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# Monday, 18 January 2010

From time to time I check out on what’s happening in my favourite ‘moon lighting’ area – Silverlight.

Love the Silverlight potential – I’m a big fan.

So from – I found a Z-80 EMULATOR!!! (like what’s next an Apple II)

You hit the ‘Run’ button and far too many years has passed between me and my Computer Engineering Degree of Demorgans Theorem and Fast Fourier Transforms.

Great effort! (by someone whom had SOOO much time on their hands)


Monday, 18 January 2010 22:01:24 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Silverlight | Tips
# Friday, 15 January 2010

Many times in BizTalk land we work with Schemas that are nested and have several related Schemas that are Imported from URL locations etc.

When you include these schemas and deploy to Production, you find out that the BizTalk server doesn’t access the Internet directly. Hence all the schema Imports fail.

You’ll then go and try hand edit the Imports, downloading the referenced Schema and try and Mash up something that refers to local files and no URL based Schemas. It may or may not work…till the next update…

I recently came across a handy set of free tools that take all the pain out to do with Schemas –>

Xml Help Line

Which has Xml Schema Lightener, Xml Schema Flattener

Another very handy tool not to leave home without.


Friday, 15 January 2010 09:43:18 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [2] -
.NET Developer | BizTalk | Insights | Tips
# Wednesday, 13 January 2010
How is this?

16 cores and too much RAM to know what to do with.

I wish this was my latest laptop...but alas it's a test server for a bts project I'm's to dreaming.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010 10:51:01 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
# Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Hi folks, we’ve used our SharePoint expertise and knowledge to distil SharePoint 2010 product feature set, to provide a rich 5 day course for you.

I believe with SharePoint in particular that as a developer you *need* to know details about the SharePoint environment that is running your code, and as an Admin, you need to know what and how the developer provides the additions/customisations that they do.

Check out the details and you can register with Microsoft here.

We’re really excited about the offering and have a great Christmas break.

See you soon… ho ho ho…

Wednesday, 23 December 2009 21:59:24 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
MOSS | Admin | 2010 | Training
# Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Folks Christmas and the holiday season has started with the BizTalk Team been busy and are opening up the BTS 2009 R2 TAP program on connect.

If you're a customer (or have customers) that would/could benefit in working with some of the newer BizTalk features - with the prospect of MS being able to have some visibility into the solution, then go for it.

I'm looking fwd to the BizTalk Dashboard and a whole bunch of other enhancements.

Here's a snip for you....



 BizTalk Server V6 Image

Welcome to the Microsoft BizTalk Server Connect website


We encourage you to visit this site where we will keep you informed of Technology Adoption Programs (TAP) and other customer pre-release programs for Microsoft BizTalk Server.


We have a number of programs currently underway as well as several that will be starting up in the near future.  If you are interested to participate in any of the programs below, please register for the program by selecting the associated link, and return the completed nomination form to .


Current Programs

  •  BizTalk Server 2009 R2
  • BizTalk Server 2006 R2 SP1 beta 


 BizTalk Server 2009 R2


What’s planned for the next BizTalk release?


VS 2010 Support

  • Use of Visual Studio 2010 to develop application for BizTalk Server 2009 R2
  • Projects developed in VS 2008 can be seamlessly migrated to Visual Studio 2010



Intelligent Mapper

  • Enhanced user interface for better visualization of maps and to support complex mappings
  • Background noise reduction using highlight propagation, auto scrolling  and sibling coalescing
  • Support for search
  • Reusable parts for improved user productivity
  • Enhancements to the current functoids


Enhanced Trading Partner Management (TPM)


BizTalk Administration Console – Performance Enhancements

This feature aims to improve BizTalk Administration Console performance across the board by more than 60%. Key Scenarios like refresh, addition, deletion of port, enlistment of an orchestration will be optimized. Post Enhancements, the BizTalk Administration Console would be more responsive and address one of the key customer pain-points of Console performance in BizTalk 2009.


BizTalk Settings Dashboard

The BizTalk Settings Dashboard will serve as a one-stop shop for BizTalk Engine settings visualization and modification. This feature will enable BizTalk Administrators to centrally manage BizTalk Settings as admins will be able to export and import settings from one environment to another (for e.g. staging to production). The BizTalk Settings Dashboard is a step forward in consolidating all BizTalk Settings and will incorporate design extensibility to accommodate future addition of settings.


Improved Management Pack

The Improved System Center Management Pack will address key customer pain-points (e.g. high-CPU usage, duplication of discovered artifacts etc.) in the existing Management Pack. The new and improved design will also incorporate enhancement like better visualization of BizTalk Application and Platform Artifacts, Improved monitoring and diagnostics of artifacts like Orchestrations, Grouping of Alerts etc.


RFID OOB Event Filtering and Delivery

The scope for this feature covers providing a set of OOB components for Duplicate Elimination filter, EPC based filter, DWELL filter, posting events from BizTalk RFID to BizTalk Server, Posting events from BizTalk RFID to an EPCIS service and an Event Delivery framework for applications to subscribe and receive asynchronous events. These Out Of Box components address common RFID scenarios and will enable partners to focus solely on business logic hence helping accelerate BizTalk RFID solutions.


FTP/FTPS Adapter

The FTP Adapter in BizTalk is one of the most popular transport adapter in BizTalk server, used in different scenarios.  In BizTalk Server 2009 R2, we provide additional features in the FTP adapter that includes the following:

-          Support for FTPS, FTP over SSL – Enables to connect to FTPS servers for transferring files securely.  Both Implicit and Explicit FTPS are supported.

-          Support for read-only FTP servers – Enables configuration to pick up files from a partner FTP server which may provide only read-only permission.  The adapter will ensure that each file is submitted only once to BizTalk Server.

-          Support for atomic file writing – Can be used to ensure that files are read only after they are transmitted fully to the FTP server.

·         Enhanced performance – Re-designed to increase the performance, both while sending files to as well as receiving files from FTP servers.  The adapter will be more resilient to server going down.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009 13:07:27 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | 2009 | RFID | R2
# Thursday, 10 December 2009

Came across a great MS Article that gives you the broad brush strokes of updates and changes.

Very handy one

Thursday, 10 December 2009 21:22:47 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SharePoint | Guides | 2010
# Friday, 27 November 2009

There I was rebuilding a new VPC Image (which I'm running in Virtual Box) and the base VHD is a parent of 16GB.

For an install of Win2008, VS.NET 2010, SQL2008... it's pretty much game over with a full disk.

I spent the last 3 days shifting files around to clear space

So tonight I bit the bullet and Ghosted the partition over to a 200GB - much better :)

This issue I had was that the boot environment was different and 'in the good old days' we'd change the BOOT.INI and bobs your uncle.

Welcome to Vista and you know we have the BCD Store
There's a very common tool (blogged about everywhere) called BCDEDIT.EXE which if GUIDs are your think and long command line options, you can 'manually' manage the Store (there's also a bunch of 3rd party apps that say 'lets do this from the UI' - I'm in recovery mode)

For the life of me I couldn't remember the tool I used last time this happened to me, which I said 'don't forget Mick'.

BOOTREC /rebuildbcd
Too easy...then if you can't sleep you could also crack onto BCDEDIT.EXE to 'customise' some aspect. (e.g. booting up off multiple logical CORES)

I will not forget Bootrec

Friday, 27 November 2009 23:24:24 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Tips
# Saturday, 21 November 2009

Hi guys, I’ve been busy over the recent months always working and planning new ways to train, deliver and impart knowledge to *you* in a variety of different ways.

Truth be told our Region with respect to SharePoint Adoption and Knowledge, has been ahead of the curve worlwide – that you guys “SharePoint-ies”.
With the release of SharePoint 2010 soon-ish, we’ve been busy – to bring you the best value and the most effective training for your time.

For the release of SharePoint 2007 some numbers:

  1. We trained over 1400 students on our Breeze SharePoint Bootcamp (we cover technical in-depth approx 80-85% of major SharePoint features in a week. Not for the faint hearted)
  2. You guys demanded excellence and we gave you that.
  3. We train 50% of the time and consult 50% – we bring real world knowledge into the classroom, what works, what doesn’t from a business perspective.
  4. We’ve rolled out over 1000 different SharePoint 2007 sites (and are currently working on migrations to SP2010)
  5. The buck stops with me – which can be good thing…so I’m told :)

    The big congrats goes to you! For being driven, demanding better, demanding more detail and better knowledge, you demand that the bar is raised and meet and excel that challenge.

Breeze has partnered with Microsoft & Excom, allowing us to each focus on our strengths, delivering to you the best possible offering in this space.

I’m pretty excited to announce our SharePoint 2010 Series running in Melb + Sydney initially (+ others soon)
(running at Microsoft Offices)

A Special Blog Reader offer: Would you like me to Webcast these sessions for those whom can’t make it?
Add a comment on this Post to let me know – I’ll get back to you with details.
(we are giving away goodies and offers but I can’t tell you too much)

Here’s the formal blurb: ------ snip ------




Microsoft Australia, is pleased to invite you to a FREE Seminar on SharePoint 2010.

Melbourne – December 2, 2009

Sydney – December 11, 2009

Delivered by Breeze & EXCOM Education, this seminar is the first in a series that are designed to get you across the new functionality of SharePoint 2010 and importantly how your business can benefit.

SharePoint 2010 is the business collaboration platform that enables you to connect and empower people through formal and informal business communities, within the enterprise and beyond, and to manage content throughout the information lifecycle.

This next release of SharePoint has some exciting new enhancements for IT Professionals and Developers we think you will want to see for yourself!

This seminar is for all SharePoint enthusiasts from IT Professionals, Developers to Business Decision Makers and Information Workers. Bring along your questions to the unveiling of SharePoint 2010!

Seats are limited. Register NOW !!!!
For more information and to register, click HERE


Saturday, 21 November 2009 00:14:28 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [3] -
SharePoint | 2010 | Training
# Friday, 20 November 2009
As part of a 'dev' machine setup, I run on my latop Win2008R2 x64 Hyper-V...why? to simply run x64 hosts.
Virtual PC, Virtual Server - will run on x64, but not host x64 O/Ss. So really the only option is Hyper-V in the MS land.

I present, demo + and draw all over my tablet screen on a regular basis as well as cut code in Server O/S.

The main problems I faced:
- was my display was dog slow, especially running VS2010, ppt or generally anything else that an average user might do.
- I remove the Hyper-V role off my machine and low and behold it's back to normal.

A student pointed me to a TechNet article - in which the resolution is to install a VGA Display driver.
This is kinda not an option for me presenting etc.

Still I needed to run those x64 bit guests.
I was contemplating getting a monster laptop (the other day I was training with laptops that had 8GB of RAM, 6GB allocated to the VM!) or setting up various 'Demo RDP Connections' back into the office, so when I'm onsite and I need to demo then (somehow) I can get internet connectivity and RDP back to a server based VM - lot's of potential issues with this approach)

So the MS Story in this space at the moment is:
- 1) you want to run 32-bit hosts, VirtualPC or Virtual Server running on x64 or x86. Only x86 guests!
- 2) you want 64-bit guests -> Hyper-V (therefore you're looking at running Win2K8/R2). At work we have 15+ VMs running on Hyper-V machines really well, so no complaints there when running on Servers. It's just running it on my laptop where's it's not special.

Problem is - going fwd, the latest wave of Server Products, SharePoint 2010, Exchange 2010, CRM 5 etc....only run on x64

So onto to my unbelievable experience....

Last night I caught up with a couple of buddies Andrew Mee and Guy Riddle, where Guy mentioned all the pain he'd had in trying to get a x64 but guest up and running on his laptop. Here is his current solution:

Guy mentioned his setup:
1) Win7x64
2) VirtualBox - for VM emulation - WITH USB SUPPORT!!!! wow! In the land of BizTalk RFID, I had major issues with USB devices trying to be picked up inside the VM - 3rd party solutions etc. crazy.

He mentioned there were a few things to do around the disks etc...but he could run x64 guests on his Win7 machine AND the VMs FLEW!

So I thought there was a touch of the amber fluid talking and maybe he was indeed onto something. When I got home later that night I decided tonight was the night to refresh the laptop (fujitsu lifebook t4215/4GB/T7400) and Install Win7x64.

My potential issue with Virtual Box:
I have a huge library of VHDs (parents, diffs etc) that for portability suites me down to the ground. I walk into a training room and can transfer my VHDs to the student machines and run them no hassles.
- If there's a VirtualBox specific format (VDI) then it yet another step in my export chain.

Alas - VirtualBox reads/writes VHDs automatically, unbelievable.

So I setup Win7x64 on my latop and got back to 9 sec bootup and shutdown times :-) - gee that was refreshing after so long without.

I installed VirtualBox - it installed like a treat, and does 'snapshots' and has a great user interface. I didn't need to visit the cmd line once.

So now for the test - I was going to fire up my SP2010 Beta2 (Win2K8 R2 x64) VHDs, 40GB in size, differencing and Parent, straight from Hyper-V with Hyper-V extensions (in the past when I've done something like this, there's usually a blue screen invovled saying 'boot device not found')

Let's give it a crack I thought - all from the UI.
1) Within VirtualBox, I created a machine, added 2 CPUs, 1 NIC and 1400MB of RAM.
2) Attached the Child VHD from my SP2010.
3) I even had 3D graphic acceleration options for my VM, along with amd-v and 'nested tables' for some sort of faster memory access. Turn them all on I thought! We'll put it through its paces.

Started the machine......
  1. upon first boot my hyper-v enabled VM booted straight up to the Login screen! Unbelievable I thought.
  2. logged in and it found my NIC within 10 secs and was on the network within 20 secs (through NAT). If you've ever experienced a Hyper-V update where your Guests don't talk to the network anymore, until you put the new hyper-v additions on - you'll know the pain.
  3. mouse/keyboard recognised.
  4. I then thought - let me install the VirtualBox additions - can't hurt.
  5. RDP support etc etc's like shopping @ christmas - how good is this! yes I'll have that...and this...

    So back to Guy's immortal words - "it runs fast. Snappy, responsive etc"

    My SP2010B2 in 1.4GB RAM x64 VM runs fanstastic!
    - Fastest I've seen a VM run on my laptop for a long long time (unless it's WFW 3.11)
        It's just so refreshing to have a responsive VM running in reasonable memory. I found that if I allocated 2.5GB to a VM under hyper-v I wouldn't notice a marked improvement. It's not like it flew, and then I had to tweak it back to find that 'optimum sweet spot'

What an experience! What I'm seeing is that certainly for the desktop machine, VirtualBox can be a serious contender for x64 guests.

Thanks Guy for planting the seed!!!

Friday, 20 November 2009 14:24:03 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | Tips | Training
We're moving into a public beta of Dublin "Windows Server AppFabric" which you can grab from HERE.

What does it mean - here's a blurb from the site.

So Velocity (distributed caching mechanism) is rolled up into this Beta (previously a MS Partner did some benchmarking on Velocity which you can find a great white paper HERE)

Previously myself and Scotty wrote a hefty technical Dublin Course which the folks at TechEd loved - we did this on some early bits of 'Dublin'. Realtime monitoring + tracking as well as recoverability were some highlights of our 3D Realtime maze process we built up in the labs.

Here's a blurb from the AppFabric server (it's a shame that SP2010 didn't use this framework for it's WF hosting...but that would have impacted delivery)


-------- Snippet ----------

Windows Server AppFabric has these core capabilities:

  • For Web applications, AppFabric provides caching capabilities to provide high-speed access, scale, and high availability to application data. This feature was previously codenamed "Velocity"
  • For composite applications, AppFabric makes it easier to build and manage services built using Windows Workflow Foundation and Windows Communication Foundation. This feature was previously codenamed "Dublin."

Friday, 20 November 2009 09:12:32 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
BizTalk | Insights | SharePoint | AppFabricServer
# Saturday, 14 November 2009

Recently at the SharePoint Conference (SPC2010) delegates were given a beautiful book with all sorts of developers bits.

The book stars 123 pages of great information, and improvements to many areas that we previously had pain with (lists, queries, and just CAML in general)

There’s also 6 walkthroughs (sort of like HOLs) with code etc. to give you a feel for customising SharePoint.

Grab the PDF version HERE













Some snippets which I found interesting from the book are:

  1. Some great object model options now for integrating with SharePoint.

    Points to note here:
    - Client OM + Rest are exposed as WCF Services (based on Client.Svc) and the Client OM is a batched model, so you transmit only what you ask for within Object Collection Hierarchies (unlike SPSite.AllWebs etc etc)
    - LINQ to SharePoint is initially created with SPMetal to create all the LINQ classes (there’s no ‘designer’ support for this yet, like LINQ for SQL – at least in this beta)
    - External Lists are an interesting one, you can develop plugins to expose two-way data syncs within SharePoint. I’m looking to reach out to SAP + Siebel systems when I explore this option :)
  2. Resource Throttling is turned on by default – previously developers could write code like SPList.Items… Usually on a Developer’s machine, with 5 items in a list this was not an issue, 8000 items in a list turns into a different story.

    SharePoint 2010 now has safe guards against this turned on by default.

Enjoy…I’m off to enjoy the sun.

Saturday, 14 November 2009 16:53:07 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time, UTC+11:00)  #    Comments [0] -
.NET Developer | Office | Deployment | 2010 | Silverlight
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