Service Bus EAI and EDI capabilities released to labs environment

by Matt Milner 16. December 2011 05:15

For BizTalk folks, the release today of the EAI and EDI capabilities built on the Azure Service Bus represents one of the first major steps toward integration in the cloud. You can check out the blog post on the Windows Azure blog detailing the features, but essentially you have routing, mapping with lookup capabilities and EDI support in the cloud (that’s minimizing what you get here, but a general summary). There is also an SDK to enable you to create the required artifacts on your development machine and deploy them up to the Azure environment.

I’m excited to see new capabilities released on Service Bus, which is, in my mind, a major differentiator in the PASS space. Nobody has anything that comes close to the type of stuff Microsoft is doing here and plans to do on the Service Bus in the future. This, coupled with the announcement around BizTalk Server 2010 R2 and its support for the cloud means that the BizTalk space continues to be interesting and ever expanding. As anyone who does integration work knows, it’s not going away anytime soon, and it’s great to see Microsoft investing in both on-premise and cloud solutions to help customers integrate their disparate systems.

I’m looking forward to seeing this project grow and add new features over time, and even more to seeing how customers take advantage of these capabilities in the cloud.


BizTalk Server | Azure | AppFabric

Formatting results of Get-ASAppServiceInstance command in AppFabric

by Matt Milner 23. February 2011 07:40

I’ve been working with AppFabric lately and one of the things I like to do is use PowerShell to get a sense of the current state of my workflows. Unfortunately, I don’t like the format of the output as I find it hard to read.  You can see an example of the default output here.

What I want is a nice succinct table.  So, I fiddled around a bit with PowerShell’s format-table command and was able to get my data looking like this:

The command is pretty simple. I use the Property parameter to the format-table command to identify three properties that I want, using expressions to go after the specific values in which I’m interested.

get-asappserviceinstance -groupby status | format-table -property @{n='Count';e={$_.Count}}, @{n='Status';e={$_.Groups[0].GroupValue}}, @{n='Status';e={$_.Groups[1].GroupValue}}

The expressions go into the objects returned by AppFabrics get-asappserviceinstance command when grouping by status.

Hopefully this will prove useful to those of you working with Windows Server AppFabric and PowerShell.



Two helpful updates for Windows Server AppFabric

by Matt Milner 21. June 2010 10:08

From Damir Dobric (


Patch to fix an issue where autostart services start in the wrong application pool:

This only applies to Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 as IIS 7.5 is the only supported platform for autostart in a service. 



Patch to fix issues where the IIS Manager or PowerShell cmdlets fail due to schema issues in IIS configuration files.


There are a number of different error messages that result from this core issue.  In addition to this patch, you should already have installed the hotfix described in the following article:



Microsoft Virtual Launch Event

by Matt Milner 3. May 2010 05:27

Microsoft is holding a virtual launch event on May 20th related to many connected systems technologies including AppFabric (on-premise and cloud) and BizTalk Server.  If you are interested in hearing more about these technologies and how Microsoft feels the on-premise solutions align with the cloud, you should check out this event.  Follow the link for details, calendar link, etc.



Application Infrastructure: Cloud Benefits Delivered

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Join us on May 20 at 8:30 A.M. Pacific Time to learn how your current IT assets can harness some of the benefits of the cloud on-premises—and can readily connect to new applications and data running in the cloud. As part of the Virtual Launch Event, Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst Yefim Natis will discuss the latest trends and biggest questions facing the Application Infrastructure space. He will also speak about the role Application Infrastructure will play in helping businesses benefit from the cloud.  Plus, you’ll hear some exciting product announcements and a keynote from Abhay Parasnis, GM of Application Server Group at Microsoft.  Parasnis will discuss the latest Microsoft investments in the Application Infrastructure space aimed at delivering on-demand scalability, highly available applications, a new level of connectivity, and more. Save the date!


BizTalk Server | General Musings | AppFabric

Windows Server AppFabric hits beta 2

by Matt Milner 1. March 2010 07:26

You can download the bits and get some great samples in the MSDN development center.  AppFabric is the combination of the distributed caching features previously codenamed “Velocity” and the composite application management features previously codenamed “Dublin”.  These extensions to Windows Server continue to make it a great platform for building applications.  I’m excited about the tooling that AppFabric brings to the management of Workflow Services as it makes it much easier to configure, monitor and take action on deployed services.  In addition, AppFabric adds to the rich tracking story in WF by allowing you to store tracking information in a SQL database so you can do historical analysis. 

This build is based on the Release Candidate of .NET Framework 4, so you’ll want to have that installed first before installing AppFabric. 


Windows Workflow Foundation | Windows Communication Foundation | AppFabric