DevCon 2005

by Matt Milner 15. June 2005 03:37
I've finished up a short round of travel starting with my trip to Omaha for day 2 of the DevCon.  DevCon was fun and I think people enjoyed the information on Unit Testing.  The unit testing framework in VS 2005 is definitely an improvement over NUnit not only for the integration into the development environment and the team system environment, but also because of some of the cool test generation features.  Not only can the tool generate unit tests for any class in your project and allow you to rerun the tool to generate tests for new methods, but it also creates tests for private methods using some cool reflection. 
 
For those of you that attended and wanted slides, they are available here
 
 

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General Musings

BizTalk Messaging Overview article released

by Matt Milner 14. June 2005 15:44
My article on BizTalk Messaging has been released on MSDN.  It was great fun to write and I hope it is useful for people working on BizTalk.  Please check it out and give me feedback. 

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BizTalk Server

Nice set of papers on BizTalk 2006 Features

by Matt Milner 19. May 2005 10:54
Scott Woodgate has started posting some papers on new and improved features in BizTalk 2006 out on the BizTalkServerStuff MSN groups.  You have to be a member of the group to view them, but it is a simple sign up procedure.  The first document is on the changes to the setup process.  The team has really worked hard to make it a lot easier for developers to get started with BizTalk without having to know a lot of details just to get it installed and configured.  The second document to be released contains updates on the out-of-the-box adapters including a new POP3 adapter and inclusion of the Sharepoint and MSMQ adapters as well as improvements to the FILE and HTTP adapters.  All good stuff! 

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BizTalk Server

Nice bit on BizTalk Server and Indigo Futures

by Matt Milner 10. May 2005 09:23
Scott Woodgate has a nice short MSDN TV show on BizTalk and Indigo working together to give you an idea of these two technologies can complement each other as they both move forward.  He has a demo of BizTalk 2004 running with an Indigo adapter. 
 
 
The great thing about these two technologies working together is that Indigo provides a great platform for reliable secure communication while BizTalk Server provides the infrastructure for managing Business Process, Business Rules, Partner Management, etc. 

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BizTalk Server

Upcoming events

by Matt Milner 10. May 2005 09:12
I've got a couple of fun events coming up in the next month that I hope people will be able to join in on.  At the end of May, I'm going to be speaking at DevCon 2005 which is a central region developers' conference focused on Visual Studio 2005.  Topics include the new Visual Studio Team System, ASP.Net, Smart Client application development and SQL Server 2005 for developers.
I'll be presenting in Minneapolis (June 1) and Omaha (June 2) on the Unit Testing, Code Coverage and Code Analysis features of Team System. 
 
Check out the link below for more details:
 
The next week I'll be traveling to what I hope is SUNNY, Orlando, Florida to lead a lab on Developing Agile .Net Applications Using the Microsoft Business Rule Engine.  Plan on attending the lab if you want to find out how to leverage this powerful tool in your .Net and BizTalk solutions.  I'll be covering everything from simple rule concepts to get you started as well as some advanced topics to really make it worth while. 
 
I'll also be doing a cabana session on using ports in orchestrations where we'll talk about all of the various binding options and their tradeoffs and how the various direct binding methods work.  Stop by and chat, this should be a fun interactive session with lots of good conversation, but that will only happen if people attend and speak up! 
 
Just a note, the last time I checked, the session content on the Tech Ed site was incorrect for the lab but should be getting updated soon.  Just do a search on my name and you should find the Business Rules lab. If you get some other lab, try back in a few days.   

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General Musings

BAM Usage in BizTalk

by Matt Milner 6. May 2005 14:51
Kevin Smith has a nice post on using BAM to create a tracking portal.  I've talked with many customers about just this type of portal and usage for BAM.  Some customers hear about BAM but have gotten the marketing message that it is all about the business use.  The perception, from what I have seen, is that BAM is only for business users.  Developers and IT Pros are not being told how useful BAM can be useful for them. 
 
The case for using BAM as an operational tracking and reporting store is strong.  The data provided by HAT is certainly helpful, but does not contain contextual information about your business process to help in either diagnosing problems or understanding business flow.  In addition, BAM truly gives you data in the context of a business process, regardless of how many orchestrations, pipelines or custom components your process encompasses.  With SQL Reporting Services, viewing the collected data is a snap! 
 
So, what are other people seeing out there?  Are you using BAM?  What business problems are you solving with it?  Do you use it for operational purposes, or only for business reporting?  Do you use the Tracking Profile Editor (TPE)?  If not, why not? 

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BizTalk Server

My first Blog entry at Pluralsight

by Matt Milner 6. May 2005 14:48
This is the obligatory first Blog entry to introduce myself.  Before I do however, I want to say how excited I am to be joining the team at Pluralsight.  I'm blown away by the amount of knowledge and experience on this team of incredible individuals and look forward to many great experiences working with such a talented group of individuals. 
 
For my part, I will be focusing on BizTalk Server primarily, as that is what I have been working on for the last few years.  However, I have been working with .Net since the beginning and feel strongly in having a core understanding of .Net in order to be solid at other products that build on it.  So, you'll be seeing posts here on ASP.Net, Indigo and Web Services.  In addition, I love all of the advances coming out of the SQL Server team and will be doing my best to keep active in that arena as well.  There are many opportunities for SQL and BizTalk collaboration, and many people asking when to use the features of BizTalk and when to use SQL's tools.  I'll try to address some of those issues.  Finally, since InfoPath is such an awesome client tool for BizTalk Server, I'll be delving into that arena at times too. 
 
My experiences have been primarily as a consultant building enterprise applications with .Net and the Microsoft Windows Server System.  Over the last few years, that has led me to focus on BizTalk Server for enterprise integration and automation of business processes. I focus primarily on messaging and orchestration as well as Business Rules and BAM.  I think we have a great offering at Pluralsight in our Applied BizTalk Server course that truly prepares developers for working with BizTalk Server 2004.  This course dovetails nicely with our Web Services and XML courses to really build out the .Net developers toolkit around building applications and services. 

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General Musings

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