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

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.



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BizTalk Server | General Musings | AppFabric

Hotfix for some BizTalk 2009 issues in Visual Studio

by Matt Milner 26. January 2010 09:21

For some time now, I’ve been working with BizTalk Server 2009.  One of the major frustrations has been with the VS 2008 integration.  Project references between BizTalk projects wreaked havoc if you were working on a single developer machine with BTS installed.  Fortunately, Microsoft has released a hotfix for many of these issues [1].  If you are having issues within Visual Studio, you may want to try this hotfix.  Look for the link near the top of the document to request the hotfix.  I got an email with the link within minutes when I tried. 

Thanks to Bryan Corazza of Avanade for pointing out this support document. 




BizTalk Server

BizTalk Project Creation Fails – or, Why did BizTalk in VS 2008 break?

by Matt Milner 22. September 2009 04:37

I found this post on the BizTalk Customer Response team blog about the problems people are having with the BizTalk project system integrated into Visual Studio 2008.  Apparently, the team built very closely on the C# project type, but that integration is causing some problems as any patches to VS can cause values to be overwritten, removing the relationship of the btproj to the csproj projects.  I have run into this on several machines and always had to repair the BizTalk installation in order to fix it.  That takes more time than I think it should to fix this type of problem, so I was glad to see the solution is a simple registry edit. 


You should be able to create a reg file the following contents to fix this on an x86 box:


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



For a 64-bit installation, you can use a similar file, but with a slightly different path for the key. So the reg file would look like this:


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



I plan on having these registry files around on my machines with BizTalk developer tools on it so that I can quickly apply this fix anytime I patch (or Windows Update patches for me) my Visual Studio installation. 


BizTalk Server

New BizTalk 2009 courses available

by Matt Milner 30. July 2009 12:25

I’m happy to announce that we have two new BizTalk 2009 courses available for instructor led training: BizTalk Server 2009 Fundamentals and SOA and BPM Fundamentals with BizTalk 2009

The BizTalk Server 2009 Fundamentals class is for .NET developers new to BizTalk who need a solid grounding in the messaging and orchestration capabilities of BizTalk.  It covers the messaging architecture, schemas, maps, adapters, routing, pub/sub etc. and the orchestration capabilities.  In addition, it provides coverage of using WCF to expose BizTalk as service endpoints, or to consume services from BizTalk solutions.  In this class, I took a slightly different approach from our traditional classes with the introduction of two hands-on projects during the course.  These projects provide students with real world challenges to solve without the step-by-step instructions of a lab manual.  Students in previous classes have really enjoyed these challenges and commented on how well they helped solidify the material. 

The SOA and BPM Fundamentals with BizTalk 2009 provides existing BizTalk developers with more in depth training on the capabilities of BizTalk Server and the ESB Toolkit when working with BPM and SOA solutions.  Like the other class, this one mixes lecture and labs with hands-on projects to help solidify the learning.  This course focuses on BPM capabilities such as the Business Rules Engine, BAM and the ESB Toolkit Portal as well as SOA topics including on/off ramp and itinerary processing in the ESB Toolkit and a deep dive on the WCF adapters. 

Talk to our sales staff to schedule on-site deliveries of either training, and look for the online version in your Pluralsight On-Demand! subscription in the fourth quarter of this year or first quarter of 2010. 


BizTalk Server

BizTalk Server 2009 Virtual Labs are now available

by Matt Milner 13. May 2009 11:18

Are you looking to try out BizTalk Server 2009 but don’t have the time to setup a full BizTalk environment?  Then Microsoft’s Virtual labs might be right for you.  The most popular labs for BizTalk Server have been updated for BizTalk Server 2009 and a few new ones focused on the features of BizTalk Server 2009.  Check them out if you are interested. 


In related news, I’m in the process of adding BizTalk Server 2009 content to the BizTalk Server Fundamentals course in  Pluralsight On-Demand!.  If you haven’t already subscribed, you should really check it out.  I’m spending my free time these days learning about Agile Team Practices from David Starr and ASP.NET MVC from K. Scott Allen.  It’s the next best thing to having these guys in a classroom with me.  We’re continuing to expand the library too, so the subscription gets more valuable by the month – not many investments you can say that about today!


BizTalk Server

Slides from SOA Road Show and Twin Cities .NET User Group

by Matt Milner 8. December 2008 18:10

I was busy last week with two local presentations.  The first was on the BizTalk Adapter Pack and the WCF LOB Adapter SDK at the Real World SOA Road Show.  This was a fun show and it was nice to see Jon Flanders and Michael Woods who did a talk on "Oslo" and "M".  I've posted my slides for those who were interested in downloading them. 


Then on Thursday night I got the chance to talk about Microsoft .NET Services to the Twin Cities .NET User group. This is always a fun group and folks had a lot of good questions about Azure and the "cloud".  I have slides and sample code posted up now for this talk. 


BizTalk Server | General Musings

Microsoft's Next Gen application server offering: "Dublin"

by Matt Milner 1. October 2008 09:26

Microsoft announced today the details of upcoming features that will be added to Windows Server 2008 to provide a rich host for WCF Services and WF workflows.  In addition, the announcement provides some information about upcoming features in the .NET Framework v4.0 including.  I'm extremely excited to have a host process for WCF and WF applications out of the box with management features for my services and workflows.  This has been a big detractor for many customers looking at adopting these technologies.  The great thing is that this host technology is integrated with IIS so I don't have yet another management story or some specialized application server, I get to leverage all the work the IIS team did to make IIS 7 and the tooling so great. 


With WCF and building workflow services, having the correlation components is a huge step forward and addresses one of my biggest gripes with the correlation available today.  It's a very exciting time to be building connected systems on the Microsoft platform.  As more information is released at PDC, I'll start blogging about some of the new features and capabilities in the framework and using "Dublin" as a host.  That's right, I said I'd actually start blogging some technical information.  :) 


Check out the information about what's coming and look for more information to come out of the Professional Developer's Conference (PDC)


BizTalk Server | Windows Workflow Foundation | Windows Communication Foundation

First BizTalk Double Feature

by Matt Milner 12. September 2008 17:19

I'm excited to be teaching the first BizTalk double feature class coming up October in Irvine.  Now I know what you are thinking: "of course you are happy to get out of Minnesota and go to sunny California", but I actually like fall in MN. No , this class is going to be cool because it allows me to cover all of BizTalk Server 2006 R2.  A normal class just doesn't give me the time to cover the core BizTalk messaging engine, orchestration, rules, etc. AND RFID, EDI, and WCF adapters.  So having the double feature is great because students new to BizTalk development will get the whole package in one week.  So if you want to learn BizTalk, come join me in CA for a very full week of BizTalk content.


BizTalk Server | General Musings

BizTalk Server 2009 and future roadmap

by Matt Milner 5. September 2008 07:07

Since the announcement of "Oslo" and the excitement around Windows WF and WCF, many customers have been concerned about their investment in BizTalk Server or questioning whether it is a wise investment today.  Microsoft just published their roadmap for BizTalk Server including some important information about how the current and future releases will integrate with the "Oslo" modeling platform.  In addition, the next release of BizTalk Server, still promised in the first half of '09, has been renamed BizTalk Server 2009 (formerly BizTalk Server 2006 R3) because of the significant improvements. 

The good news is that Microsoft has clearly stated their intent on continued investment into this product over the coming years and has some clear ideas about the types of improvements you can expect to see in future versions.

I'm most excited about platform support in the 2009 release right now as I'd like to be running only visual studio 2008 on my machines and I LOVE Windows Server 2008 so I'd like to get all my test machines upgraded to the new OS.  I'm interested to take a look at the new UDDI services and see how the directory support has been improved and can be used in a BizTalk solution as well.  The idea of a directory for services is a powerful one and not many companies realize the value of them for the simplest thing like dynamic addressing of endpoints.  All of your client applications can be built to use just a single address for the registry and lookup the endpoint information for the service. 


BizTalk Server