Things hard and not so hard.... RSS 2.0
# Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'm about to run training at the Microsoft BizTalk RFID Solution Days and I was contemplating rebuilding my host O/S which is Win2008 RC1 x64.

The RFID devices that the students will walk away with are USB based.

I use a third party USB Sharing software to share the USB ports to the VPCs. The thing I've noticed is that using the USB drivers the sharing and responsiveness works a treat.

The problem is that there are no - 64 bit USB drivers for the RFID1 device.....until now!!! :)

I decided to 'fudge' a *.INF file that installs the x64 bit drivers much in the same fashion as the i386 drivers.

So my current setup is:

(a) Host - Win2K8 x64, RFID devices plugged into it with x64 USB Drivers.

(b) USB Sharing Software

(c) Inside a VPC (using Hyper-V) running the 'client' of the USB Sharing I install the x32 bit USB Drivers.
This VPC is running x32 BizTalk RFID and basically the course!

We're cooking!

Grab the drivers below

RFID1_Usb Drivers x64 x32.zip



UPDATED: Windows 7 x64 will install these drivers from http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm

A CDM 2.04.16.exe has it all - http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%202.04.16.exe

Tuesday, February 19, 2008 8:46:45 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [2] -
BizTalk | 2009 | RFID | Tips
# Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Went and caught a session by Chris Johnson around the Studio extensions for Sharepoint, an area that needs to catch up with the pace of the adoption of the product :-)

This Visual Studio Integrated toolset goes a long long way in bridging the gap and streamlining development in Sharepoint.
Features, manifest explorer etc etc.

One of the biggest features in this release is the ability to control the Sharepoint Solution Deployment process for e.g. Chris originally created a solution with 3 Features in it, where he drag' dropped the 3 Feature elements into 1 Feature.

http://blogs.msdn.com/cjohnson/archive/2008/02/12/visual-studio-2005-extensions-for-windows-sharepoint-services-3-0-version-1-1-rtm-user-guide-part-1.aspx

Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 12:51:50 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | MOSS

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

Wow - a BizTalk adapter Pack announcement is looming (ready March 1 actually).

What is the BizTalk Adapter Pack?? I hear you ask.....I did too when I first heard of it.

Quick Bit of History
- 'Adapters' was a term typically used within a BizTalk space and to build adapters in BizTalk was a 'character' building experience where several COM interfaces needed to be implemented (with some of those interface's origins being in the year 2000!)
- for all that dev effort the 'adapters' only lived in BizTalk -land.

Wouldn't it be great to utilise your Adapter from other 'hosts' or environments such as Word/Sharepoint/Access/MS Project/BizTalk/Your Website etc etc....
(this is a very similar case to the initial *.OCX controls that came out. These controls were based on *.VBX which is something written in VB3 and used in the VB3 environment. Access/C/C++ developers had to duplicate the effort if they wanted similar functionality in their system)

WCF LOB Adapter SDK is the essence here.
- with BizTalk 2006 R2 on the scene, it comes with a 'new' adapter and new adapter 'style' known to trained BizTalk Ninjas as WCF Custom Adapter or BizTalk Adapter Framework V2.0
- so the LOB Adapter SDK is:

  • Free
  • .NET based
  • A Framework and VSNET project template
  • Allows you to build custom 'adapters'
  • Does alot of the heavy lifting for you.
  • Search/Browse/Consume WCF Service metadata
  • Able to be hosted in .NET/.NET related Host environment (BizTalk could be one of these :-)

Enter the (Supported)BizTalk Adapter Pack - (Help files Here)

So the BizTalk team have been busy building on top of the WCF LOB SDK to provide 3 .NET Adapters (at this stage) which allow connections to:

  • SAP
  • Siebel
  • Oracle - Database

So at this point you can grab these adapters and connect straight away - this bridges the gap between you and those systems.
For e.g. Sharepoint can connect straight away, the BDC can connect, your .NET app etc.

The fact it's supported and ready to roll makes it attractive :-)

Briefly the implementation details is that these 3 'adapters' are implemented as WCF Proxy Clients with a custom transport. Any application using these will essentially be calling a 'proxy' to a pretend WCF Service, where the 'Service' is the back end system with the WCF Transport implementing the appropriate features.

The word on the street about Pricing is that it will be under US$6000 and if you have BTS R2 with SA you get the adapter pack. For the rest of us, you need to weigh up the fact how long is it going to take you or your team to develop those adapters/connectors????. Licensing is per CPU.

Just to re-iterate, you do *not* need BizTalk in any version, any way shape or form to run this - you could run BTS Adapter pack from a console app.

Monday, February 11, 2008 4:43:59 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Insights | MOSS | Tips

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

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
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