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# Thursday, 06 November 2008


Hi folks, (I've saved the last couple of places....for you)

With the economy being the topic on everyone’s lips at the moment, I have decided to turn my last MOSS bootcamp of the year in to a special week of training where I will show students how to help their business become more efficient during a time of streamlining processes. Whilst I will still cover the main course outline I will be focusing a little more on InfoPath forms and workflow and how students can utilize these tools within a SharePoint environment.

Students attending this bootcamp will have an added bonus of being able to attend my seminar on the Wed Evening covering more on this very topic……

Breeze MOSS Bootcamp Course is scheduled for November 25-29th.
Love to see you there :-)


Thursday, 06 November 2008 22:11:43 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
MOSS | Office | Training

UPDATED - thanks to Luciano Evaristo Guerche he's come through with the super trump of all of this - grab the slides/sessions with his easy technique -

You get session titles and the whole works.

A big thanks to my good friend Thiago (runs the NZ CSD User Group) as he provided us on the OzTalk mailing list (list dedicated to BizTalk/CSD user group members) with a list of URLs to grab all the sessions + ppts.

Load these URLS into something like Free Download Manager and go surfing :)

Thanks Thiago! My ISP isn't happy with me at the moment.....over my limit....wonder why :-)

Thursday, 06 November 2008 12:48:17 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [2] -
BizTalk | Oslo | Events | PDC08
# Monday, 03 November 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, oh you need the .net 3.5 framework - 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 -


Monday, 03 November 2008 23:02:46 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | General | Tips
# Thursday, 30 October 2008

Hi guys - there's a bunch of stuff going on right now at PDC 08 in LA.

What's hot:

(If you're on a PDA/Mobile - grab a the PDC from here -


So if you can't sleep then there's going to be some interesting reading coming up for us all. :-)



Thursday, 30 October 2008 20:11:12 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Insights | Oslo | Events
# Tuesday, 28 October 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, 28 October 2008 09:45:32 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Tips
# Monday, 20 October 2008

InfoPath 2007, SharePoint 2007 + BizTalk 2006 R2!!

Aloha!!! With PDC currently on over in the US we’re going to be sinking our teeth into some great material this month.

We’ve had some great discussions this month on our BizTalk Discussions email list (email me if you want to get on it) – we’ve got around 50 BizTalk User group members extending out to the US (New York) as well. Email me if you want to get on – it’s currently invite only.

What’s cooking this month for the group?
I will focus on 3 main key players this month – InfoPath 2007, SharePoint 2007 + BizTalk 2006 R2!!
I’ve had a lot of requests on how to do this and the best way to marry all these players up at the poker table over the years. Together you can build out some very powerful forms based solutions (or even some part of exception handling that needs user input).

Other questions like “Why wouldn’t I use SharePoint Workflow only?”; “Where can I keep my InfoPath Forms?”; “Where does BizTalk fit in and do I need to install BizTalk on my SharePoint machine?” a whole bunch of others.
I’ll answer those and more.
If you have SharePoint, and want the full potential of BizTalk.......see you there.

I’ll give you some specifics.....

Main Event on the night:
- Using InfoPath forms to drive SharePoint and BizTalk solutions.

This session will cover:

1.      What InfoPath forms comprise of.

2.      InfoPath forms communicating to SharePoint and BizTalk via WCF.

3.      Using SharePoint and BizTalk in Harmony for serious processing.

4.      Gotchas (no there wouldn’t be all just ‘works’ ;)

Meeting details:

When: Oct 29, Food at 6pm, kick off 6.30pm. Finish up around 8.30pm.
Where: Microsoft
1 Epping Road
Riverside Corporate Park
North Ryde NSW 2113 Australia.
(parking available)
Speaker: Mick Badran (your trusty User Group Host)

What’s happening in the BizTalk Community:
– PDC is currently going on in the US with new ‘CTP’ bits of BizTalk vNext (Oslo), .NET Framework v4.0 (CTP) and Visual Studio 2010 (ctp) being sampled by the audience. I’ll share what I can with you guys so bring a HDD just in case – 40GB should cover it J
Share the User Group Soap Box:
I always welcome a new voice and ideas at our group – if you want to share your experiences, thoughts, “I wish I can do..... for my solution...”. Then contact me and I’ll be more than happy to slot you in.
Q. Do you need to have presentation skills: No (just look at me) – can you tell a story in the office or at the pub? Or at a 3 yr old party? – then I want you.
Q. Do I need a PowerPoint Slide Deck? – no!!! *death by powerpoint* is a painful way to go......
Q. Can you capture my ‘best’ side? We take you whichever way you are. J

We’re up for a great night – come along and learn how to make your BizTalk solutions go a long way.

See you there and let me know your coming
Mick (mb: 0404 842 833)

Monday, 20 October 2008 11:04:54 (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
# Tuesday, 14 October 2008


One of our staff recently got an iPhone after a vodafone sales rep suggested they should 'try' 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 - "'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......)


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. - even got knobs and dials!

Virgin Mobile look to be leading the way here

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


Tuesday, 14 October 2008 13:14:37 (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Other
# Thursday, 02 October 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!



Thursday, 02 October 2008 10:20:47 (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [2] -
General | Other
# Tuesday, 30 September 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 TSG support :-(   - forums state this is planned..... :)

    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)

    Check out Royal TS HERE




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

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 19:56:18 (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Tips
# Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Folks - I recently came across a great article on Perf in BizTalk.

I had previous noted a BTS2004 one but always handy to have the updated version.

I thought I'd jot this down before I lost the reference -



Wednesday, 24 September 2008 09:29:59 (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [4] -
BizTalk | Insights
# Thursday, 11 September 2008

The system we built has made it through its maiden event and was still capturing reads well into the later afternoon (until we got round to tearing it down....technically called 'Bump Out'....with all the moving bodies and parts, it's no wonder they call it Bump Out!)

 I grabbed a couple of SilverLight screen shots to show what the system is capable of - in the hectic pace of last week I didn't manage to grab some screen captures of the system in action, these screen shots come from the courtesy of Eileen Brown's Blog (she is responsible for running MS Events in the UK + a founder/advocate for Women in IT)

Walk-In Displays - these walk in displays were up on the big screens as delegates entered/exited their sessions. Pretty cool!!!.

These screens are delivered via a browser and are what we call the 'Walk-in' Display. Here you can see 3 people leaving the room with the graph in the background showing some delegate profiling data around attendance of previous TechEds.

Here we've got an enter and a leaving of the session. Something we didn't get time to do at this show was to play on the scope for customisations with these avatars. We had over 120 textures + bitmap type surfaces set for this, but during the show this 'feature' got bumped further down the list. (Hats, scarves, hair type, colours etc. you know the stuff)

We had fun with a couple of names though - '@Coatsy' was one, 'The Stig' was another.

The beauty about these screens was that people outside the conference got real time stats about the rooms and could see the 'Walk-in' displays in near real time. (Late night trouble shooting with my friends in MS Corp - this proved a great tool)

In testing performance of our SL Services over the internet - I had a link to the UK where we had a technician monitoring the various walk-in displays and giving feedback. All worked pretty well.
(At this point we don't have an upper limit on the number of individual 'Walk-in' display sessions that run concurrently - each open browser receiving events in near realtime is an additional WCF Service instance + a SQL connection. Not sure how much benefit SQL Connection pooling will give as these connections are active pretty much all the time)

This screen is from the 'Speaker Charts' which are designed to give the speaker various breakdowns of up to the minute information of their audiences.


Overall the Breeze Boiler room (HQ) got great attendance from the delegates wanting to know the "whats/whos/whys" on the Breeze Event Tracker System.

We're currently still analysing the results but some interesting numbers are:

(1) In a 16 hr period for one room, we got 345000 reads.......(this maybe picking up the persons in the back row while sessions are on - our business logic takes care of these)

(2) We experienced a very particular 'known' problem (don't you love it when you experience an issue for the first time and describe it, only to be told it's 'known' - well telling us that ahead of time would have been great :). The problem arises from Tags being physically close together, and two tags respond 'around' the same time. In very special circumstances this confuses the Reader and instead of getting 12byte TagIDs we got 16, 18 or sometimes 20 byte IDs where the 2 tagIDs were 'spliced'.

It occurred in very special cases - but we got it. That particular read should be discarded as it fails the CRC check.
In peak time, out of 8000 reads we got around 2 of these cases.

Couple of phone calls to India and our Intel R1000 Provider was 'patched' and as a PlanB we had the current provider being wrapped by another .NET class to catch that particular exception.

(3) SCOM2007 couldn't have worked better!!!! I dropped on the BizTalk RFID Mgmnt pack and it was a breath of fresh air. All the Readers, Devices, Processes, Providers and RFID Servers out on the network appeared as healthy items in lists (mostly). From the mgmnt pack I was able to see the number of Tags Read, settings, when the last heartbeat was heard etc etc. from all the devices over the conference - certainly Mission Control.

(4) We had various 'Show' type issues such as power cords being unplugged; cables being cut; cabinets that housed the equipment in each room all in all it was filled with fun and excitement. We did have a couple of Network issues where at the conference there were several networks implemented for different regions/events at the conference. e.g Public Delegate WiFi; Networks within each of the Break out rooms - we were on our own VLAN and these network layers above us, proved a little troublesome from time to time.


Various Licensing arrangements of this system are available - from the software components through to the hardware. Feel free to ping me for more details.

Here's a video of a screen capture that I *did* manage to do.

Thursday, 11 September 2008 21:54:16 (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | BizTalk | Insights | RFID | BET
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