Things hard and not so hard.... RSS 2.0
# Friday, January 09, 2009

How to look cool at work.... Stick this poster by your desk, people will walk past and say "Hmmmm......" - guaranteed to reduce the amount of questions you get each day :-)
(Then you could start talking about the 'flux capacitor' and people will believe......)

The MS folks in Connected Systems Division (CSD) have done a superb job!!! Great comprehensive poster.

One thing to say about the poster - remember that the 'Tracking Host Instance' and the 'InProc Host Instance' are generally within the same Host Instance (it's good practice to separate these out)

Enjoy

Friday, January 09, 2009 5:05:14 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | 2009 | Insights | Training

Hi folks,

Just in case you want to be able to get an excel spreadsheet listing all the possible errors or so, for monitoring and managing your production BizTalk environment (great for rules and monitoring from MOM for e.g.).

 

I came across this - http://blog.paul.somers.com/blog/_archives/2007/4/27/2909713.html

 

Written by fellow BizTalk MVP - thanks Paul!

Friday, January 09, 2009 10:09:53 AM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Tips
# 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
# Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I recently came across a Gartner report talking about all things to do with 'App Integration with Back End Systems' (in a nutshell... the report goes into detail)

The end result of several pages within this report is a graph (we like graphs :) showing Microsoft as a leader with a high ability to execute.

The Microsoft Technologies that fell under the microscope here are:

  1. BizTalk Server
  2. Windows Communication Foundation
  3. SQL Service Broker
  4. SQL Integration Services
  5. Team Foundation Suite
  6. Oslo + Azure

The graph looks as follows (snipped from the report):

magic quadrant

 

Get the whole report HERE

Wednesday, December 31, 2008 3:09:26 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | 2009 | Insights | Oslo
# Tuesday, December 23, 2008

With all the developer extensions in recent time around SharePoint (Features, Solutions etc), I've found there seems to be a few little known and little used 'other' APIs within the SharePoint space.

We've got things like WebServices and the SharePoint Object Model (SPSite etc) that we use however, there's a couple of other APIs that could be useful also for the times when you're not running locally on the SharePoint machine - they generally center around HTTP and extending it.

Two (that come immediately to my mind) are:

1. WebDav - early versions of 'Web Folders' used this.

2. RPC (over HTTP) APIs - Front Page and SharePoint Designer still use these.
(InfoPath when submitting forms uses this to promote properties to a forms library)

A great example of this is SharePad for SharePoint on CodePlex

Merry Christmas,

Mick.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 3:34:03 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | MOSS | Office
# 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

If you've ever had VPCs that you just want to run and use, irrespective of the actual host time add/edit this little gem to the corresponding *.VMC file

<integration>
    <microsoft>
        <mouse>
            <allow type="boolean">true</allow>
        </mouse>
        <components>
            <host_time_sync>
                <enabled type="boolean">false</enabled>
            </host_time_sync>
        </components>

         ...... - other entries here......
    </microsoft>
</integration>

Friday, December 19, 2008 6:56:26 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Tips
# Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Microsoft BizTalk Server

On the 8th of December 2008 - Microsoft announced general availability of BizTalk 2009 Beta.

Here's the details

Public beta of BizTalk Server 2009.  Available at https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=218

1.       This beta is community supported.  The TechNet forums will be the primary place for support - http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=1470&SiteID=17

2.       General availability of BizTalk Server 2009 is still scheduled for the first-half of 2009 - we don't have a further update at this time.

  • Availability of BizTalk RFID Mobile for all new customers and current customers with SA
  • ESB Guidance 2.0 will also be available - http://msdn.microsoft.com/esb

For more information go to:

Key Areas

BizTalk Server 2009 Beta:

  • BizTalk Server 2009 is Microsoft's core enterprise connectivity solution, which releases on schedule of every two years, and continues to extend capabilities to core process management technologies both in and outside of the corporate boundaries.
  • Microsoft continues to listen to its BizTalk Server 2009 customers and will optimize feedback from the beta release for future BizTalk Server releases
  • RFID Mobile:
    • BizTalk RFID Mobile extends RFID to the mobility industry to demonstrate strong customer support with RFID intelligence on devices running on Win CE/Win Mobile enabling businesses to make decisions in real-time.

FAQ

Q: What did Microsoft announce today?

A: Today at the Gartner Application Architecture, Development and Integration (AADI) Summit, Microsoft Corp. announced the general availability of BizTalk RFID Mobile and BizTalk RFID Standards Pack, as well as the first public beta of BizTalk Server 2009 for download and an updated version of its architecture patterns and practices guidance, Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) Guidance 2.0. Microsoft has made these investments in the BizTalk Server product family to enable customers to more efficiently connect applications and to provide customers with a clearer, actionable view into their day-to-day operations.

Q. When will the products be available?

A: The BizTalk Server 2009 public beta and ESB Guidance 2.0 CTP are available now at http://www.codeplex.com/esb for community feedback. The final products are slated to ship in the first half of CY09.  Evaluation versions of BizTalk RFID Mobile and the BizTalk RFID Standards Pack are available at http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/en/us/rfid-mobile.aspx and http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/en/us/rfid.aspx respectively.

Q: What new functionally will be delivered in BizTalk Server 2009?

A:  BizTalk Server 2009 supports the latest Microsoft platform technologies, including Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 SP1, SQL Server 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. These platform updates enable greater scalability and reliability, and many advances in the latest developer tools.

This BizTalk Server release will also deliver additional customer-requested capabilities around enterprise connectivity, including:

  • New web service registry capabilities with support for UDDI (Universal Description Discovery and Integration) version 3.0
  • Enhanced service enablement of applications (through new and enhanced adapters for LOB applications, databases, and legacy/host systems)
  • Enhanced service enablement of "edge" devices through BizTalk RFID Mobile
  • Enhanced interoperability and connectivity support for industry protocols (like SWIFT, EDI, HL7 etc)
  • SOA patterns and best practices guidance to assist our customer's implementations

You can find more details about BizTalk Server 2009 at http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/en/us/roadmap.aspx

Q: What is next for BizTalk Server after BizTalk Server 2009?

A:  The charter of BizTalk Server remains consistent - it allows the Microsoft application platform to connect  and interoperate with other kinds of systems - LOB systems, legacy systems, smart devices (RFID), and B2B integration (SWIFT, EDI, etc.).  This has been the focus of BizTalk Server since it was initially released back in 2000 and continues to be its charter going forward.

At this point it's too early to comment on the specific features that will be part of the BizTalk Server "7" release; however, you can find details about general priorities for BizTalk Server at http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/en/us/roadmap.aspx.  We're in the middle of early planning on BizTalk Server "7" and will have more information to share about the specific scope of that release.

Q: What is BizTalk RFID Mobile?

A: BizTalk RFID Mobile is an RFID platform for Windows Mobile and CE. BizTalk RFID Mobile consists of a runtime engine, tools, and components to develop, deploy, and manage RFID solutions on mobile devices.  In combination with BizTalk Server RFID, the mobility release provides a platform for real-time decision making.  BizTalk RFID Mobile extends management and event processing to mobile devices and allows communication between the server and mobile platforms.

Q. What is the price and licensing for BizTalk RFID Mobile?

A: BizTalk RFID Mobile is available to all BizTalk Server 2006 R2 customers with Software Assurance as well as new BizTalk Server 2006 R2 customers who purchase licenses with Software Assurance. Our customers and partners told us that mobile RFID offerings are used in conjunction with a server product.  As a result, we included BizTalk RFID Mobile with each edition of BizTalk so that our customers can achieve the benefits of RFID mobile solutions without incurring undue costs. For BizTalk Server customers with Software Assurance this is a great opportunity to adopt a new product that can deliver an economic value today. When BizTalk Server 2009 becomes generally available, the customers will be able to acquire BizTalk RFID Mobile without software assurance.

Q: Is BizTalk RFID Mobile dependant on BizTalk Server? Can't I just use a free solution that's available rather than use BizTalk Server?

A:  BizTalk RFID Mobile and BizTalk Server are better together.  Using BizTalk RFID Mobile and BizTalk Server in tandem you can capture data on a mobile device and then send the RFID data back to BizTalk Server for filtering and the application of business rules.  There is no need to rewrite complex event filtering and business rule logic on the device as that functionality is already provided by BizTalk Server.  We have taken a platform approach that will ensure that you can write your mobile applications once and run them on multiple devices in addition to local device management, store and forward, and SQL Sink capabilities, which reduce your TCO.

BizTalk RFID Mobile and BizTalk RFID Standards Pack are a standard part of all editions of BizTalk Server 2009.  Given the intense interest in these offerings from our existing and new customers we decided to make them available now to BizTalk Server 2006 R2 customers with software assurance as well as new BizTalk Server 2006 R2 customers who purchase licenses with Software Assurance.

Rather than charge a per device fee, we included BizTalk RFID Mobile with all editions of BizTalk because we wanted to make it easier for customers to adopt mobile RFID solutions.  RFID is a fundamental enabler for business processes and should not be viewed as an isolated silo, which is why we have included our fixed and mobile RFID offerings standard in all editions of BizTalk.

Q: What is ESB Guidance?

A: The Microsoft ESB Guidance (first released in November 2007) provides architectural guidance, patterns, practices, and a set of BizTalk Server R2 and .NET components to simplify the development of an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) on the Microsoft platform and to allow Microsoft customers to extend their own messaging and integration solutions.  For additional information on the current 1.0 version please see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc487894.aspx.

We are announcing today the first public CTP release of the Microsoft ESB Guidance 2.0 for Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009. It incorporates many new and expanded features include the following:

  • New samples:
    • SSO Configuration provider for Enterprise Library 4.0
    • Multiple Web Service Execution Sample
    • Exception Handling Service Sample
  • New ESB Web services:
    • Generic Itinerary Services ( no itinerary header required)
    • New core features:
      • Alignment with Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009 ( Beta )
        • ESB Configuration tool
        • Centralized itinerary store
        • Itinerary resolver components
        • Itinerary forwarder pipeline component
        • Itinerary selector pipeline component
        • Itinerary designer
        • Centralized configuration uses Enterprise Library 4.0 Configuration Block
        • Centralized caching uses Enterprise Library 4.0 Caching Block
        • Multiple service invocation using both messaging and orchestrations
        • Itinerary BAM tracking
        • Improved ESB Core engine and itinerary execution
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 5:55:57 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [1] -
BizTalk | Insights | 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
# Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thanks to all of you who joined me recently for Shannon & my seminar around Gaining Efficiencies in SharePoint.

We had a great turn out and I hope you found it useful - we had around 60 mins....the clock was ticking.

As promised - here's the PowerPoint slides I used in the presentation.
 


Take care and enjoy.

Mick.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008 2:53:55 PM (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Events | MOSS | Admin | Training
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