COVAST Map Accelerator for BizTalk Server

COVAST Map Accelerator for BizTalk Server

I am trying to gauge some interest from you all – as I want to get COVAST to run an updated webcast session for me on their product called the COVAST MAP Accelerator for BizTalk Server. This product allows customers who have existing investments in other EDI solutions to convert the maps to BizTalk. Here in Australia, I have a couple of customers that are looking at consolidating all of their EDI traffic into BizTalk (so migrating their Gentran maps for example). This accelerator is meant to speed up the process by migrating the maps to BizTalk for you! I have spoken to a couple of you, but if anyone else is interested, I’m looking at holding one asap. Email me at so I can gauge interest.

The documentation I have states at the moment: The list of integration systems and versions that can be converted using the Map Accelerator is growing and currently includes:

Sterling Gentran:Server for Unix
Sterling Gentran:Server and Gentran:Director (Pro) for Windows
Sterling Gentran:Basic for Mainframe
Axway AMTrix – all versions using Datamapper 3.0
webMethods Integration Server
TIE eVision – all versions using spEDI*map 2.0 or higher

My Response to Nat’s "Threads Considered Harmful" Post

My Response to Nat’s "Threads Considered Harmful" Post

I don’t normally do this but Nat’s post on Professor Edward A. Lee piece about The Problem With Threads drew a response from me straight away.

The comment I made on the post was never approved so I thought it was worth sharing here.

I Wrote…

In the summary of Professor Edward A. Lee paper – “he observes that threads remove determinism and open the door to subtle yet deadly bugs, and that while the problems were to some extent manageable on single core systems, threads on multicore systems will magnify the problems out of control. He suggests the only solution is to stop bolting parallelism onto languages and components–instead design new deterministically-composable components and languages.” Benjamin then takes this comparison to the biological world.

It urks me when people need to feel so in control all the time.

Without wanting to enter into a philosophical debate I think we should caution ourselves about jumping to conclusions about the dangers of parallelism.

The irony is that there is a social perception in our society that woman can multitask and men cannot. Since men are the dominate force behind inventing computer languages it is of no surprise there is an intrinsic fear of parallelism. People can only easily memorise 7+-2 things (or groups of things) so to try and debug and track multiple threads is not mean feat for an inexperience (or in some cases experienced) programmer.

I worked building threaded systems in code for many years. Many were overly complicated and bugs were introduced occasionally which were difficult for others to track, test and fix.

From here I moved to building workflow driven applications that operated as state machines. The state machines could adapt to dynamic rules and were much easier to visualise, log and debug.

I guess you could argue that a state machine is a “deterministically-composable component” but once situations evolve and layers and layers of complexity are added, sometimes to an individual running instance (special case) and sometimes to the workflow for a period of time or sometimes forever based on changing demands. Working with systems like this (as I’m sure many of you do) you will become acutely aware of the similarities between the programming models that we use and the natural world and all its beauty and complexity.

If you believe in determinism even at the macro level it should then be theoretically possible to predict the lotto numbers each week based on the kinetic and physical forces involved or maybe some things are just random and we should feel comfortable in treating them that way.

So what if the result was a little unpredictable even if a computer was performing the task… doesn’t the wisdom of crowds sort this one out for us overtime anyway? Think about a computer farm of complex parallel processing running at 80% or 90% accuracy. Surely you could discount the difference as an “incorrect response” or better yet learn from the ambiguity.

In fact (if you believe in free will) maybe the subtle yet deadly bugs that professor Edward Lee is talking about are the spark that will create human like flaws in our inventions moving forward… meet pleo anyone?

What are your thoughts?

Tags:  languages parallel programming threads

The Wow Starts Now! Vista & Office Launches in New Zealand

The Wow Starts Now! Vista & Office Launches in New Zealand

Well after a hour of editing I am pretty sure that I am about to release the first video in the world of the Windows Vista Launch. Unfortunately I haven’t got any music in there as I don’t want to get sued 😉

It’s your now on youtube… thanks everyone that came along tonight!

Including you carlos (or should I say Mss Vista 😉


Tags: The Wow Starts Now, Windows Vista, Vista, Office, Launch, Midnight Madness , Microsoft , Auckand , New Zealand

GA Vista Launch!

GA Vista Launch!

Wow… what a ride!

Darryl and I have been humming and we got there with some kick ass sidebar gadgets for NZ!

Thanks to everyone involved.

If you have Vista try them for yourself if not watch this little video I just put together!


Coverage so far today…

Peter Griffen – Breakfast

Brent Colbert, Mauricio Freitas – 3 News

Brett Roberts, Mark Bishop, Rob O’Neill – Close Up

And Tomorrow…

Keep your eyes on Campbell Live, they cover the New York Launch, have an exclusive look at the digital home in Wellington and interview my friends at Right Hemisphere on the exiting new Vista versions of their products.

Right Now I’m off to midnight madness…

Segment Terminators in the HIPAA and EDI adapter configuration

Segment Terminators in the HIPAA and EDI adapter configuration

A recent question was asked me as follows:

How to change the Segment Terminator in the HIPAA 837 schema to ’~’ (tilt)? I think in my schema currently I have CF/LF. I need to change that to ’~’. Currently my output comes like this.

ISA*00* *00* *ZZ*1234567 *ZZ*7654321 *070129*1247*U*00401*000010247*0*P*>


I need the output like the following

ISA*00* *00* *ZZ*1234567 *ZZ*7654321 *070129*1247*U*00401*000010247*0*P*:~GS*HC*1234567*7654321*20070129*124745*10247*X*004010X098A1

This is actually not set in the schema, but in the port configuration, when you set up the send port you specify a wrap segments, along with the original segment terminator

In this case you want to have Wrap Segments set to No, which will not put a CR/LF after the segment terminator.

After you make the change the setting here, you need to restart either the HIPAA service or the EDI service.