Things hard and not so hard.... RSS 2.0
# 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

clip_image001

 

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
# Friday, February 01, 2008
I've been meaning to post this stuff for a while and now finally gotten round to it :)

Venkatesh (RFID lead architect) before Christmas ran through a first teach of our RFID Course in Singpore + China.

One piece of feedback that came out of the course was that the existing MS RFID DLP Provider gave a few problems with quick consecutive tag reads - and would cause the Provider to stop. (and the other important thing is that the DLP Reader - didn't beep when reading a tag)

So whether Venkatesh could sleep one night or not, he's come up with a new and improved DLP Provider that relies on a COM interface.

Grab the updated files here....

DL_Provider_Binaries.zip (59.79 KB)
DLP_COM_Binaries.zip (69.19 KB)
LogViewer.zip (13.81 KB) - BizTalk RFID LogFile Viewer - can't leave home without this one :-)

Cheers,

Mick.
Friday, February 01, 2008 4:24:41 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [1] -
.NET Developer | BizTalk | RFID
# Friday, January 18, 2008

Happy 2008 all!

Enter BizTalk HotRod

As we know getting things done in BizTalk requires specific knowledge around specific areas with various tweaks here and there (e.g. creating a flat file schema that removes the field names in the first line).

Some folks at Microsoft have felt the same way and decided to kick off their shoes and embrace an alternative to a mid-life crisis and the temptation of a Harley around the world. Two Microsoft TS's are embarking on the trail.

They have created a BizTalk quarterly magazine filled with some fantastic tips'n tricks (e.g. creating pipelines to handle zip compression using Office OpenXML format) - and the language and format of the magazine suits me down to a 'T'. Very funny reading.

I look down the table of contents and it's got some great tips all in the one spot -to find this stuff elsewhere is going to take alot of time assuming it exists.

Check it out and see if it's worthwhile - it's currently free (you may see yours truly post an article there one day :)

BizTalk HotRod Magazine - "Where BizTalk meets the road"

 

Well done guys - well done!!!

Friday, January 18, 2008 1:55:12 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Insights | TechTalk | Tips
# 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
# Thursday, December 20, 2007

Microsoft have rounded up all the serious BizTalk Bloggers (MVPs + keen MS guys + Teams) and the Connected Systems Division (CSD Team) within Microsoft and produced a valuable aggregator with all this in one spot.

Just have a look at the bloggers that are contributing to this - sensational!!! One stop shop for you guys.

From WCF to BizTalk, EDI + Custom Pipelines.

MicrosoftBizTalkBlogs

We all display this logo on our site.

Here's the RSS Feed http://biztalkblogs.com/RssDoc.xml

Merry Christmas!!!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007 5:25:04 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Insights | RFID | TechTalk
# Thursday, December 13, 2007

Well firstly - I've got to say this comes off the back of a great Sharepoint MVP and collegue of mine Ishai Sagi. Big THANKS Ishai!!!

Typically my experience with the DataFormWebPart has been through the eyes of Sharepoint Designer - open pages with webparts on them and looking at the XML configuration of these parts. It look pretty ugly AND very site/web specific - IDs all over the place etc etc.

Ishai the wealth of knowledge came up with this solution - by overriding the SetDataSourceProperties method, you can effectively create a datasource from anywhere!!!! Forgetting the IDs etc that cause all the pain.

I've marked the 2 important lines with (**) in the code.

Big Thanks Ishai!!! Folks he's always one to watch - lock his blog in and learn!! :)

Ishai mentioned that his code below is purely for educational purposes

using System;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
using System.Web.UI;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls.WebParts;
using System.Xml.Serialization;
using Microsoft.SharePoint;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages;
using System.Data;
using System.Xml;

namespace AdvancedQueryWebPart
{
[Guid("46a8853d-415c-458e-990c-419c12fa04f5")]
public class AdvancedQueryWebPart : DataFormWebPart, IWebPart
{
public AdvancedQueryWebPart()
{
this.ExportMode = WebPartExportMode.All;
}

protected override void SetDataSourceProperties()
{
   try
   {
      // Call a custom function that returns the data you want to show as a data table
      DataTable results = GetCustomData();
      if (results.Rows.Count > 0)
      {
         // generate xml for selected items
         XmlDocument doc = new XmlDocument();
         XmlNode root = doc.AppendChild(doc.CreateElement("Rows"));
         foreach (DataRow row in results.Rows)
         {
            XmlElement rowNode = doc.CreateElement("row");
            foreach (DataColumn col in row.Table.Columns)
            {
               string val = row[col].ToString();
               XmlAttribute att = doc.CreateAttribute(col.ColumnName);
               att.Value = val;
               rowNode.Attributes.Append(att);
            }
            root.AppendChild(rowNode);
         }
         // create an XmlDatasource with the new data, and set it to cache for one second
         XmlDataSource ds = new XmlDataSource();
         ds.CacheDuration = 1;
         ds.Data = doc.InnerXml;
         // bind the web part to the xml
(**)     this.DataSource = ds;
(**)     this.DataBind(true);
       }
       else
       {
         Label noResults = new Label();
         noResults.Text = "No results were found";
         this.Controls.Add(noResults);
       }
   }
   catch (Exception ex)
   {
      Label lblError = new Label();
      lblError.Text = ex.ToString();
      this.Controls.Add(lblError);
   }
   base.SetDataSourceProperties();
}

private DataTable GetCustomData()
{
   try
   {
      SPWeb webSite = SPContext.Current.Web;
      SPSiteDataQuery query = new SPSiteDataQuery();
      //look only in document libraries
      query.Lists = "<Lists ServerTemplate=\"101\" />";
      //search for documents that have "Test" in the title
      query.Query = @"<Where><Contains><FieldRef Name=""Title"" /><Value Type="Text"">Test</Value></Contains></Where>";
      //bring back the title field of the documents
      query.ViewFields = @"<FieldRef Name=""Title"" Nullable=""TRUE"" /><FieldRef Name=""FileLeafRef"" Nullable=""FALSE"" />";
      DataTable items = webSite.GetSiteData(query);
      return items;
   }
   catch (Exception ex)
   {
      throw new Exception("There was a problem querying the site with the query", ex);
   }
}

}

}

Thursday, December 13, 2007 12:42:47 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
MOSS | Office
# Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Well looks like the team have made ready some great goodies in WSS 3.0 SP1, MOSS SP1 and SPD SP1.

These are Service Packs with enhancements also.

You need to install WSS 3.0 SP1 first then install MOSS SP1 (if you have a MOSS server)

Grab the details from the links below for both x86 AND x64 versions....

Link Details  
WSS 3.0 SP1 (download)

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 delivers important customer-requested stability and performance improvements, while incorporating further enhancements to user security. This service pack also includes all of the updates released for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 prior to December of 2007. You can get a more complete description of SP1, including a list of issues that were fixed, in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 936988: Description of the Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Service Pack 1.

 
MOSS 2007 SP1 (download)

The 2007 Microsoft Office Servers Service Pack 1 delivers important customer-requested stability and performance improvements, while incorporating further enhancements to user security. This service pack also includes all of the updates released for the 2007 Microsoft Office System servers prior to December of 2007. You can get a more complete description of SP1, including a list of issues that were fixed, in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 936984: Description of the 2007 Microsoft Office Servers Service Pack 1.

 
New Features in SP1 whitepaper (download) This white paper describes features that are included in Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows® SharePoint Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 (SP1). In addition, this paper provides some guidelines for planning your solutions to work with current and future versions of Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies.  
Sharepoint Designer 2007 SP1 (download)

Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 Service Pack 1 delivers important customer-requested stability and performance improvements, while incorporating further enhancements to user security. This service pack also includes all of the updates released for Office SharePoint Designer 2007 prior to December of 2007. You can get a more complete description of SP1, including a list of issues that were fixed, in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 937162: Description of the Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 Service Pack 1.

 


Enjoy,

Mick.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 12:27:35 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
MOSS | Office | Tips
# Saturday, December 08, 2007

Just to let you folks know -

you no longer have to create special pipeline components, cases etc. for handling flat files.

R2 will resolve (dynamically) the schema from those that are deployed!!! (c.f. to xml)

To set it up:

- create a custom pipeline + add a FFAsm component to it.
- leave the schemas properties blank.
- BizTalk will now use dynamic resolution for the incoming schemas.

This is great news!!!! I can now throw out my 'dynamic FF schema resolver custom component'

Enjoy!

Saturday, December 08, 2007 8:29:16 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [3] -
BizTalk | RFID | Tips
# Friday, December 07, 2007

Rahul (MS BTS TS in our parts - great guy and is hugely knowledgeable in both Java integration technologies as well as MS) has been hard at work again weaving his magic... I just couldn't go past his post without sharing it with you guys.

Great step by step instructions Rahul!

Well done.

Friday, December 07, 2007 9:14:28 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | BizTalk | Insights | Tips

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
# Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The problem about Sharepoint implementations is that typically when you create your Sharepoint Web Application from Central Admin, there is one ContentDB that you assign.

Then spare no more thought to it......

In update KB934525 MS added a new command to stsadm called MergeDBs.

This handles it all for you in a single command. You need to specify, WebApp1 address, contentDB1 and an excerpt of the stsadm -o enumsites command to specify the site(s) you want to 'migrate' to ContentDB2.

Here's a great step by step article by Todd

Well done!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007 11:04:19 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
MOSS | Tips
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