Well, Empowering Hybrid Integration segment is online since January 30, 2017, but only now I realize that… During the MVP Global Summit, and taking the opportunity of having most of the Integration MVPs gathered at the event, Microsoft Pro Integration team tends to invite the MVPs to create short videos – 8 to 10 minutes videos – about Integration (on-premise or in the cloud). It happened in previous editions of the Summit and it happened in the last edition in which they invite us to talk about Hybrid Integration that includes BizTalk Server, Azure Logic Apps, Azure API Management and Azure Service Bus.
For several reasons, I never had the chance to accept the challenge in the past, but last year I was able to accept the invitation to speak and record at the “famous” Microsoft Building 20, building that is the home of Channel 9 studio …
… and make a short talk about Hybrid Integration using Service Bus Queues, BizTalk Server, Dynamic CRM, SQL Server, Logic Apps and File.
Has I told in a previous post of my blog, that was my first experience, and I have to confess, I was a little nervous to be recording in a small professional studio, so as expected after seeing the record in its raw state, the end result could have been better, but, fortunately for you guys I was able to edit the video and remove some breaks/delays between switching from my presentation slides to my screen. Nevertheless, for a first experience, it went pretty well and I am happy with the result. The important for me is to face new challenges, different situations, leave my comfort zone and improve to be better next time.
The result is this 8 minutes video on Empowering Hybrid Integration where you can learn how you can create powerful hybrid integration solutions using existing on-premises and cloud based solutions.
Fortunately, I had the company of my good friend Kent Weare in this small “adventure”:
You can also watch his session about “Protecting Azure Logic Apps using Azure API Management”. In this video, you can learn how to use Azure API Management to protect your Logic Apps.
You can watch more sessions regarding Microsoft’s Hybrid Integration Platform on Channel 9 here.
In the last period, I invested time in something that I think is one of the most important aspect in the integration space, the perception.
During my last events I start introducing this topic and I’m going to add a lot more in the next future.
In Belgium, during the BTUG.be, I shown my point of view about open patterns and in London, during the GIB, I presented how I approach to the technology and how I like to use it, I’ve been surprised by how many people enjoyed my sharing.
The Microsoft stack is full of interesting options, in the on premise and Azure cloud space, people like to understand more about how to combine them and how to use them in the most profitable way.
In my opinion, the perception we have about a technology is the key and not the technology itself and this is not just about the technology but this is something related about everything in our life.
We can learn how to develop using any specific technology stack quite easily but it is more complicate to get the best perception of it.
I like to use my great passion for skateboarding to better explain this concept, a skateboard is one of the most simple object we can find, just a board with 4 wheels and a couple of trucks.
It is amazing seeing how people use the same object in so many different ways, like vert ramps, freestyle, downhill or street and how many different combinations of styles in each discipline and each skater has an own style as well.
Same thing needs to be done for the technology, I normally consider 4 main areas, BizTalk Server, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft .Net or SQL and the main open source stack.
I don’t like to be focused about using a single technology stack and I don’t think is correct using a single technology stack to solve a problem.
For instance, BizTalk Server is an amazing platform full of features and able to cover any type of integration requirement and looking to the BizTalk architecture we can find a lot interesting considerations.
The slide below is a very famous slide used in millions of presentations.
Most of the people look at BizTalk Server as a single box with receive ports, hosts, orchestrations, adapters, pipelines and so on.
When I look to BizTalk Server I see a lot of different technology stacks to use, to combine together and to use with other stacks as well.
I can change any BizTalk Server behaviour and I can completely reinvent the platform as I want, I don’t see real limit on that and same thing with the Microsoft Azure stack.
Microsoft Azure offers thousands of options, the complicate aspect is the perception we have for any of these.
Many times our perception is influenced by the messages we received from the community or the companies, I normally like to approach without considering any specific message, I like to approach to any new technology stack like a kid approach to a new toy, I don’t have any preconception.
Today we face a lot of different challenges and one of the most interesting is the on premise integration.
The internal BizTalk architecture itself is a good guidance to use, we have any main concept like mediation, adaptation, transformation, resilience, tracking and so on.
If we split the architecture in two different on premise areas we open many points of discussion, how to solve a scenario like that today?
Below is the same architecture but using any technology stack available, during the GIB I shown some real cases and sample about that.
I also like to consider event driven integration and in that case GrabCaster is a fantastic option.
My next closets event will be TUGAIT in Portugal, TUGAIT is the most important community event organized in Portugal, last year I had the privilege to be there and it was an amazing experience.
3 days of technical sessions and covering any technology stack, integration, development, database, IT, CRM and more.
Many people attend TUGAIT from any part of the Europe, I strongly recommend to be there, nice event and great experience.
Today I’m going to write about a different topic, we can say that is related to technology but not exactly a technical blog post. And no, I’m not feeling special (I’m always feeling special but in different contexts), proud and honored today because it’s my birthday.
January 1st, 2011, will always be a special day for me, it was the day I had the honor of being awarded Microsoft Most Value Professional (MVP) for the first time which was an unexpected good surprise. This is my 7th straight year on the MVP Program and since the first day, it has been a delighted journey and experience. I was the first and for many years the only MVP at my company DevScope but, contrary to what many people might think, is was not for that reason also that I could feel special. I’m feeling special for somehow, directly or indirectly, being able to help to grow the spirit of community collaboration, a little more (because it always existed), internally at the company and sometimes, maybe, by serving as a mentor, a role model or an inspiration to others. But especially by encouraging and helping everyone to start contributing and share their knowledge with the communities, often challenged them to collaborate with me on small projects.
I’m feeling special, proud and honored today to be part of a company who after all these years still keeps their main core identities, with a focus on cutting-edge technology, early adopter in most cases, focus on innovation and helping with the needs of our clients, but without losing the focus on the people, helping them to grow personal and professional. I’m feeling special, proud and honored today because I can say that I work with a team of amazing professionals and special to be able to realize that we already have 3 MVPs at DevScope, one former MVP and one Microsoft Regional Director (there are not many companies worldwide that can boast on these facts).
I’m feeling special, proud and honored today, not also for working with such hard working and talented team, but also, for being able to realize that new talents are being formed.
… but let’s also be fair, I way also feeling special, proud and honored today because it is my birthday and I have an amazing family, an amazing job and the best friends in the world!
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NZ daylight saving time ends at 3a.m today (2/3/2017) ends. To celebrate this I am going to share a string datetime functoid that I have used for many years.
A common task when mapping one message to another is transforming a date e.g. 1/3/17 15:30 to 2017-03-01T15:30+13:00. Many years ago I was reviewing some maps in a BizTalk solution and discovered that just about every map was using different C# code in a C# scripting functoid to transform between date formats. I decided to create a functoid that would convert any string that was a valid date to any other date format. The two objectives were to make sure that all date format changes were consistent and it was easy to use.
Here is are some maps that show cases the StringDateTime functoid. In this case the UTC date 2017-02-25T08:18:48.000Z is transformed to 25/02/2017 21:18
Note in the example above that the time is incremented by 13 hours because on the 25/2 NZ is on daylight saving and is UTC+13.
The code that does the work is shown below.
You can download the class file, bit map and resource file from here
if you want to create the functoid yourself. Please see one of Sandro Pereira’s posts
if you need any help to create it.
In summary this BizTalk functoid gives consistency to the way dates are formatted and is easy to use. All you need to enter is the either a standard date format or a custom date format.