Inagural Connected Systems User Group Meeting

We had our first Northwest Connected Systems user group meeting on the Microsoft campus Nov 15th, 2005. We had a solid turn-out and are definitely looking to grow the user group. The highlight of the meeting was Scott’s presentation on BizTalk 2006. Thank you all for the great turn out and I look forward to seeing you at the December 13th meeting. I’ll send out another note as we get closer to the Dec 13th, but the meeting will be at the same location (Microsoft Remond Campus, Building 35, Rm: Kalalach) and begin at the same time (6pm)….

BizTalk and Windows Workflow

BizTalk and Windows Workflow

It always comes down to choices.  The biggest part of choosing is knowing what you gain and what you give up with each alternative.  Whenever I start talking about Windows Workflow I am always asked many questions.  Typically the first question that is asked is “does this mean that BizTalk is going away?” followed by “well, then when do I use each one”.


 


That is what I want to discuss in this blog entry.


 


First, BizTalk is not going away. 


 


I want to put a definition around BizTalk to make it easier to compare to Windows Workflow.  BizTalk Server is an enterprise level workflow and message processing environment.  This environment is tried and tested (extremely rigorously over the last many years).  BizTalk also includes many adapters to connect to a variety of back end system.  Out of the box, BizTalk provides scalability, manageability, tracking, logging & administration tools. 


 


Windows Workflow is an SDK for creating workflow based applications.  The tools are there to  build a host and to render a graphical workflow environment.  Scalability is possible with Windows Workflow but it is up to the developer to create a truly scalable solution.  In addition, there are administrative functions through runtime and tracking visibility but there is not an out of the box administration tool as this is also up to the host developer to create.


 


The message that I tell people is to use BizTalk when you want to target users/clients that want to span multiple applications whereas Windows Workflow would be used when you want to target users/clients that want workflow within an application.


 


Now after saying that I know the next question you would ask and it is “Are you saying that Windows Workflow doesn’t scale?”.  The answer is certainly yes, Windows Workflow scales.  Windows Workflow scales based on your implementation.  This is similar to what you would expect when scaling any application built using the .NET framework.  Windows Workflow does not come pre-built as a server application ready to scale as does BizTalk but if you develop the appropriate host and put in place the appropriate development effort then it will certainly scale.


 


It has been stated that in the future Windows Workflow will be the core workflow engine in all of the Microsoft products that offer workflow.  This means that future versions of BizTalk will be built on top of and extend Windows Workflow.  This also means that products like SharePoint will also offer workflow based on top of Windows Workflow.


 


So, to summarize, Windows Workflow is great for workflow within an application whereas BizTalk is great for workflow across applications and this is precisely why BizTalk shines in Enterprise Application Integration scenarios.

BizTalk 2004 convoy orchestration side-by-side deployment example

BizTalk 2004 convoy orchestration side-by-side deployment example

At the end of the last post I noted that there’s a bug in BizTalk’s side-by-side deployment of convoy orchestrations, and once it’s fixed then I’d provide a convoy sample. It’s now been fixed by a post-SP1 hotfix, and it will enable you to side-by-side deploy the following example:



You can download the source here, which includes a readme.txt giving you full instructions on how to extract, compile, deploy and execute it, very similar to the previous post but this time for convoy orchestrations with an initialising correlation set on the activating receive. Good luck!

Just Released – BizTalk 2006 Beta 2

The Beta 2 build of BizTalk Server 2006 is now available on Beta Place. 



This also includes a separate download for the Microsoft BizTalk Adapters for Enterprise Applications, also in Beta 2.



You need to be enrolled in the public beta program to have access to this download.


 


An updated BizTalk 2006 Beta 2 installation document and known issues can be found here.



I thought the CTP build was awesome so I can not wait to get this version installed and running.


 

Cooler than XBOX 360 – BizTalk Server 2006 Beta 2

Cooler than XBOX 360 – BizTalk Server 2006 Beta 2

Whatsmore you don’t need to wait until midnight to pick it up either :).  As of now BizTalk Server 2006 Beta 2 is available at betaplace.  We haven’t updated ms.com yet (its coming) but the instructions are the same as the CTP.  This time around there is the main product CD and a separate Adapters CD.  Beta 2 had a strong quality bar (production beta for early adopters) so I think you are going to like it.


This week is Thanksgiving week.  I never really understood why American’s have their longest holiday of the year in the darkest time of the year – but then again coming from a country that celebrates X-mas on the beach with a cricket game what do you expect.


Did the ABs rock and roll on the weekend or what?  30 minutes of 14 men (ok 13 for like 30 secs) versus 15 english AND the referee and we still win :).  Btw I absolutely love www.mediazone.com its the best way to get the rugby.


On to the next milestone for BizTalk Server.  See you at the Vancouver (opps I mean Montreal) launch event on the 29th where I’ll be doing the keynote.


 

Configuring Windows SharePoint Services on 64 bit machines/OS

Configuring Windows SharePoint Services on 64 bit machines/OS

WSS with SP2 can run in 32-bit emulation mode on a 64-bit machine/OS but there are a few manual steps that need to be done in order to get that working.


Step 1 – First of all, set the IIS application pool to run as 32 bit. On 64 bit machines, SharePoint runs in 32-bit emulation mode. This means that you need to update IIS settings so that the IIS application pool processes run as 32 bit processes. One caveat here is that the setting that controls this applies to all application pool processes. This means that all IIS app pools will run either as 32 bit or as 64 bit but not both. To do that you will have to set the W3SVC/AppPools/Enable32bitAppOnWin64 metabase property to 1. For more details see KB article http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;895976


To do that run the following commands from the command prompt
    CScript “%SystemDrive%\InetPub\AdminScripts\adsutil.vbs” set w3svc/AppPools/Enable32bitAppOnWin64 1
    iisreset


Step 2 – Enable the ASP.NET extensions for the 32 bit ASP.NET version. To do that you will have to run the commands below from the “Visual Studio 2005 Command Prompt”.
    %SystemRoot%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\aspnet_regiis -i -enable
    iisreset


Make sure you run this command from the Framework folder and not from the Framework64 folder.


Step 3 – Install the slipstream version of WSS 2003 with SP2 (kit of WSS 2003 containing SP2 instead of kit of WSS 2003 and then separately apply SP2). If you don’t install the slipstream version of WSS 2003 with SP2, then I think you need to first install .Net Framework 1.1 as described by step 2 in http://support.microsoft.com/Default.aspx?id=905854.



Troubleshooting and fixing errors
I purposely reproed a few of the errors that I knew you could run into in order to see how these errors manifest themselves and how they can be fixed.


A) Windows SharePoint Services requires a more recent version of Microsoft ASP.Net. To install a more recent version, go to Add or Remove Programs, click Add/Remove Windows Components, click Application Server, click Details, and then select ASP.NET.


This error is raised by Windows SharePoint Services 2003 with SP1 setup when the .Net Framework 1.1 is not installed. This error is also raised when you have installed .Net Framework but it’s version 2.0. This error is not raised by Windows SharePoint Services 2003 with SP2 setup. Windows SharePoint Services 2003 with SP2 supports .Net Framework 2.0 and you are going to need it anyway if you want to run WSS on the 64 bit OS. So instead of installing WSS 2003 with SP1, you should download and install WSS 2003 with SP2 from here http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=B922B28D-806A-427B-A4C5-AB0F1AA0F7F9&displaylang=en.


The .Net Framework installation instructions from the error message do not apply to the 64 bit OS, so you will have to download and install the .Net Framework 2.0 from one of these 2 links
Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 Redistributable Package (x64) – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=B44A0000-ACF8-4FA1-AFFB-40E78D788B00&displaylang=en
Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 Redistributable Package (IA64) – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=53C2548B-BEC7-4AB4-8CBE-33E07CFC83A7&displaylang=en


B) Windows SharePoint Services requires a more recent version of Microsoft ASP.NET. Go to the Microsoft Web site at www.microsoft.com to download and install a more recent version.
This error is raised by Windows SharePoint Services with SP2 when one of the following is true
       1 – .Net Framework has not been installed on the machine. See bulet A) above on how to download and install .Net Framework.
       2 – .Net Framework has been installed but ASP.NET is not enabled. See step 2 above on how to enable ASP.NET
       3 – ASP.NET has been installed, but IIS application pools are running in 64 bit mode. See step 1 above on how to switch the app pools to 32 bit mode.


C) The Microsoft .Net Framework version 1.1.4322 must be installed before this package can be installed.
WSS 2003 with SP2 does not require .Net Framework 1.1 if 2.0 is installed but somehow I managed to get the machine in this state and after that I couldn’t remove or re-install SharePoint. No matter what I did, I got the same error message referring to .Net Framework 1.1.
If your machine is in this state you can remove SharePoint by temporarilly installing .Net Framework 1.1 from here http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=262D25E3-F589-4842-8157-034D1E7CF3A3&displaylang=en.
Then you can re-install and configure WSS 2003 with SP2 and only after that remove .Net Framework 1.1.


D) RpcProxy.dll failed to load
If you get the following 2 errors in the Application Event Log, then you need to uninstall/reinstall RPC Over HTTP Proxy. You will have to do that from Control Panel -> Add Remove Programs -> Add/Remove Windows Components -> Networking Services -> RPC Over HTTP Proxy


Event Type: Error
Event Source: W3SVC-WP
Event Category: None
Event ID: 2214
Date:  11/16/2005
Time:  12:58:23 PM
User:  N/A
Computer: MachineName
Description:
The HTTP Filter DLL C:\WINDOWS\System32\RpcProxy\RpcProxy.dll failed to load.  The data is the error.


For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
Data:
0000: 7e 00 00 00               ~…   


Event Type: Error
Event Source: W3SVC-WP
Event Category: None
Event ID: 2214
Date:  11/16/2005
Time:  12:58:23 PM
User:  N/A
Computer: MachineName
Description:
The HTTP Filter DLL C:\WINDOWS\System32\RpcProxy\RpcProxy.dll failed to load.  The data is the error.


For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
Data:
0000: 7e 00 00 00               ~…   


E) Could not load all ISAPI filters for site/service. Therefore startup aborted.
or
ISAPI Filter ‘path to filter’ could not be loaded due to a configuration problem. The current configuration only supports loading images built for a AMD64 processor architecture. The data field contains the error number. To learn more about this issue, including how to troubleshooting this kind of processor architecture mismatch error, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=29349.


You probably
    1 – skipped step 1)
    2 – you performed step 1) but then some other application has reverted the setting so that the IIS app pools run as 64 bit
    3 – you have 32 bit and 64 bit filters installed on the same machine in which case only one set of the filters will work


Installing SharePoint Portal Server 2003 SP2 on a Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition
For installing SharePoint Portal Server 2003 SP2 on a Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition see the following KB article http://support.microsoft.com/Default.aspx?id=905854

BlogCast Interview By Dag König

BlogCast Interview By Dag König

Hi,


One of my work colegues, Dag König, finally persuaded me to sit an interview for his blog. Dag is one of Sweden’s experts in all things SOA, Microsoft, and beta, and has been running one of the most popular developers blogs in Sweden for a couple of years.


Dag was, of course, interested in BizTalk 2006, and how it fits in with SOA and workflow Foundation. The blog is in Swedish, but we took the interview in English.


The interview is here.


Dag König’s Blog is here.