A New Blog is Born: Windows Server AppFabric Customer Advisory Team

Microsoft’s Windows Server AppFabric Customer Advisory Team ( CAT) has launched a new blog focused on AppFabric (both Windows Server AppFabric and Azure AppFabric), WCF, WF, BizTalk, data modeling and StreamInsight. You can find the blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/appfabriccat/.

If you read my blog, then these are technologies that will be of interest to you, and this promises to be a good source of information.

Thanks to the CAT team for putting this together!

Managing your BizTalk Environment using SCOM

Managing your BizTalk Environment using SCOM

I recently had the opportunity to speak at the Swedish BizTalk user group in Stockholm. It was an excellent opportunity to present to one of the top BizTalk user groups worldwide. My presentation consisted of slide ware, a tour of the SCOM 2007 R2 console and several BizTalk/SCOM demos using BizTalk 2010 beta and the BizTalk 2010 Management Pack beta. You may find the presentation below.

TechEd 2010: Mastering Microsoft Integration Solutions

TechEd 2010: Mastering Microsoft Integration Solutions

Integration - Course Agenda

Well as TechEd 2010 draws to a close this year in Australia, I had a great time getting
away from it all and certainly experiencing a couple of firsts. For me this was one
of the better TechEd’s I had been to – the sessions were a little light on, but the
labs + exams made up for that big time.

So Scotty and
I developed an Integration Pre Conference Training Session aimed
at working out which MS Integration technology to run where – unscrambling the mess.
We got a great turn out for the training in terms of numbers – we beat SharePoint
2010 dev + admin!!! 🙂

For all of you whom I had the pleasure of training this week – well done! I hope you
enjoyed it and it was great sharing that time with you. The sun, sand, BizTalk and
Azurewhat could be better?? 🙂

As promised – here are the slides from those two days.


Keep smiling,


Do you know the Microsoft Customer Advisory Teams? You should.

Do you know the Microsoft Customer Advisory Teams? You should.

For those who live and work with Microsoft application platform technologies, the Microsoft Customer Advisory Teams (CAT) are a great source of real-world info about products and technology. These are the small, expert-level teams whose sole job is to make sure customers are successful with Microsoft technology. Last month I had the pleasure of presenting […]

See you at Rules Fest

See you at Rules Fest

Rules Fest 2010

I’ve been taking quite a prolonged break from blogging, partly because my attention has been elsewhere. Writing several chapters for BizTalk Server 2010 Unleashed (due to be published towards the end of the year) has taken up a lot of time. I’m also involved in helping or organise Rules Fest 2010. And then there is the day job,…and four kids,…and two cats,…and management of a local youth club,…and organising my wife’s 50th, etc., etc. Anyway, this is an unashamed plug for the conference.

Rules Fest, (previously October Rules Fest) is in its third year, and has switched venue from Dallas to San Jose in the heart of Silicon Valley. It aims, simply, to be three days to solid wall-to-wall technical content for everything to do with rules, reasoning and inference. We aim the conference at the development community, although there is plenty of content for solution and enterprise architects, decision makers, etc. However, we are all about fostering and nurturing the real-world application of rules-based technologies by technical practitioners.

In previous years, we heard a fair amount about the implementation or rule engines. We realised that, appealing as this is to some, most of us are not involved in building rule engines and constraint handlers. We want to concentrate more on practical application of rules to real-world problems. However, Rules Fest continues to attract some of the best known names in the industry, including people who have been at the forefront of designing and implementing core rules technology for many years. Come, mingle with the stars.

This year, we have Professor John Laird as our keynote speaker. John is at the forefront of research into machine cognition. We are unashamedly geeks, and what he does is really exciting. After a foray into AI, we come down to earth with a range of presentations that should appeal to a wide audience. There is plenty on real-world knowledge engineering, design and implementation of rules-based systems, the impact of new standards such as W3C RIF, complex event processing, software development practices and methodology and a number of interesting case studies. Our speakers are experienced practitioners and experts with lots of wisdom to impart. If you are involved in rule-based development, or considering the impact of rules on your company or career, this is the conference for you.

The main part of the conference takes place between Monday 11th to Wednesday 13th October. Stick around for Thursday 14th. This is ‘bootcamp’ day with practical sessions for developers using a variety of mainstream technologies. The web site has more details.

For BizTalk readers, why not consider attending? This is a industry-wide conference that draws from a much wider world than some of us normally inhabit (shame on us). There is a lot to learn. If you are a BizTalk developer with a focus or interest in rules development, and want to attend, book on the web site, but also let me know via this site. If there is enough call for it, I could easily be persuaded to organise a bootcamp just for you!

Oh, and the conference venue is gorgeous, apparently. Don’t tell your boss.

The web site is at http://rulesfest.org.
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Work for the Best  Pity the Rest

Work for the Best Pity the Rest

Do you work for a company that truly, I mean truly, values technical leadership and skills?  Do they value your abilities to communicate with non-IT staff?  Do they encourage you to get involved in the community through a bonus compensation plan that includes things as simple as attending a local user group?  No?  Then perhaps its time to Improve your outlook

Improving Logo

Improving Enterprises, my employer since March of 2009, is just such and employer.  Improving has to be doing something right, after all we’ve just been named to the Inc. 500/5000 list, placing us at #210 in the nation, but number #10 fastest growing company in Dallas, and #18 in IT Services nationwide.  And this is our second year on that list.


Now why am I telling you all of this?  Is it just to brag about how great my life at Improving is?  To rub in your face that I get to work for a company with 4 Microsoft MVPs on staff?  No, none of that

It’s because we’re hiring and in a big way!

How big?  We’ve got over 20 positions open at the current time.  Are we just looking for rock stars?  Not at all we’ve got positions available at Consultant, Senior Consultant, and Principal Consultant available.  Consultants are generally people just out of school, or with a year or two of experience, and it goes up from there.

Why should you work for us?

For me, it is just this simple : I like to be challenged at work, I want to feel that my co-workers are challenging me to expand my horizons.  I’ve felt that way every day since I started at Improving.

Other perks?  How about an annual company retreat to Vegas.  A bonus plan.  And an incredible work environment.

CALL TO ACTION – It’s time to work for the best, and pity the rest if you’re interested in working for an incredible organization like Improving, then drop me an email with your resume to Tim@TimRayburn.net and we’ll get you started along the process.