering:

  • 5 days - get comprehensive and specific expert knowledge for 5 days. (Could be some of the most fruitful 5 days you spend!)
  • Our instructors have worked with Microsoft Corp in creating and delivering the Microsoft BI Official Curriculum - they definitely know their stuff :-)
    (we know your time is precious - we aim for our offerings to be pinpoint and as effective as possible for you)
  • Learn out the new Microsoft BI Platform- Sharepoint 2007 Portal Dashboards, Performance Point, Proclarity, OLAP Cubes and more
  • I'm someone that learns by doing.....so 40% of the course is interactive hands-on labs!
  • We've partnered with DDLS (this allows us to focus on what we do best together) - to bring you the best possible learning experience.
  • (I'm wanting to get on the course!!!! Brilliant....delivered to your city....you dont have to travel to the heights of Mt. Everest to find someone that knows about BI :))

More Information, Course Details - HERE

Book on the Course HERE

Hope to see you there!! :)

Sunday, June 17, 2007 5:08:47 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Events | General | Other | Tips | Training
# Friday, May 25, 2007
(some clever people about......so THAT's how it works!)

Ever wondered how the Arrow/Pointer/Cursor works?

The mystery is finally solved.

How does the small arrow on your computer monitor work when you move
the mouse?  Haven't you ever wondered how it works?

Now, through the miracle of high technology, we can see how it is done.

With the aid of a screen magnifying lens, the mechanism becomes apparent.

Click on the link below and you will find out. The image may take a
minute or two to download and when it appears, slowly move your mouse
over the light grey circle and you will see how the magic works.
(you do need flash plugin/player :)




award.swf (3.82 MB)
Friday, May 25, 2007 3:55:00 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [2] -
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