How to resolve error: Unable to resolve Contentdistributor with FAST Search for SharePoint 2010

Issue Description
During part of the setup process, you secure SSL communications between the SharePoint server and the fast server by running the SecureFASTSearchConnector.ps1 script.  You supply the certPath, the username of the user running the OSearch14 service, and the name of the FAST Content SSA.
In my case, it was an account called SP Farm.  […]
Blog Post by: Michael Gerety

MSDN Articles on configuring SharePoint search for External Content Types (BCS)

We’ve been doing some work for multiple clients using FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 and indexing content surfaced using SharePoint’s Business Connectivity Services (BCS) and External Content Types (ECTs).
I recently was looking for how to do incremental searches on External data and found these 2 MSDN articles that are extremely detailed and informative on the […]
Blog Post by: Michael Gerety

Interview Series: Four Questions With  Martijn Linssen

Interview Series: Four Questions With Martijn Linssen

Welcome to the 40th interview in my series of chats with thought leaders in the integration space. I decided to reach outside the Microsoft-oriented pool that I usually dip into for interview victims, and Martijn was up for the task. Martijn Linssen is an independent enterprise integration expert, regular blogger, frequent contributor to the popular […]
Blog Post by: Richard Seroter

WP7: Touch Develop

Can you imagine developing Apps on your WP7 phone? I couldn’t even begin to contemplate
anything of the sort until I saw Touch Develop!!



is a novel software development environment that lets users write programs for Windows
Phone directly on the smartphone, no PC required. TouchDevelop can be used in the
classroom to teach programming concepts, and TouchDevelop is also ideal for classes
on Mobile Computing, as it cuts the time required to write apps.

phone loan program

To help students
gain access to this revolutionary new programming language and environment, we have
set up a loan program, from which you can get Windows Phones for a semester. Please
send a short proposal to
Give the name of the instructor, the class website, the number of students, and how
the phones will be used.


Visit TouchDevelop
teaching page
Microsoft Research for a list of how TouchDevelop has been used and is being used
in classrooms.

for educators

  • book
    currently available for free online; systematic introduction to all basic concepts
  • slides
    many slides decks going through all aspects of mobile app development with TouchDevelop
  • learn
    more documents, videos
the classroom

Teachers and
students should work with actual Windows Phones devices in the classroom – the TouchDevelop
user interface was designed around the idea of only using a touchscreen to write code
and performing gestures to navigate; using TouchDevelop on an emulator doesn’t provide
the intended experience. When teaching in the classroom, you can use a webcam or desktop
visualizers to project the image of the phone on a big screen. As a teacher, consider
subscribing to
your students to see what they are publishing and if they are asking questions

Blog Post by: Mick Badran

WCF REST Error Handler

I’ve put up on GitHub a sample WCF error handler for REST services, which returns proper HTTP status codes in response to service errors.

The code is very simple – a ServiceBehavior implementation which can be specified in config to tag the RestErrorHandler to a service. Any uncaught exceptions will be routed to the error handler, which sets the HTTP status code and description in the response, based on the type of exception.

The sample defines a ClientException which can be thrown in code to indicate a problem with the client’s request, and the response will be a status 400 with a friendly error message:

throw new ClientException(“Invalid userId. Must be provided as a positive integer”);

– responds:

Request URL



Status Code: 400, Description: Invalid userId. Must be provided as a positive integer

Any other uncaught exceptions are hidden from the client. The full details are logged with a GUID to identify the error, and the response to the client is a status 500 with a generic message giving them the GUID to follow up on:

var iUserId = 0;

var dbz = 1 / iUserId;

– logs the divide-by-zero error and responds:

Request URL



Status Code: 500, Description: Something has gone wrong. Please contact our support team with helpdesk ID: C9C5A968-4AEA-48C7-B90A-DEC986F80DA5

The sample demonstrates two techniques for building the response. For client exceptions, a friendly HTML response is sent in the body as well as the status code and description. Personally I prefer not to do that – it doesn’t make sense to get a 400 error and find text/html when you’re expecting application/json, but it’s easy to do if that’s the functionality you want. The other option is to send an empty response, which the sample does with server exceptions.

The obvious extension is to have multiple exceptions representing all the status codes you want to provide, then your code is as simple as throwing the relevant exception – UnauthorizedException, ForbiddenExeption, NotImplementedException etc – anywhere in the stack, and it will be handled nicely.

BizTalk Community series: Introducing Oliver Hauth

Recently I had a conversation through email with Oliver Hauth, the person who as a BizTalk community member I like to bring to the foreground in this blog post. He has been awarded Microsoft Valuable Professional little over a year ago. I met Oliver in Berlin during the TechEd Europe 2010 and we’ll probably meet again during the upcoming TechEd Europe 2012 in Amsterdam. He is a passionate IT professional, BizTalk forum member and fun guy to hang out with. Here is his story.

Oliver is 32 years old and lives in Germany. He is married and with his wife has a two year old daughter. They are expecting their second child in September. He is the team coordinator and lead architect, responsible for the area of Business Process Integration and Workflow Solutions at MAN Diesel & Turbo SE. His job covers mostly BizTalk Server, SharePoint and Nintex Workflow, SQL Server Reporting Services, SQL Server Integration Services and Forefront Identity Management.

Oliver was introduced to BizTalk Server at MAN Diesel & Turbo SE a few years ago. He started as a lightweight developer, trying to understand the system. From that moment he started focusing more to be a landscape and solution architect for distributed applications and cloud solutions in general. One of his key skills is finding the BizTalk based solution for the more complex scenarios (dynamic routing, property / content based routing , multi-part messages, filter criteria).

Oliver’s view of BizTalk is and I quote:

“The biggest advantage of BizTalk server is the great tooling and monitoring toolkit. It delivers the stable basis we need for our daily work in the enterprise as well as the flexibility to connect to a wide range of systems. With the newer versions and the enhancements of WCF adapters and Azure bindings it integrates much better in the new .NET world and is shows that it’s built to integrate with current cloud solutions. Furthermore it’s fun to develop. When starting with BizTalk you do not really understand how the tool works, but once you’re into it you can impress a lot of people with how quickly and flexible you can build integration processes.”

Oliver spends most of his time with his family; trying to spend at least the evening with his daughter and wife. Besides that he has just started building their new house, which will consume a lot of time during the next 12 months. The remaining (few) hours he normally uses to have a look at new technologies, listen to music (from what he saw at Facebook we have a very similar taste) or play some video games. From time to time Oliver reads a non-technical book (mostly when he’s on holiday).

Oliver started doing some Wing-Tsung with two colleagues. Furthermore he likes watching NFL / Football games if  he can find a German TV channel showing these games (not very popular here). He also plans to reactivate his skiing activity in the future – if he can find the time to do so.

Oliver’s final quote:

“Keep reading this blog – Steef-Jan is doing an amazing job. Also keep in mind: BizTalk’s not dead. Have a look at Azure and AppFabric but do not give up BizTalk too early. It’s still one of the strongest tools on the market.
Especially to your German readers: If you use BizTalk please start participating in the community, we need you!”

I like to thank Oliver for his contributions to the BizTalk community and time to have a chat with me.I will probably meet him again in June during TechEd Europe.

New Metadata Discovery Features in SQL Server 2012

It has always been possible to interrogate SQL Server for metadata (schema) information. You can easily discover all the objects in a database (tables, views, stored procedures, and so on) and their types by directly querying system tables (not recommended, as they can change from one version of SQL Server to another) or information schema […]
Blog Post by: Lenni Lobel

MsgBoxViewer 12 is available !

MsgBoxViewer 12 is available !

Hello BizTalk community !


long time I did not write a post on my MBV blog and update the tool ! I was indeed quite busy in my new role helping SharePoint developers but I always kept an eye on the BizTalk business and maintained strong relationships inside MS with BizTalk Support and Field/Consultants engineers.

Some of them reported me some MBV warnings about SQL versions which were not anymore accurate because of new SQL updates.
I also found myself  the need to update rules checking the Cumulative Upates presence for BizTalk itself, BizTalk Adapter Pack, or HIS layer. 
Finally, I received also requests to reduce some latency when opening large MBV report files in IE.

I decided so to work on a new major MBV version, implementing first a mechanism to generate multiple output files, updating its repository (rules and queries), its warning event mechanism , and finally fixing an issue with the MBV MMC Snapin :

1) This new version provides now a global option (in MBV GUI)  allowing to split the output report into sub-reports file and using frames for .HTML files; that option is disabled by default  to keep generating a single report file (like in previous MBV versions).
When that option is enabled , MBV will create a sub-folder for each new collect with the current date/time as name and will generate in that folder several .HTML files (also  .TXT  and .XML if you selected to also produce them).
Each .HTML file corresponds to a section of a single MBV report and they will be loaded in the MAINPAGE.HTML containing 4 frames :

– top left frame to diplay a list of main sub-reports to load in the top right frame
– top right frame which can change depending of which sub-report you selected in the top left frame
– bottom left frame to diplay the query categories list to load in the bottom right frame
– bottom right frame which will contain all the time the queries report.

By default  I display in the top right frame the Warnings sub-report and when we click in a warning to be redirected to a query report, I just expand the corresponding query in the bottom right rame so it is a very fast link and make the analyze more comfortable.
A text status file containing all the collect activity and the errors met.will also be generated in the sub-folder.
Console version of MBV, MBVConsole.exe,  provides now two options, /MRF and /SRF to produce either Multiple Report Files or a Single Report File.
If you need so to generate multiple output files and analyze the output using the frame-based page, just set the global option “Generate Multiple Files” to True in MBV GUI or use MBVConsole with the option /MRF   (Multiple Report File)

2) As requested by a major customer using MBV to monitor their BizTalk group, I updated the MBV rule engine to implement Event IDs for each warning generated as an event.
MBV provides indeed a global option (in its GUI version) to generate Application events for its warnings, but until now all the events generated had 0 as ID value; this MBV update will generate now for each warning raised a unique ID with a base event ID range that you can choose in the GUI version of MBV.

3) Finally I fixed an important issue occuring with the MBV MMC Snapin.
I recall that MBV MMC is an MMC snapin to start the BizTalk “MsgBoxViewer” tool from an MMC console and display directly inside the console the generated reports with their different sections.
MBVMMC would allow for example a BizTalk administrator to have his own custom MMC console (.MSC) integrating both the BizTalk Snap-in and the MBV one.
If yoo look indeed at the file behind the BizTalk Administration console, you can see that it is an .msc file  containing both the Microsoft BizTalk Server MMC Snap-in and the Event Viewer one, so if you add in a same .msc both the Biztalk MMC snapin and the MBV one and save the MMC into the existing file “BTSmmc.msc” in the BizTalk install folder, you will see the MBV MMC in the BizTalk Admin console 😉


This is below so a summary of the main changes made in that MBV version :

–  Possibility now to generate multiple output file and display the reports in a frame-based maain page
–  Updated the BizTalk CUs rule
–  Updated the BizTalk BAP CUs rule
–  Added  rukes to check for  HIS kinstalltion and HIS Cumulative Updates
–  Added more  KB rules in the events query (select the ”Max Events..”  query to see all its rules)
–  The “Max events.. »  query targets now ALL the BTS in the group and not only the  server where MBV is running
–  The “Network drivers »  query targets now also the BTS servers
–  Added a query to get the operation history of BAM
–  Added a rule checking for the failure of the BizTalk monitor job and suggesting to install CU 1 if not installed
–  Updated the query to get versions of important dlls to get version of MQSeries, mqagent2, mqac.sys, etc…
–  Adding two optional queries (in the “BT DBs Details” category)  to get DTA tracking info per orch and per port
–  Generate now a unique ID for each rule raising a warning in the Event log
–  MBV MMC Snapin was fixed


 you can find this new version here :


Even if BizTalk is not anymore my core business, I want to continue updating the tool at least to follow the CUs update cycle and adding some critical rules when needed

As usual, feel free to report me your feedbacks or submit any issues or questions you could have about MBV

Thanks !



Jean-Pierre Auconie
EMEA SharePoint Development Escalation Engineer
Former EMEA BizTalk Technical lead &  BizTalk Escalation Engineer

Blog Post by: JPAuc