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# Sunday, 23 November 2008

BizTalk ‘Cloud’ Services – BizTalk in the Cloud
With recent developments and BizTalk 2009 on the horizon, I thought we’d look at just what all these ‘cloud services’ mean and understand the term ‘cloud computing’

What’s cooking this month for the group?
This month we have Scott Scovell (BizTalk Virtual TS) presenting on a very exciting new shift in computing – Microsoft Azure Cloud Services.
You might be thinking – “What does this do for me?”
Well....(far too much for me dictate here)...but imagine if you can:

-       Connect seamlessly between clients and yourself (including firewalls etc)

-       Switch and deploy in house processes dynamically to ‘the cloud’

-       Point to Point and Multicast messaging in the cloud between clients + server processes (i.e. similar to BTS filter messaging)

-       Push Workflows up in to the cloud....moving off premises and take advantage of the Cloud’s computing power.

Alot of all this is based on the WCF Framework – you can start taking advantage of this today!

For e.g. in BTS (R2 or 2009), you can create a ‘httpContextRelayBinding’ bound Receive Location, and you’ve now got an endpoint that can be called from anywhere (security permitting), from client’s networks and your own.

There’s a huge amounts of smarts around all of this, but I look at them in the light that alot of ISPs offer Virtual Hosting – “Here’s a box and do what you will with it”. You’re then responsible for O/S, Web Setup, maybe DNS, etc etc etc.
In the Cloud – MS give a very granular degree of control by electing WCF Services, Workflows, Endpoints, Security, ServiceBus etc etc – that we can dedicate 1 or 100 CPUs to (at ‘the flick of a switch’). Redundancy, fault tolerance and even Geographic redundancy (e.g. engage some nodes in Greenland to run your apps – maybe closer to your clients)

Main Event on the night:
Utilising Microsoft Azure from BizTalk 2006 R2 (+ beyond)

Scott will cover:

1.      Building blocks of Azure Cloud Computing.

2.      Getting Started with Azure

3.      BizTalk talking to the Cloud

4.      Lots of demos!

Meeting details:

When: Nov 26, 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: Scott Scovell

What’s happening in the BizTalk Community:
The combined user group leaders & I are setting up a Shared Folder in the ‘Mesh’, where we’ll be holding all the presentations across the User Groups (& other files). I’ll let you know when our testing is done.

(BTW – this lets you have a local folder on your machine that automatically gets synced up to the ‘Mesh’. Easy peasy...I’m hoping)
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)

Sunday, 23 November 2008 21:19:16 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Azure | Insights | Oslo | Usergroup
# Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Ever wondered how you might implement "Hello World" in a non-domain specific language such as in the roots of Oslo looks like.........(I found a snippet from one of the PDC Webcasts....)


(This is written in a tool/shell that ships as part of the Oslo SDK - Intellipad)
The left hand side is the instance document; the middle is the grammar or transformation; and the right is the Output Graph.

This is a pretty specific sample - as in fact its very specific and only takes one input - "Hello World" (as dictated on the syntax line)

What's so special about all of this?? I hear you ask.....

There's a huge amount of power in being able to 'model' your world/data and relationships. Today we're pretty comfortable with XML but we also have to tolerate things like parsing '<' or attributes etc. Or if you've ever been given a schema full 100s of fields when you needed to use just 5. XML is not perfect, but it certainly has its need.

Storing this sort of XML in the DB I think is painful at best, while SQL 2005/2008 goes part way towards helping us, there's still a bunch of specifics that the DB needs to know about the XML and if that Schema changes, then that change goes all the way to the DB....otherwise the alternative is Tables/Rows/Columns + invest in Stored Procs to manipulate the data.

Enter the Modeling Language -M

We can basically define our world - if you're dealing with a customer with 5 attributes, that's all you specify. You could take your V1.0 representation of a Customer and extend it etc etc.

Deploying the model is deployed straight to the Database (known as a Repository) - the deployment step actually creates one or more tables, and corresponding Views. Access is never granted to the raw table, only to the View. That way when you extend or upgrade your models, existing clients see just their original 'View' keeping the new attributes separate.

So in terms of building a model of the information your systems are utilising -> 'M' is a very rich language, which decorates and defines a whole bunch of metadata around your needed entities.

Digging a little deeper into M.... we have 3 main defining components:

1. M-Schema - defines the entities + metadata (e.g. unique values/ids etc)

2. M-Grammar - defines the 'Transformation'. How to transform the source into the output. You could loosely look at this as:  Y=fn(M) "Y equals some Function of M"

3. M-Graph - a directed graph that defines the output (they use directed graph to indicate through lexical parses, that something has a start and definitely finishes.This is a check the compiler will do)


You'll notice at the top of this shot, there are DSLs - these are Domain Specific Languages. e.g. a language full of terms and expressions to define for e.g How to work with You local surf clubs competitions; another could be How to Manage and describe Santa's Wish list.

You might be thinking....I go pretty well in C#, why should I look into M?? C# is obviously a highly functional language that when you start coding you've got all the language constructs and notation under the sun at your disposal - decorations are done through attributes on methods/classes etc.....but modeling something still in done in a pretty bland way e.g. structs, classes, datasets, typed datasets etc. You're starting with a wide open language that really without you creating a bunch of classes/code doesn't have methods like Club.StartCarnival.....

M - take what you're describing, a carnival and model it. What entities are in a Carnival (people, lifesavers, boats etc) - model this - give us a picture of what they look like (data you'd like to hold and the relation ship), define a grammar (words, constructs and operations) on how we can work with these entities - we now have a Surf DSL (that of course can be extended to V2.0....)

Developing solutions against the Surf DSL - the compiler knows all the defined commands, constructs and schemas (cause we defined them in our DSL). They're the only operands that you can use as a developer - this simplifies the picture immensely.

The beauty about M is that the DSL is simply deployed to a Repository (which at this stage is SQL Server, but could be any DB as we get access to the TSQL behind the scenes)

As I dig a little deeper I'll be illustrating with some samples going forward - hope you enjoyed this post....for now :)

Lastly - it's amazing that way back at Uni, I studied a subject called 'The Natural Language-L' (and it was one of those things where I thought - I'd never use this again....well guess what 15 years on....M is looking very close. How I even remember this is even scarier!!!) - the subject was language agnostic and dealt with what was required to create/specify a language that could be learnt, written and interpreted.


Wednesday, 12 November 2008 22:34:12 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | Oslo | PDC08
# 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
<2008 November>
 AppFabric CAT
AppFabric Windows Server Customer Advisory Team - New Blog.
[Feed] BizTalk 2006 - Windows SharePoint Services adapter
BizTalk 2006 Sharepoint adapter!!
 Breeze SharePoint 2010 Bootcamp
Breeze SharePoint 2010 Bootcamp
[Feed] BTS 2006 R2/EDI
[Feed] Chris Vidotto (MS BTS Legend)
Needs no intro....
 Mark Daunt
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