BizTalk Server: Transform text files (Flat Files) into XML – Necessary tools and artifacts (Part 2)

BizTalk Server: Transform text files (Flat Files) into XML – Necessary tools and artifacts (Part 2)

Necessary tools and artifacts As mentioned earlier, to solve this problem – BizTalk Server: Transform text files (Flat Files) into XML – we must create at least two artifacts: Flat File Schema: withall the necessary information embedded in the form of annotations in XML Schema (XSD), such as the delimiter symbols, or the element size […]
Blog Post by: Sandro Pereira

BizTalk communication with Linux and other nix platforms!

Mikael Sand and Gareth Kavanagh had an intresting chat on twitter which ended up here,this is an interesting topic. You have a ton of *nix based operation system, Linux, FreeBSD, RedHat etc. But how would these operating systems communicate easy with BizTalk? (this is dedicated to receiving since this is not an issue on sending)
Blog Post by: Tord Glad Nordahl

BizTalk Server: Transform text files (Flat Files) into XML-Introduction (Part 1)

BizTalk Server: Transform text files (Flat Files) into XML-Introduction (Part 1)

Introduction Transformations are one of the most common components in the integration processes. They act as essential translators in the decoupling between the different systems to connect. This article aims to help you understand the process of transforming a text file (also called Flat Files) in an XML document using BizTalk Server Flat File Schemas. […]
Blog Post by: Sandro Pereira

Microsoft Windows Server AppFabric Cookbook-a review

The short, short version: A very good book arriving very late. If you have an implementation that uses Windows Server AppFabric (or AppFabric for short) then there is no reason what so ever for not getting this book. A definite 5 star!


Anyone remember the days when we called it Dublin and was afraid that Microsoft would topple out whole livelihood? Well I do and remember embracing it.

No matter how you look at it AppFabric is a good product and it is free, as in no charge. I cannot really understand why it did not take-off as it should have. Maybe it just got lost in all the Azure hype.

The book

I would like to state that this book would really have improved the chances of it being used in enterprise applications. The book is just that good. but late. I wish I had this book in 2010 when I was trying to implement AppFabric and make it work like a “light and free version of BizTalk”. Others, like Jon Flanders and the ever working Ron Jacobs.

The book is following the, now established, pattern of the cookbook series from Packt Publishing; a short introduction, a description on how to do something and the a “how it works”. Sometimes they add a “there’s more”. I like this pattern a lot , however as I have pointed out before, you loose some overall continuity and each recipe can be a bit isolated.

The writing is very good and as always I feel that the authors are really knowledgeable about the subject and that they have worked hard to keep it simple. A definite plus in my opinion.

The book convers

Installing Windows Server AppFabric
Getting Started with AppFabric Caching
Windows Server AppFabric Caching – Advanced Use Cases
Windows Server AppFabric Hosting Fundamentals
More Windows Server AppFabric Hosting Features
Utilizing AppFabric Persistence
Monitoring Windows Server AppFabric Deployment
Scaling AppFabric Hosting, Monitoring, and Persistence
Configuring Windows Server AppFabric Security

They pretty much cover everything even if you should really know something about WCF and WF to really have use for this book, but if you are looking for a way to host your WCF and WF-services I think you already do.

In conclusion

This book is very good if you already have some application(s) running on AppFabric or if you are considering hosting some existing services on AppFabric. If you do not then this book is of no use. To me it is a nostalgic trip on a very good product that I never got to use.

Once again: If you want to use, or have, AppFabric: Buy this book. It is better that the only other existing book.

About the authors

Hammad Rajjoub
Works at Microsoft and can be found here, and on Twitter.

Rick G. Garibay
Works at Neudesic and can be found here, and on Twitter.

Blog Post by: Mikael Sand

SQL Fragmentation explained

Found an interesting article on fragmentation in SQL.

It explains the two types of fragmentation that can occur, namely internal and external fragmentation.
Internal fragmentation means that the pages are not completely full. While external fragmentation refers to the lack of correlation between the logical sequence of an index and its physical sequence.

For more details I’ll refer to this excellent blog post.

Source: Stairway to SQL Server Indexes: Level 11, Index Fragmentation – SQLServerCentral

LoadGen and WCF-NetMsmq : ’CommunicationObjectFaultedException’ Communication in a faulted state

LoadGen and WCF-NetMsmq : ’CommunicationObjectFaultedException’ Communication in a faulted state

I was doing some load testing from my laptop against a BizTalk application on a remote server, using LoadGen 2007 to generate XML messages that would be sent to a WCF service with WCF-NetMsmq binding hosted in a BizTalk receive location. After a few heavy tests I ran into an out of memory exception, and […]
Blog Post by: Johann

To Integrate or to Integrate Badly





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When someone
chooses to integrate there is always the wrong way and the right way to go
about this. Just because you chose to integrate does not mean you did a
fantastic job about it.
One such
example I came across recently was a nameless organisation decided to integrate
their systems, they provided a very good level of integration and it was all
working fine, then they got over zealous, a contractor they hired thought hey I
can do integration also, the company not knowing any wiser said ok sure let’s
do it. 
integration was a simple one, I’d like to change my surname, and it should
update all the systems, because I am married now and have taken my husband’s
name by choice. 
The old way
of doing this was very manual and very cumbersome and took a long time to
We already
provided integration of other user profile details, which were updated in the
various systems in the organisation. The contractor thought hey I can do it too 
The surname request
update had a fancy front end, when the user submitted this, their request was
sent as an email to someone in HR who would manually make the changes required
in the system
What is
worse, is that the email got it wrong, it said update my first name to this
name, and not my surname, so the person in HR went and updated their first name
to their new surname  This person was
outsourced from the organisation. 
This had
flow on effects, that had not been thought of, when someone changes their name,
their AD name needs to update, their email address needs to change, and a whole
bunch of other systems need to be informed. 
To get
around this they just deleted the user and made a new one as if they had just
joined the organisation, the flow on was very very bad 
All of their
access gone, all of their email gone, their permissions to all the internal
systems gone, this would have happened even if they had changed their surname. 
The loss of
productivity for this person was about two weeks’ worth, the person was not a
low level admin, they were senior and on a good rate. 
Take this against
the decision to use a contractor who said yeah we can do it,  probably $1000 for the efforts, then add the
down time of the one employee, $20000 in loss of productivity and in ability to
work, you are not only paying for them to work but they can’t work and produce income
for the organisation. Now multiply this by a low estimate of 5 people who may
have been effected by this across an organisation of 7000 people  
You have a
net loss to the organisation of: $100,000 
plus your low cost of implementing this in the first place.  
Take this
vs, doing it correctly in the first place, taking the time to understand the
impact, going and updating the various systems, in near real time, and ensuring
that the user was good to go within 15 minutes. 
A cost
estimate for this would be somewhere between  $20,000 to $60,000. Had more than 5 people
requested this change, think of the cost to the organisation.
It becomes
very clear that you need to integrate, and you need to do it properly. You need
to have the right people working with you who understand this and are able to
see these issues well before they happen. 
Never believe
someone who says yeah we can do that, no problem, it is easy, we will just
email someone, or we will add a manual step, or we will just leverage the
existing process or method, or we will just delete them and put them back
these things make me cringe don’t do it ever! 
Talk to the
professionals, they have done it all before.

Win TFS 2012 Training!

Today marks a big day for many people in the IT community! The latest versions of a number of Microsoft’s flagship products are now available to anyone with an MSDN Subscription. Now available:

  • Visual Studio 2012
  • Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012
  • .NET Framework 4.5
  • Windows 8

In celebration of the brand new releases, QuickLearn is giving away a TFS 2012 Training! Choose from any of our 6 brand new courses.

If you download the RTM of Visual Studio 2012 and post your favorite new feature on our facebook wall, you will be entered to win a free seat in one of our TFS 2012 courses.

Post your comment before 5pm on August 24th. The class can be redeemed any time before December 31st, 2012. Courses available from Kirkland, WA or remotely from your home or office.