Integration of technologies perception and my next event the TUGAIT.

Integration of technologies perception and my next event the TUGAIT.

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, 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.

Author: Nino Crudele

Nino has a deep knowledge and experience delivering world-class integration solutions using all Microsoft Azure stacks, Microsoft BizTalk Server and he has delivered world class Integration solutions using and integrating many different technologies as AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, HL7, RFID, SWIFT.

Logic Apps review (Usability and Extensibility) part 2

Logic Apps review (Usability and Extensibility) part 2

My previous post here.

I keep going with my assessment with Logic Apps, I need to say that more I dig and more I like it and there are many reasons for that.
I love technology, I love it in all the aspects, one of the things that most fascinate myself is, what I like to call, the technology perception.I like to see how different people approach the same technology stack, Logic Apps is a great sample for me as BizTalk Server or Azure Event Hubs and other.
When I look to Logic Apps I see an open and fully extensible Azure stack to integrate and drive my azure processes.In these days I’m pushing the stack quite hard and I’m trying many different experiments, I have been impressed by the simplicity of the usability and the extensibility, I will speak more in detail about that in my next events but there are some relevant points of discussion.

Development comfort zone

Logic Apps offers many options, Web UI, Visual Studio, and scripting.
As I said in my previous post the Web UI is very fast and consistent but we can also use Visual Studio.
To develop using Visual Studio we just only need to install the latest Azure SDK, I’m not going to explain any detail about that as it is very to do and you can find anything you need here.
I just would like you to notice some interesting points, like the project distribution and the extensibility, first of all, to create a new Logic Apps process we need to select New Project/Cloud/Resource Group.

and we will receive a long list of templates, with the Logic Apps one as well.

I definitely like the idea of using the concept of multi templates as Azure resource group, I can create my own templates very easily and release them on GitHub for my team.
In Visual Studio we have two main options, using the designer just selecting the LogicApp.json file, right click and “Open using the Logic App designer” or directly using the JSON file.

The second by the editor which is able to offer the maximum granularity and transparency.


About the development experience I need to say that it is very easy, just right click and Deploy


Logic Apps offers a lot of connectors, you don’t need to be a developer expert to create a new workflow, it is very simple to integrate an external stack and implementing a workflow able to exchange data between two systems, but my interesting has been focused on another aspect, how much simple is to extend and create my own applications blocks, triggers and actions.
I had a look at the possibility to extend the triggers and actions and I need to say that is very simple, we have two options, we can navigate in GitHub and start using one of the templates here, Jeff Hollan has created an impressive number of them and all of them are open source, I normally use these repositories to get the information I need or we can just create a new one from scratch.
Well, how much easy to create a new one from scratch, from Visual Studio we need to select New Project/Aps.Net Web Application/Azure Web API, set our Azure hosting settings

and we only need to implement our Get and GenerateAsyncResponse method able to provide the HttpResponseMessage that the Logic App flow needs to invocate for the trigger.

Continuous Integration

For the deployment, we can publish from Visual Studio or, very interesting and option for continuous integration, using GitHub, I tried both and I have been very satisfied by the simplicity of using GitHub.
To integrate GitHub we just need to create a new deployment slot in our Web API

The slot is another Web API by REST able to integrate the source control we like to use, we need to select our new slot

and select the source type we like to use, absolutely easy and fast, great job.


I also appreciated the possibility to use the Live Data telemetry which is very useful during the tests and the development and we have the same thing in the Azure portal.

I have so much to say about Logic Apps, you can find a lot of material and resources on an internet and please feel free to contact me for any more information.
I’m also experimenting many interesting things using Logic Apps in conjunction with BizTalk Server, I will speak a lot more in detail my next events, I definitely getting so much fun playing with it.

Author: Nino Crudele

Nino has a deep knowledge and experience delivering world-class integration solutions using all Microsoft Azure stacks, Microsoft BizTalk Server and he has delivered world class Integration solutions using and integrating many different technologies as AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, HL7, RFID, SWIFT.

BizTalk Server advanced WCF custom binding techniques and challenges

BizTalk Server advanced WCF custom binding techniques and challenges

Working in secure channel with SOAP and WCF sometime could be a very complex activity.
BizTalk Server provides many adapters able to cover any requirement and in case of very complex challenge we can use the WCF-Custom adapter to implement more complex and specific binding settings with very high granularity.

The biggest issues are normally related to the binding (security), customization and troubleshooting.

Sometime we need to face very complex security challenges and the strategy to use to solve the challenge quick as possible is critical.

In case of complex binding the best strategy to use is using a .Net approach in the first step and switching in BizTalk in a second time.

We can use a classic sample as below, a mutual certificate authentication in SOAP 1.2 and TLS encryption with a Java service.

I see two main advantages using the .Net configuration file approach:

  1. Intellisense

Visual Studio provides a very useful intellisense approach and it’s very easy to extend and change the binding and test it very quickly.

  1. Documentation and support

In a security challenge the possibility to use the web resources in the web space is crucial, most of the documentation is related on using the WCF .Net approach and you will find a lot of samples using Web.config or App.Config file approach.
For that reason a .Net approach is faster and easier to use and test.

A binding section for mutual certificate via TLS looks as below.











requireSignatureConfirmation=”false” />






manualAddressing=”false” />


And below the behaviour section.



findValue=””LocalMachinestoreName=”Myx509FindType=”FindBySubjectName” />


findValue=” mydomain -iso-400storeLocation=”LocalMachinestoreName=”TrustedPeoplex509FindType=”FindBySubjectName” />




When we are sure about our tests and that everything is running we I can easily switch using BizTalk Server and create the custom bindings.

The WCF custom adapter in general provides the same sections, what we need to do is create a WCF-Custom adapter and a Static Solicit Response Send Port, after that we can easily insert our bindings and behaviors.

In case of specific settings we can import the bindings as well , a great feature offered by BizTalk is the possibility to import and export our bindings, in this way we can easily experiment very fast any complex binding and import this binding in our WCF-Custom adapter in a second time.

Sometime external services require very complex customization and we need to override protocol or messaging behaviour in the channel, for instance some service doesn’t accept the mustUnderstand in the SOAP header

or we need to impersonate a specific user by certificate in the header or just manage a custom SOAP header.
I’m my experience best strategy to use is developing the custom behaviour in a WCF .Net project, this is the faster way to test the WCF behavior without we need to manage GAC deployments, Host Instances restarts and so on.
when the WCF behavior works we can easily configure it in the BizTalk port.

Using a .Net approach we need to add the WCF behavior by reference.

Configure it in .config file and test/debug it.

When everything is working, we will be able to add the behavior in BizTalk adding the component in GAC and adding the behavior in the BizTalk port.
The WCF-Custom BizTalk Server adapter offers a very good level of customization, selecting the bindings and behavior tabs.

The most complex side in this area is the security and the messaging inspection, I recommend two things to do for troubleshooting, one using Fiddler or WireShark and the second the WCF logging, I recommend to use together as they compensate them each other.

Fiddler is a very powerful free tool, easy to use, just run it and use it.
In case of BizTalk Server we need to configure the framework to use Fiddler, at this point BizTalk offers many easy ways to do that.

By the port if we like to affect the port only.

By the adapter host handler if we want to affect to all the artefacts under it.

For deep level sniffing and we need to sniff Net TCP or other protocols I recommend WireShark, a bit more complex to use but this is the tool.

To configure the WCF logging we simply need to add the section below in the BizTalk configuration file to affect BizTalk services only, in the Machine config file if we want to affect all the services in the entire machine or in the Web.Config to affect the specific service.




name=”System.ServiceModel.MessageLogging” >


type=”System.Diagnostics.DefaultTraceListenername=”Default” >

type=”” />



name=”messagestraceOutputOptions=”None” >

type=”” />







type=”” />



type=”” />






initializeData=”c:logsapp_tracelogClient.svclogtype=”System.Diagnostics.XmlWriterTraceListener, System, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089

name=”ServiceModelTraceListenertraceOutputOptions=”Timestamp” >

type=”” />




Author: Nino Crudele

Nino has a deep knowledge and experience delivering world-class integration solutions using all Microsoft Azure stacks, Microsoft BizTalk Server and he has delivered world class Integration solutions using and integrating many different technologies as AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, HL7, RFID, SWIFT.

Logic Apps review (UI and Mediation) Part 1

Logic Apps review (UI and Mediation) Part 1

After a while I’m back into Logic Apps, a customer asked me to have a look about the possibilities to use Logic Apps in a very interesting scenario.
The customer is currently using BizTalk Server in conjunction with Azure Service Bus and a quite important Java integration layer.
This is not a usual POC (Proof of Concept), in this specific case I really need to understand about the actual capabilities provided by Logic Apps in order to cover all the requirements, the customer is thinking to move and migrate part of the on premises processing into the cloud.
A migration or refactoring is normally to be considered an important operation which involves many critical aspects like , productivity, costs, performances, pros and cons, risks and important investments.

I started have a look into the new Logic App version and I have been focused in all of these factors without losing the customer objectives.

The first look accessing to the main Logic Apps portal is a clear and very well organized view, a quick tutorial shows how to create a very simple flow and the main page is organized into main categories.

Very intuitive approach is the possibility to start with the common triggers, very interesting will be the possibility to customize this area per developer profile, I’m sure the team is already working around that.
I selected one of the most used, an HTTP endpoint into the cloud in order to consume a process workflow.

Very good impression is the responsive time, a lot faster and all the new features in the UI as well.

The top down approach is very intuitive as it follows the natural approach used for a natural workflow development and the one-click New Step offers a fast way to add new components very quickly.
What I normally like to consider when I look to a technology stack are the small details which are able to tell me a lot of important things, for instance, selecting the New
Step box and switching from the designer to the code view, the UI maintains exactly the status in the selection, considering that I’m using a Web UI this is a very appreciated behaviour.
Looking in the New Step box is clear that the Logic App team is following the BizTalk Server orchestration pattern approach, I like that because this provides the same developer experience used in BizTalk, in that case I don’t need to explain to the developers how to approach to a Logic Apps flow as they already know the meaning of each step and the using.

In term of mediation the approach used by Logic Apps is, what I’d like to call, Fast Consuming Mediation, essentially the process includes the mediation and it provides a fast approach to do that.
This is a different from BizTalk Server where the mediation is completely abstracted from the process, in the case of Logic Apps I see some very good points for using a fast mediation approach.
Logic Apps uses a concept of fast consuming, the approach to create a new mediation endpoint is very RAD oriented.
All the most important settings you needs to create a mediation endpoint are immediately accessible, fast and easy, the HTTP action is a very good example, we just add the action and it creates a new HTTP endpoint automatically, very fast and productive approach, fast consuming.

All people know how much is important for me the productivity, very appreciated is the search box in all the Logic Apps lists features.

Very appreciated the quick feature bar on the left with all the most important tasks and with the search box as well.

Following the quick tutorial, I created a HTTP endpoint and I added a new action, I decided to add the Office 365 Email and just try to send the HTTP content to an email account.

Each option provides a fast-dynamic parameter content which proposes all the public properties exposed by the previous step, this is very useful and fast and it shows the most important options, this is good to speed up the development.

Just saved the flow and it creates the URL POST to use, I tried to send a message using SOAPUI and it works perfectly

If you are interested about the SOAPUI project, just add a new REST project, put the URL created by the Logic Apps flow, set POST, media type Text/xml, write any message and send, you will receive a 202 response.

Check your inbox.

I’m definitely happy about the result, I created an HTTP endpoint able to ingest a post message and send an email in less than 2 minutes, quite impressive honestly.

Author: Nino Crudele

Nino has a deep knowledge and experience delivering world-class integration solutions using all Microsoft Azure stacks, Microsoft BizTalk Server and he has delivered world class Integration solutions using and integrating many different technologies as AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, HL7, RFID, SWIFT.

New blog style and look, thank you BizTalk360 Team

New blog style and look, thank you BizTalk360 Team

Thanks to BizTalk360 team and my dear friend Saravana my blog has now a new fantastic look and a lot of new improvements, first of all it is tremendously faster .

Well, I liked my previous style but was old and I think is time for a good refresh, the BizTalk360 guys redo graphic, migrated the blog with all the content, managed the redirections and all the other issues in a couple of days without any problem, fast and easy, this is what I like to call, done and dusted!
I really like the new style, more graphics and colours, I created a new about area and now I need to fix my categories and adding some more new content, the new look definitely motivates me on working more around it.

I have a very nice relationship with the BizTalk360 team and this nice relationship grown up any time more, any event we take the opportunity to enjoy time together, speaking about technologies and have fun.

I’m always happy to collaborate with them, the company is very solid with very strong experts inside and their products, BizTalk 360, TOP product in the market for BizTalk Server and ServiceBus 360, TOP product in the market for Microsoft Azure ServiceBus, prove the level of quality and the effort that this company is able to do, I’m always impressed by the productivity of this team.

We also have some plans around BizTalk NoS Ultimate, best tool ever to optimize the productivity during the BizTalk Server development but this is classified for now

Most of all I’m happy for this new opportunity to work closer together.

Thank you guys you are rock!

Author: Nino Crudele

Nino has a deep knowledge and experience delivering world-class integration solutions using all Microsoft Azure stacks, Microsoft BizTalk Server and he has delivered world class Integration solutions using and integrating many different technologies as AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, HL7, RFID, SWIFT.

Is BizTalk server a T-Rex?

Is BizTalk server a T-Rex?

Why do people start comparing BizTalk Server to a T-Rex?

Long time ago the Microsoft marketing team created this mousepad in occasion of the BizTalk 12th birthday.

And my dear friend Sandro produced the fantastic sticker below

Time later people start comparing BizTalk Server to a T-Rex, honestly, I don’t remember the exact reasons why but I like to provide my opinion about that.

Why a T-Rex?

In the last year, I engaged many missions in UK around BizTalk Server, assessments, mentoring, development, migration, optimization and more and I heard many theories about that, let go across some of them :

Because BizTalk is old, well, in that case I’d like to say mature which is a very good point for a product, since the 2004 version the product grew up until the 2013 R2 version and in these last 10 years the community build so much material, tools and documentation that not many other products can claim.

Because BizTalk is big and monolithic, I think this is just a point of view, BizTalk can be very smart, most of the time I saw architects driving their solution in a monolithic way and, most of the times, the problem was in the lack of knowledge about BizTalk Server.

Because BizTalk is complicate, well Forrest Gump at this point would say “complicate is what complicate we do”, during my assessments and mentoring I see so many over complicated solutions which could be solved is very easy way and, the are many reasons for that, some time because we miss the knowledge, other time we don’t like to face the technology and we decide for, what I like to call, the “chicken way”.

Because now we have the cloud, well, in part I can agree with that but, believe or not, we also have the on premise and companies still use hardware, companies still integrate on premise applications and we believe or not, integrating system in productive way to send data into the cloud in efficient and reliable mode is something very complicate to do and, at the moment, BizTalk is still the number one on it.

Because BizTalk costs, the BizTalk license depends by the number of processors we need to use in order to run our solution and achieve the number of messages per second we need to consume, this is the main dilemma but, in my opinion, quite easy to solve and this is my simple development theory.
The number of messages we are able to achieve is inversely proportional to the number of wrong best practices we produce in our solution.

Many people make me this question, Nino what do you think is the future of BizTalk Server?

I don’t like to speak about future, I saw many frameworks came up and disappear after one or two years.
I like to consider the present and I think BizTalk is a solid product with tons of features and able to cover and support in great way any integration scenario.

In my opinion the main problem is how we approach to this technology.

Many times companies think about BizTalk like a single product to use in order to cover any aspect about a solution and this is deeply wrong.
I like to use many technologies together and combine them in the best way but, most important, each correct technology to solve the specific correct task.

In my opinion when we look to a technology, we need to get all the pros and cons and we must use the pros in the proper way to avoid any cons.

BizTalk can be easily extendable and we can compensate any cons in very easy way.

Below some of my personal best hints derived by my experience in the field:

If you are not comfortable or sure about BizTalk Server then call an expert, in one or two days he will be able to give you the right way, this is the most important and the best hint, I saw many people blaming BizTalk Server instead of blaming their lack of knowledge.

Use the best naming convention able to drive you in a proper way in your solution, I don’t like to follow the same one because any solution, to be well organized, needs a different structure, believe me the naming convention is all in a BizTalk Solution.

Use orchestration only when you need a strictly pattern between the processes, orchestrations are the most expensive resource in BizTalk Server, if I need to use it then I will use it for this specific reason only.

If I need to use an orchestration, then I like to simplify using code instead of using many BizTalk shapes, I like to use external libraries in my orchestrations, it’s simpler than create tons of shapes and persistent points in the orchestration.

Many times, we don’t need to use an adapter from an orchestration, which costs resources in the system, for example many times we need to retrieve data from a database or call another service and we don’t need to be reliable.

Drive your persistent points, we can drive the persistent points using atomic scopes and .Net code, I like to have the only persistent point I need to recover my process.

Anything can be extendable and reusable, when I start a new project I normally use my templates and I like to provide my templates to the customer.

I avoid the messagebox where I need real time performances, I like to use two different technics to do that, one is using Redis cache, the second is by RPC.
One of the big features provided by BizTalk Server is the possibility to reuse the artefacts separately and outside the BizTalk engine, in this way I can easily achieve real time performances in a BizTalk Server process.

Many times, we can use a Standard edition instead of an Enterprise edition, the standard edition has 2 main limitations, we can’t have multiple messageboxes and we can’t have multiple BizTalk nodes in the same group.
If the DTS (Down Time Service) is acceptable I like to use a couple of standard editions and with a proper configuration and virtual server environment I’m able to achieve a very good High Availability plan and saving costs.

I always use BAM and I implement a good notification and logging system, BizTalk Server is the middleware and, believe me, for any issue you will have in production the people will blame BizTalk, in this case, a good metrics to manage and troubleshoot in fast way any possible issue, will make you your life great.

Make the performance testing using mock services first and real external services after, in this way we are able to provide the real performances of our BizTalk solution, I saw many companies waste a lot of money trying to optimize a BizTalk process instead of the correct external service.

To conclude, when I look at BizTalk Server I don’t see a T-Rex.
BizTalk remembers me more a beautiful woman like Jessica Rabbit

full of qualities but, as any woman, sometime she plays up, we only need to know how to live together whit her 😉

Author: Nino Crudele

Nino has a deep knowledge and experience delivering world-class integration solutions using all Microsoft Azure stacks, Microsoft BizTalk Server and he has delivered world class Integration solutions using and integrating many different technologies as AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, HL7, RFID, SWIFT.

CS0006 Error – Metadata file could not be found

CS0006 Error – Metadata file could not be found

In the last 2 days, I struggled against this error and it was a real nightmare and, because the solution is really wired and complicate to find I decided to keep note about that in my blog and hopefully help some other people.
One day and without any real specific reason I was not able to build my solution anymore, hundreds of CS0006 errors, so my first and usual actions were:

  1. Clean the solution, nothing…
  2. Restart VS, nothing…
  3. Clean and restart the solution, nothing…

At that point I started looking in the network and I found so many articles, tips and hints like, remove all the references and re add again, check the build settings in the configuration manager, fix precedencies but nothing and, to be honest, with 90 projects in the solution, was not a feasible option for me.

Two main assumptions drive me to the solution:

  1. Previously the solution was able to build and I didn’t touch any code
  2. I copied the solution in another machine and, with my surprise, it was able to build.

I used process explorer to check what Visual Studio does during the compilation and I noticed a quite interesting number of temporary files related to the nugget packages were created.
The length of the path generated was interesting so I decided for moving my project folder in the C: ROOT and the problem has been solved.

The biggest problem I think was because I added a new nugget package to a project and VS was not able to generate specific temp files and unfortunately, I didn’t receive any exception or warning about that.

So, in case of CS0006 error the first test to do is trying to copy the solution in a shorter path and hopefully is going to fix the issue.

Author: Nino Crudele

Nino has a deep knowledge and experience delivering world-class integration solutions using all Microsoft Azure stacks, Microsoft BizTalk Server and he has delivered world class Integration solutions using and integrating many different technologies as AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, HL7, RFID, SWIFT.

Holistic in the integration space – Events recap

Holistic in the integration space – Events recap

In the last month, I’ve been speaker in two events, the WPC 2016 in Milan and the in Belgium, in both the events I presented the results of my studies around the holistic approach and my point of view about integration.

WPC 2016 Milan, 77 speakers for +400 attendees, makes this event the first event in Italy about IT, technology and innovation, great content and very prepared speakers. is a technical event focused on Integration and organized by the BizTalk User Group in Belgium, the guys invited me 2 month ago, and I was very happy to accept because I was sure to find an audience of very strong and expert technical people.
In the I enjoyed all the sessions, Microsoft presented a session around integration patterns and SOLID concepts, Pieter presented a very interesting session, What’s new in BizTalk Server 2016, he has been able to present a very detailed session about the new features, Glenn, about Azure Functions, presented a very interesting point of view and of comparison between Azure Functions and the other stacks like Logic App and WebJobs.

In both the event I present my session In my session, my point of view about Integration and what means Holistic approach, I received an impressive great feedback by both the events and I’m very happy by the spontaneous feedbacks that I’m receiving via LinkedIn and email.

Looking in the feedbacks, one of the sentences which I most like is:

“finally someone that makes sense regarding integration, I know exactly what you mean with your holistic approach.
I have tried for many years to explain to people that what you’re saying, and you do it too.
So you have shown me the way”

This was exactly the scope of my session, given to people something to think about, a new view about how to use technologies and how to combine them together.
I think that, in a moment full marketing messages, thousands of technologies and options, this is one of the most important aspect of interest.

Sometime we don’t realize the potential of a technology because focused around the messages we received by the network, some other time we don’t see the technology in a different point of view.
When I approach to a new technology I’m like a child with a new toy, I normally don’t care about how the network defines or categorizes it, I just get the main marketing message and I start playing with this technology.

I like to see any technology from a different point of view, any time, this is the best approach to use to better understand the potentials.

I also use GrabCaster to explain these concepts because it contains all of my studies, GrabCaster is my personal laboratory, it’s a space which contains all of my studies and ideas, I start seeing other companies implementing patterns and concepts already implemented in GrabCaster long time ago and this is a great pleasure for me.
People are following and are looking in GrabCaster code to get new ideas and patterns like, open pattern, layering abstraction, dynamic deployment, open mediation, how to achieve real time performances in BizTalk Server and more, I still need to create more videos and tutorials and I will, family and sport activities permitting.

At the moment GrabCaster contains a lot of great features but this is probably the 10% about what I have in my mind, I will keep going implementing on it and if you like to collaborate please do it.

I will improve this session in the time and I will create more scenarios using, combining and extending what I consider the best technologies to use together at the moment.

Author: Nino Crudele

Nino has a deep knowledge and experience delivering world-class integration solutions using all Microsoft Azure stacks, Microsoft BizTalk Server and he has delivered world class Integration solutions using and integrating many different technologies as AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, HL7, RFID, SWIFT.

The IT Integration market – My point of view and my next events

The IT Integration market – My point of view and my next events

I’m preparing two next events, one in Italy and one in Belgium and this article wants to explain what I’m going to present and to speak about.

In the last months, I have been focused in many activities like, improve my knowledge, study new Azure stacks, improve GrabCaster with new features.
Microsoft is doing a lot of stuff around Azure, I’m impressed by the number of new features I see now in the portal and not just Microsoft but the entire IT world is producing any kind of new framework and pattern.

The IT world is changed, most of the companies now are more and more closed to use open source and I’m very happy about that.
The Cloud is now able to proposes so many options about IaaS or Application, Services and Data and more.

In my opinion Microsoft Azure now is the leader about services and integration, I’m not saying that because I’m Microsoft MVP or because I like to be closed to Microsoft, I think that because I’m not able to see the same offering in the other platforms.

Holistic education is a philosophy of education based on the premise that each person finds identity, meaning, and purpose in life through connections to the community, to the natural world, and to humanitarian values such as compassion and peace.

I think now we need to speak about holistic Integration because each technology in now able to find his identity, meaning, and purpose in the world of technology through connections to the others.

I normally use and mix all of the stacks like Service Fabric, Azure Functions, Logic App, GrabCaster, API management, Redis Cache and more together because I’m not able to achieve the best result using one only and each of these stack is absolutely specialized for a specific area.

Azure Function is something we can define as Nano Service oriented, very light and usable, very similar and, in the same time, very different from Azure Fabric for many reasons.
With Azure Fabric we have a concept of full reliable elastic scaling approach, Azure function is something we use for specific Nano tasks, but obviously we can extend the using of Functions to drive and manage specific logic in cloud.

I normally use GrabCaster for fast hybrid integration and to manage complex remotely event handling issues in on premise environment, and GrabCaster uses all the Microsoft Azure stacks to extend the capabilities and the results are impressive.

Logic App is now the workflow engine in the cloud, used to strictly correlate processes and services in the cloud, Microsoft is extending a lot this stack and we are able now to interconnect and consume the different Azure entities in fast way.

About messaging Service Bus is an ultra-mature stack but I know that Microsoft is preparing something fantastic, I can’t say anything more on that but, believe me, you will be happy.

Another interesting area is the Enterprise Integration Pack which is a complete stack we can use for EDI, VERTE and B2B, I’m waiting some more details regarding the pricing but it is awesome for fast VERTE and B2B integration.

Last and but not the least BizTalk Server which is going to the 2016 version, he is mature, solid and absolutely reliable and I have many nice surprises about BizTalk Server to present at the events.

Holistic is something characterized by the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.

I always like to say…

We need to have a look to the whole if we want to be able to understand the single one.

If you are interesting to learn more about cloud then the Microsoft Academy is the best place for.

My next events will be:

WPC 2016 in Milan, the most important event in Italy about IT

You can register here.

At in Microsoft Belgium with the Belgium BizTalk User Group, I’m very to be there, the Belgium BizTalk User Group has many strong integration animals and great experts and I’m sure it will be a fantastic opportunity to share knowledge and good beer.

You can register here.

Looking forward to see you in one of these events.


Optimize the BizTalk productivity using ListDictionary

Optimize the BizTalk productivity using ListDictionary

In this period, I’m supporting different development teams to implement a big integration solution using different technologies such as BizTalk Server, Web API, Azure, Java and other and involving many other actors and countries.
In a situation like that is quite normal to find many different problems in many different areas like integration, security, messaging, performances, SLA and more.
One of the most important aspects that I like to consider is the productivity, writing code we spend time and time = money.
Many times a developer needs to find a solution or he needs to decide a specific pattern to solve a problem and we need to be ready to provide the most productive solution for it.

For instance, a .Net developer can decide to use a plain function to solve a specific loop instead using a quicker lambda approach, a BizTalk developer can decide to use a pure BizTalk approach instead using a quicker and faster approach using code.

To better understand this concept, I want to provide you a classic and famous sample in the BizTalk planet.

An usual requirement in any solution is, for example, the possibility to pick up data in composite pattern and cycling for each instance inside the composite batch, in BizTalk server this is the classic situation where we are able to understand how much the developer is BizTalk oriented J

By nature, the BizTalk development approach is more closed to a RAD approach rather than a pure code approach.

To cycle in a composite message in BizTalk we can use different ways and looking in internet we can find many solution, one of the most used by BizTalk developer is creating an orchestration, create the composite schema, execute the mediation, receive the composite schema in the orchestration, in the orchestration cycle trough the messages using a custom pipeline called in the orchestration.

Quite expensive approach in term of productivity and performances.

Another way is using for example a System.Collections.Specialized.ListDictionary in the orchestration.

Create a variable in the orchestration type System.Collections.Specialized.ListDictionary

Create a static class and a method named for example GetAllMessages

Inside your method write the code to pick up you messages and stream and load into the ListDictionary

Create an expression shape and execute the method to retrieve the ListDictionary

xdListTransfers = new System.Collections.Specialized.ListDictionary();

MYNAMESPACE.Common.Services.SpgDAL.GetAllMessages(ref xdListTransfers,

ref numberOfMessages,

ref dataValid);

Use variable by ref to manage the result, the variable numberOfMessages
is used to cicle in the orchestration loop.

Because we use a ListDictionary we can easily get our item using a key in the list, as below using the numberOfMessagesDone variable.

xmlDoc = new System.Xml.XmlDocument();

transferMessage = new MYNAMESPACE.Common.Services.TransferMessage();

transferMessage = (MYNAMESPACE.Common.Services.TransferMessage)xdListTransfers[numberOfMessagesDone.ToString()];

Where numberOfMessagesDone
is the increment value in the loop

Using this method, we keep our orchestration very light and it’s very easy and quick to develop.

I have many other samples like that, this an argument which I’m really care about because able to improve our productivity and performance and first of all the costs.