Next Melbourne BizTalk User Group Meeting – Tuesday 2nd December 2008

We will be holding the next Melbourne BizTalk User Group Meeting onTuesday 2nd December 2008 at 5:30pm

The venue and sponsor for the meeting will beStargate Group at Level 3, 600 Victoria Street, Richmond

The topics will be:

Bill Chesnut from Stargate Group ( will do a presentation on “1st Look at BizTalk Server 2009”

Bill Chesnut from Stargate Group ( will do a presentation on “PDC Recap – Windows Azure & Dublin”

Please note we are starting the meeting at 5:30pm and there will befood anddrinks supplied

Please rsvp for if you plan on attending the meeting.

I have renamed Windows Azure to Windows "Light Blue"

Today while setting down at the ISV Innovation Day at Microsoft in Melbourne and looking at the agenda, I thought about all the technology around Windows Azure and what it really means to developers.

Since returning from the US I having spent the last couple of weeks since PDC digesting the Windows Azure announcement and talk to other developers about Windows Azure, the most asked question so far is “how do you pronounce Azure?”.

So I think from now on I am going to start calling Windows Azure, Windows “Light Blue”, so that the questions about it can concentrate on the neat technology in it and not what it is called.

Over the Christmas holidays I am going to go through all the webcasts and PDC videos and try to collect all the different pronunciations of Windows Azure to prove my point, so stay tuned.

BTSUG – Nov26th, BizTalk ‘Cloud Services’- BizTalk in the Cloud.

BTSUG – Nov26th, BizTalk ‘Cloud Services’- BizTalk in the Cloud.

BizTalk ’Cloud’ Services – BizTalk in the Cloud
With recent developments and BizTalk 2009 on the horizon, I thought we’d look
at just what all these ’cloud services’ mean and understand the term ’cloud computing’

What’s cooking this month for the group?
This month we have Scott
Scovell (BizTalk Virtual TS)
presenting on a very exciting new shift in computing
Microsoft Azure Cloud Services.

You might be thinking – “What does this do for me?”

Well….(far too much for me dictate here)…but imagine if you can:

–       Connect seamlessly between clients and yourself
(including firewalls etc)

–       Switch and deploy in house processes dynamically
to ’the cloud’

–       Point to Point and Multicast messaging in the
cloud between clients + server processes (i.e. similar to BTS filter messaging)

–       Push Workflows up in to the cloud….moving
off premises and take advantage of the Cloud’s computing power.

Alot of all this is based on the WCF Framework – you can start taking advantage
of this today!

For e.g. in BTS (R2 or 2009), you can create a ’httpContextRelayBinding’ bound Receive
Location, and you’ve now got an endpoint that can be called from anywhere (security
permitting), from client’s networks and your own.

There’s a huge amounts of smarts around all of this, but I look at them in the light
that alot of ISPs offer Virtual Hosting – “Here’s a box and do what you will with
it”. You’re then responsible for O/S, Web Setup, maybe DNS, etc etc etc.
In the Cloud – MS give a very granular degree of control by electing
WCF Services, Workflows, Endpoints, Security, ServiceBus etc etc – that we can dedicate
1 or 100 CPUs to (at ’the flick of a switch’). Redundancy, fault tolerance and even
Geographic redundancy (e.g. engage some nodes in Greenland to run your apps – maybe
closer to your clients)

Main Event on the night:
Utilising Microsoft Azure from BizTalk 2006 R2 (+ beyond)

Scott will cover:

1.      Building blocks of Azure Cloud Computing.

2.      Getting Started with Azure

3.      BizTalk talking to the Cloud

4.      Lots of demos!

Meeting details:

When: Nov 26, Food at 6pm, kick off 6.30pm. Finish up around 8.30pm.
Where: Microsoft
1 Epping Road
Riverside Corporate Park
North Ryde NSW 2113 Australia.
(parking available)
Speaker: Scott Scovell

What’s happening in the BizTalk Community:
The combined user group leaders & I are setting up a Shared Folder in the
’Mesh’, where we’ll be holding all the presentations across the User Groups (&
other files). I’ll let you know when our testing is done.

(BTW – this lets you have a local folder on your machine that automatically gets synced
up to the ’Mesh’. Easy peasy…I’m hoping)
Share the User Group Soap Box:
I always welcome a new voice and ideas at our group – if you want to share
your experiences, thoughts, “I wish I can do….. for my solution…”. Then contact
me and I’ll be more than happy to slot you in.
Q. Do you need to have presentation skills: No (just look at me) – can you
tell a story in the office or at the pub? Or at a 3 yr old party? – then I want
Q. Do I need a PowerPoint Slide Deck? – no!!! *death by powerpoint*
is a painful way to go……
Q. Can you capture my ’best’ side? We take you whichever way you are. J

We’re up for a great night – come along and learn how to make your BizTalk
solutions go a long way.

See you there and let me know your coming

Mick (mb: 0404 842 833)

Documentation for functoids

Documentation for functoids

Hi all

As you have probably read in my previous posts this month, I have started creating
a functoid library, which is freely downloadable if you want to. Now, I have also
written some documentation for it (Wauv, I know…). So go to for
the software, and here you can find a link to which
contains the documentation for the downloadable software.


jQuery Intellisense in VS 2008

jQuery Intellisense in VS 2008

Last month I blogged about how Microsoft is extending support for jQuery.  Over the last few weeks we’ve been working with the jQuery team to add great jQuery intellisense support within Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Web Developer 2008 Express (which is free).  This is now available to download and use.

Steps to Enable jQuery Intellisense in VS 2008

To enable intellisense completion for jQuery within VS you’ll want to follow three steps:

Step 1: Install VS 2008 SP1

VS 2008 SP1 adds richer JavaScript intellisense support to Visual Studio, and adds code completion support for a broad range of JavaScript libraries.

You can download VS 2008 SP1 and Visual Web Developer 2008 Express SP1 here.

Step 2: Install VS 2008 Patch KB958502 to Support "-vsdoc.js" Intellisense Files

Two weeks ago we shipped a patch that you can apply to VS 2008 SP1 and VWD 2008 Express SP1 that causes Visual Studio to check for the presence of an optional "-vsdoc.js" file when a JavaScript library is referenced, and if present to use this to drive the JavaScript intellisense engine.

These annotated "-vsdoc.js" files can include XML comments that provide help documentation for JavaScript methods, as well as additional code intellisense hints for dynamic JavaScript signatures that cannot automatically be inferred.  You can learn more about this patch here.  You can download it for free here.

Step 3: Download the jQuery-vsdoc.js file

We’ve worked with the jQuery team to put together a jQuery-vsdoc.js file that provides help comments and support for JavaScript intellisense on chained jQuery selector methods.  You can download both jQuery and the jQuery-vsdoc file from the official download page on the site:

Save the jquery-vsdoc.js file next to your jquery.js file in your project (and make sure its naming prefix matches the jquery file name):

You can then reference the standard jquery file with an html <script/> element like so:

Or alternatively reference it using the <asp:scriptmanager/> control, or by adding a /// <reference/> comment at the top of a standalone .js file. 

When you do this VS will now look for a -vsdoc.js file in the same directory as the script file you are referencing, and if found will use it for help and intellisense.  The annotated

For example, we could use jQuery to make a JSON based get request, and get intellisense for the method (hanging off of $.):

As well as help/intellisense for the $.getJSON() method’s parameters:


The intellisense will continue to work if you nest a callback function within the method call.  For example, we might want to iterate over each JSON object returned from the server:

And for each of the items we could execute another nested callback function:

We could use the each callback function to dynamically append a new image to a list (the image src attribute will point to the URL of the returned JSON media image):

And on each dynamically created image we could wire-up a click event handler so that when it is pressed it will disappear via an animation:

Notice how the jQuery intellisense works cleanly at each level of our code. 

JavaScript Intellisense Tips and Tricks

Jeff King from the Web Tools team wrote up a great post earlier this week that answers a number of common questions about how JavaScript intellisense works with VS 2008.  I highly recommend reading it.

One trick he talks about which I’ll show here is a technique you can use when you want to have JavaScript intellisense work within user-controls/partials (.ascx files).  Often you don’t want to include a JavaScript library <script src=""/> reference  within these files, and instead have this live on the master page or content page the user control is used within.  The problem of course when you do this is that by default VS has no way of knowing that this script is available within the user control – and so won’t provide intellisense of it for you.

One way you can enable this is by adding the <script src=""/> element to your user control, but then surround it with a server-side <% if %> block that always evaluates to false at runtime:

At runtime ASP.NET will never render this script tag (since it is wrapped in an if block that is always false).  However, VS will evaluate the <script/> tag and provide intellisense for it within the user-control.  A useful technique to use for scenarios like the user control one.  Jeff has even more details in his FAQ post as well as his original jQuery intellisense post.  Rick Strahl also has a good post about using jQuery intellisense here.

More Information

To learn more about jQuery, I recommend watching Stephen Walther’s ASP.NET and jQuery PDC talk. Click here to download his code samples and powerpoint presentation.

Rick Strahl also has a really nice Introduction to jQuery article that talks about using jQuery with ASP.NET.  Karl Seguin has two nice jQuery primer posts here and here that provide shorter overviews of some of the basics of how to use jQuery. 

I also highly recommend the jQuery in Action book.

Hope this helps,


Screencast: Creating activities in Windows Workflow Foundation

Screencast: Creating activities in Windows Workflow Foundation

My latest screencast in the Windows WF developer screencast series has been loaded up as of last week.  In this session, I discuss the basics of creating custom leaf activities including how to use Dependency Properties to make your properties bindable.    

Endpoint Screencasts – Creating custom activities in Windows Workflow Foundation (WF)




Previous screencasts in this series can be found on the screencast section of the Pluralsight website. You will also find short screen casts on other technologies both current (e.g. WCF) and future ("Oslo") on this page.

Screencast: Using the WCF Send activity in Windows Workflow Foundation

Screencast: Using the WCF Send activity in Windows Workflow Foundation

My latest screencast in the Windows WF developer screencast series has been loaded up as of last week.  In this session, I discuss the basics of using the Send activity to consume a service from a workflow using WCF.    I extend the workflow created in the previous screencast to consume a service that authorizes credit cards. 


Endpoint Screencasts – Using the WCF Send Activity in Windows Workflow Foundation (WF)




Previous screencasts in this series can be found on the screencast section of the Pluralsight website. You will also find short screen casts on other technologies both current (e.g. WCF) and future ("Oslo") on this page. 

Twin Cities .NET User Group – A lap around Microsoft .NET Services

Twin Cities .NET User Group – A lap around Microsoft .NET Services

I'm happy to be giving a talk at the upcoming Twin Cities .NET User Group on December 4 at the Microsoft office.  I'll be talking about the Microsoft .NET Services component within the newly announced Azure Services Platform.  I'm going to cover the Service Bus, Workflow Service and Access Control Service.  We'll have several demos and I'll be providing all the code.  Stop by if you want an early look at this emerging technology. 

MSDN Developer Conference – Jan 13 in Minneapolis

MSDN Developer Conference – Jan 13 in Minneapolis

For those of you in the Twin Cities area that missed the PDC, don't fret, we've got the highlights for you.  The MSDN Developer Conference is coming to Minneapolis on Jan 13 with a full day of Azure, WPF/Silverlight, and coverage of "Oslo" and VS 2010.  I'll be talking on one of my favorite new technologies, ADO.NET Data Services and SQL Data Services (SDS) at the end of the day.  Lots of great content; sign up and come join us!


If you are not in the Twin Cities area, check the web site for other locations around the US.