Michael Stephenson

keeping your feet on premise while your heads in the cloud
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API Management Video
Just wanted to put the word out that the API Management video from the recent user group meeting is available. The page on the below link has resources from that meeting:http://ukcsug.co.uk... Also we have out next two meetings available for registration at the following links:Hybrid Connectionshttps://www.even... Hybrid Integration with Dynamics CRMhttps://www.eventbrite.c... ......

Posted On Sunday, August 3, 2014 1:52 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Hybrid Connections Webcast
We have lined up a webcast for UKCSUG covering BizTalk Services Hybrid Connections on the 4th August with Santosh from the Azure Product Team

Posted On Tuesday, July 8, 2014 7:24 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Why use Service Bus Relay when I can use Hybrid Connections?
Im slowly in the process of moving over to a new website so ill be cross posting on both blogs for a while.

Here is my new article talking about service bus relay and hybrid connections

Posted On Monday, July 7, 2014 7:47 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Server Best Practices
Theres a few articles out there about various opinions on best practices for BizTalk.  I thought id create a place on technet wiki to collate them all.


Please add any ive missed

Posted On Monday, May 19, 2014 1:15 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk HL7 Testing - Tool to get config from BTS Management DB
As a follow up to the HL7 testing framework I published recently the below video is about a tool which is part of the framework which will allow you to generate the configuration you might require for the tests to stub an application or to send messages to biztalk by pointing the tool at your biztalk management database and letting it inspect the ports you have already setup.https://www.youtube.c... ......

Posted On Monday, April 21, 2014 10:33 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Automated Testing of BizTalk HL7 solutions with Specflow
Recently ive been working on a small widget to help with automated testing of BizTalk HL7 implementations. In the below link there is a video which walks through how all of this works.http://youtu.be/DivfV... open sourced an assembly and the sample from the video if you would like to play around with thishttps://appfxhl7testing... to hear any feedback on how people get on with it ......

Posted On Sunday, April 20, 2014 11:41 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Services – Can I create a mapping service in the cloud
Ive recently been playing with some of the use cases you might be able to implement using Windows Azure BizTalk Services. In this case I wanted to look at the options for exposing the transformation capability of BizTalk as a service which applications could use. This is something that you might occasionally do in BizTalk Server where you simply take a message transform it and return a response. It allows you to abstract this transformation logic outside of the application and perhaps centralize ......

Posted On Monday, March 17, 2014 1:30 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Just some thoughts on light weight integration
I was having a discussion with a friend the other day about how the integration world is changing and how integration products are changing to reflect this. While "back in the day" we had the large enterprise integration products which were a big deal in the 1990's and through the 2000's but things are taking a different direction these days. Today integration is very much about light weight integration, API's, making it simpler, making it cheaper. While these things are all completely valid reasons ......

Posted On Monday, March 10, 2014 12:17 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Real-world WABS - Part 1
Ive done a video about some thoughts about using windows azure biztalk services in the real world.

Check it out here:

Love to hear peoples thoughts

Posted On Sunday, March 9, 2014 2:04 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

The Future of BizTalk?
This week BizTalk 360 held a really exceptional conference in London which had many great speakers. I was disappointed to have to withdraw from being a speaker a few weeks ago and I was unable to attend the full conference, but there was some really good content in this event. One of the things I got thinking a lot about was based on the talks by Guru and Jon about the current BizTalk Services offering and what's coming. In this meeting Jon held up the old BizTalk diagram from a few years ago which ......

Posted On Friday, March 7, 2014 11:00 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Considerations for Logging in Hybrid Integration Solutions
As many of my readers will know, I've been doing a lot of work around Hybrid integration solutions over the last few years involving Windows Azure Service Bus and various other technologies. One of the challenges which comes up in any architecture is how do you manage and implement logging. Well if you consider that we are now often building globally distributed applications in various data centers which we own, or data centers which we rent from cloud providers, this logging challenge is now even ......

Posted On Thursday, January 23, 2014 3:20 AM | Comments (1) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

UK Connected Systems User Group Website
Hi AllJust a heads up that the new uk connected system user group website is now live and out there. http://ukcsug.co.ukAlso some info about the UK Hybrid Integration Event including Azure, BizTalk Services, BizTalk, et alhttp://ukcsug.co.uk/the-h... ......

Posted On Thursday, August 29, 2013 2:59 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

UK Connected Systems User Group Website
Hi AllJust a heads up that the new uk connected system user group website is now live and out there. http://ukcsug.co.ukAlso some info about the UK Hybrid Integration Event including Azure, BizTalk Services, BizTalk, et alhttp://ukcsug.co.uk/the-h... ......

Posted On Thursday, August 29, 2013 2:33 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Summarizing event log data from BizTalk 360
If you are using BizTalk 360 and want to get an overview of some of the events which have been occurring in your event log, the below is quite a handy little query which will summarize the different type of events so you can easily see the most common ones.SELECT EventId, Source, COUNT(1) AS [No Instances], Computer, MessageFROM dbo.b360_ev_EventLogDataGROUP BY EventId, Source, CONVERT(varchar(8), Timestamp, 112), Message, ComputerHAVING (CONVERT(varchar(8), Timestamp, 112) = CONVERT(varchar(8), ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 21, 2013 1:20 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Another cause of Internal Error 2761 - BizTalk 2013
I had another occasion where I was getting the internal error 2761 error when trying to install BizTalk 2013.

This time it was not related to the "Run as Administrator" trap I fell into a couple of weeks ago.  This time the cause was that I had not activated MS Office 2013.  So before installing BizTalk 2013 remember to open and activate your install of Office 2013

Posted On Monday, May 20, 2013 9:45 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BDD BizTalk videos on CloudCast

The biztalk videos for BDD and acceptance testing are now on cloudcast

http://www.cloudcasts.net/Default.aspx?category=BizTalk

Posted On Friday, August 5, 2011 2:41 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Behaviour Driven BizTalk Development

Ive recently done some user group sessions around BizTalk and Behaviour Driven Development and Acceptance Testing.

Ive uploaded the videos and samples for these sessions to the following codeplex site.

http://biztalkbddsample.codeplex.com/

They will also be on CloudCasts soon

Enjoy

 

Posted On Monday, July 18, 2011 9:25 AM | Comments (1) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Testing Inside BizTalk update
Ive just released an update to the codeplex project so that there are test steps which are also compatible with BizUnit v4 which has recently been released http://btsloggingeventsinbi.codeplex.com/

Posted On Saturday, June 11, 2011 12:14 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Should I use a Protocol adapter or an application adapter
I was chatting the other day with someone about adapters for connecting to LOB applications and an interesting point came up which I thought id share my thoughts on. The scenarios is that if you have a line of business application for arguments sake lets say its dynamics CRM which has a BizTalk adapter available but also has an existing web service API (or some other protocol based API). Which should you use for integration? In my opinion the answer to this is the usual "it depends" answer. I think ......

Posted On Friday, June 3, 2011 4:25 PM | Comments (1) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Why aren’t there more BizTalk accelerators?
I've recently been talking to a few friends about the applications which various integration products claim to support integration into. It's quite an interesting thing to consider these days and for some vendors it's a great way of looking really cool by having loads of application icons showing how many apps you can integrate with. In BizTalk world a few years ago we used to be in a really good place but I think now a days BizTalk looks weak in this space when compared against some competitors. ......

Posted On Friday, March 7, 2014 10:13 AM | Comments (1) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

New project should I go BizTalk 2010 or BizTalk 2013?
I was recently working with a customer around the initiation of a new project and we had to make a decision about wether we should choose BizTalk 2010 or BizTalk 2013 for this project.Obviously being a keen techy I was actively encouraging the choice of BizTalk 2013 but as any responsible architect knows its important to follow a structured decision making process to evaluate the pro's and con's of the different options and make a sensible decision for your organisation and to also have justification ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 23, 2013 7:18 AM | Comments (3) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Anti Pattern: The plug and play SOA
Name: The Plug and Play SOA Description: I have seen occasions where BizTalk has been stuck between two systems simply because it is perceived to decouple them. One case was where System A called an API on System B which was exposed as a set of web services. All BizTalk was planned to do was accept the web service call from System A and forward it to System B. Some of the design thoughts included: Thought Other consideration "We can replace System B and System A is not affected" Well yes but the ......

Posted On Monday, December 18, 2006 5:20 PM | Comments (2) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Patterns & Anti Patterns

i saw the below really cool article and have decided to add some posts about patterns i have come across.

http://blogs.msdn.com/ebattalio/archive/2006/11/16/anti-pattern-kitchen-sink-maps.aspx

Posted On Monday, December 18, 2006 5:19 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Administrator Application Quality Checklist
Over the years one of the tools we have used to help guide improvement of the development of BizTalk applications and deployment to through test environments and into production is the BizTalk Administrator Application Quality Checklist. This is based on some work my friend Mo Uppal did around managing applications being migrated into the application automated releases he was implementing. The idea was that it could help you to understand where a particular application delivery sits in terms of the ......

Posted On Saturday, February 1, 2014 1:39 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Deployment Automation, DevOps and a bit of BizTalk
I should have done a shout out about this ages ago, but if anyone is interested in deployment automation and at a high level touching on how BizTalk played into this for a large enterprise check out the below video.

http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/ALM-Summit/ALM-Summit-3/Implementing-Successful-Continuous-Deployment-Practices-for-DevOps

Posted On Wednesday, January 29, 2014 4:09 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Architectural Thoughts on JSON from a BizTalk Perspective
I wrote this article a while back and Saravana has been kind enough to publish it as a whitepaper through BizTalk 360's whitepaper gallery.Its a discussion around JSON and BizTalk and some of the things BizTalk people need to think about as the use of JSON with BizTalk increaseshttp://go.biztalk3... a big thanks to my friends Richard Seroter, Steef-Jan Wiggers and Kent Weare for reviewing itBe great to hear what people think ......

Posted On Thursday, January 23, 2014 3:26 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Feature Request - BizTalk360 - Control users accessing server directly
I was talking to Saravana over drinks about a feature I would like to see in BizTalk 360 and thought id share it to see what people think. Problem Statement The problem is that most customers of BTS360 have a load of users who log directly into the BizTalk server and its a bit of a culture change for them to have to stop doing this. When they start doing things in BizTalk 360 and find there is a task which cant be done in BTS360 and needs the user to access the server they just do it and there isnt ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 27, 2013 11:19 AM | Comments (2) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Testing BizTalk 2013 Maps with the Visual Studio Fakes Framework
A few people have been asking me about this since I originally showed this presentation back at the BizTalk bootcamp in Charlotte in May 2013 so I have eventually gotten around to videoing this presentation.Its not a long one but hopefully it will give you some very useful thoughts on how to improve the testing of BizTalk solutionsCheck it out on the below link....http://www.youtube.... ......

Posted On Monday, August 19, 2013 11:28 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Maturity Assessment Popularity
Really cool to see how popular the BizTalk Maturity Assessment is starting to be. I haven't looked for a couple of weeks but was pleasantly surprised to see how many more downloads there have been. The places its being downloaded most are:1. USA2. UK3. Holland & Australia4. BelgiumThere are also downloads from India, and Korea amongst others.Great to see word is getting out there and hope people are finding this useful ......

Posted On Saturday, August 3, 2013 6:48 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

UK Connected Systems User Group Recap from July
Just a note to recap some of the discussion and activity from the recent UK Connected Systems User Group in July.AppFx.ServiceBusWe discussed some of the implementation details of the AppFx.ServiceBus codeplex project. This brought up some discussion around peoples experiences with Windows Azure Service Bus and how this codeplex project can help. The slides from this presentation are available at the following location.https://appfxservi... Maturity AssessmentThe ......

Posted On Monday, July 29, 2013 12:25 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Maturity Assessment Video
Ive just released a new video about an overview of the BizTalk Maturity Assessment which can help you to understand what it covers and how it may help you


Posted On Tuesday, July 23, 2013 12:32 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Test whats happening inside BizTalk
A few weeks ago I did the video about how we were testing what happens inside BizTalk by using the CAT Team Logging Framework and the ETW trace events and then testing the information coming out from our tracing to prove what was happening inside BizTalk. Ive updated the codeplex project so that the code is a little easier for people to use and is packaged better. Also the source code is now available in codeplex and there is some additional documentation. Note that it now works slightly differently ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 17, 2011 6:16 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Failed to retrieve basic properties of pipeline component
Just a note to self in case I bump into this one again. I created a custom pipeline component and when adding it to the pipeline designer then clicking save you get the following error: Failed to retrieve basic properties of the Pipeline Component: xxxxxxx After a bit of digging I worked out the problem was my code interacting with IPropertyBag in the implementation of the Load and Save methods of the interface. My problem was that the string I was using for the key of the property bag had spaced ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 17, 2013 4:02 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Behaviour Driven Maturity Model
For anyone who is interested I have written a small paper about the theory behind the BizTalk Maturity Assessment using a generic framework I have called the "Behaviour Driven Maturity Model" and then how it could be applied to the assessment of other subjects.The paper is on the following link:http://btsmaturity.blo... you would like to create a model for a different subject area based on the details ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 2, 2013 12:32 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk 360 Alarms, How do you configure yours?
Ive recently written a guest post for BizTalk 360 on their blog about how customers may configure BizTalk 360 Alarms to optimize getting the right information to the right type of support people.This is my thoughts on how users of BTS 360 can get the best value out of BizTalk 360 alarmshttp://blogs.biztalk3... ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 18, 2013 9:19 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Analysing Application Interface Capabilities
When you work on integration projects one of the common things you do is to analyse the capabilities of an application to support different integration techniques. One of the things I tend to find organisations often oversee the importance of is to document and govern the interface approaches used for each application.What I like to see on a project would be a list of the applications that you integrate with in your organisation, and then for each application there should be a document which provides ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 4, 2013 8:14 PM | Comments (3) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Integration between Resource and Message Based Architectures
I've been thinking for a while about the way in which resource based architectures and messaging based architectures interact with each other. Resource based architectures have increased in popularity a lot over recent years and I have read a number of articles in the community but I've always felt there was a gap and lack of discussion and guidance over the integration between resource based architectures and message based architectures. I have had a couple of chats with colleagues who's opinion ......

Posted On Saturday, May 11, 2013 4:35 PM | Comments (1) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Testing BizTalk XLANGMessage with the Fakes Framework
Ive been interested in exploring the opportunities around the Fakes Framework for testing BizTalk solutions for a while now, and until recently its been sitting as one of the many blog articles I have intended to write but haven't got around to. This week we have started looking at a BizTalk 2013 project and this presented an excellent opportunity to explore this idea. I decided to look at the common problem people have faced in the past when you want to unit test some code and it has a dependency ......

Posted On Monday, April 29, 2013 12:18 PM | Comments (1) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk 2013 Installation - Internal Error 2761
If you are installing BizTalk 2013 and get the error "Internal Error 2761"Just check you remembered to right click and Run As Administrator on the BizTalk setup.exe ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 23, 2013 8:03 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Anti Pattern – Don’t over complicate your maps
Name: Don't over complicate your map Description: I was recently looking at a BizTalk map which had a bug in it and one of the things that I notices was that the developer had strung together a number of functoids to do some logic in the map. We were talking about 12 functoids being used to workout which value should be in the output field. I think sometimes developers are a little frightened to drop into .net code feeling that it is perhaps not the BizTalk way. In this case the logic could have ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 24, 2012 10:27 AM | Comments (1) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Seeing the ROI in action on our BizTalk BDD initiative
Ive recently really seen some of the benefits in action from the work we have been doing to introduce Behaviour Driven Development techniques into our BizTalk development process.A couple of months ago one of the members of our team was unavailable and he was the expert with one of the BizTalk Applications we had developed. The team was small and we have a lot of processes and this particular application was quite complex and no one had the level of experience that this team member had with the business ......

Posted On Saturday, February 11, 2012 11:44 AM | Comments (2) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Solution Analyser
For a while I’ve been working on an idea and whitepaper around analyzing source code to measure the size and complexity. There are some tools around which can do this but my differentiator is that I was interested in BizTalk projects and wanted to look at how these could be measured. Note however this can be easily used for non-BizTalk projects too. The aim is to be able to understand the size and complexity of a solution and to allow some real metrics to contribute to your understanding of the Total ......

Posted On Saturday, December 10, 2011 5:18 AM | Comments (2) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Generating Documentation from BizUnit v2 XML Files
A while back I did the user group sessions and cloud case video about Behaviour Driven BizTalk Development and talked about how you could use SpecFlow with Visual Studio 2010, BizUnit 4 and BizTalk 2010 to create acceptance tests for your solution. The video is on the below link: Part 1: http://cloudcasts.cloudapp.... Part 2: http://cloudcasts.cloudapp.... Of the many advantages of this approach one of the ......

Posted On Thursday, December 1, 2011 12:28 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BDD and BizUnit 2 – Not as cool as combining BizUnit 4 & SpecFlow but still works ok
I've been back working with BizTalk 2006 R2 for a customer recently and I've become such a fan of the BDD style acceptance tests I've done in the past with BizTalk 2010 that its quite frustrating working back in Visual Studio 2005 and not being able to use Specflow alongside BizUnit 4 like I described in the recent videos on these subjects BizTalk & BDD Part 1 BizTalk & BDD Part 2 In BizTalk 2006 development your back to the older style xml bizunit tests and we were looking at some old tests ......

Posted On Friday, November 4, 2011 10:40 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk 360 Success Story
We are currently evaluating BizTalk 360 at one of my clients at the moment and I plan to write a more detailed post in the future about our experiences but in the meantime I wanted to make a comment about something this week which was particularly useful. We have a very large project with many teams and vendors and in our first integration test environment all of the delivery teams do daily deployments to this test environment. From here a successfully tested release could be promoted to other environments ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 19, 2011 9:51 AM | Comments (1) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

My First Experience with BizTalk 360
Ive recently just setup BizTalk 360 (http://www.biztalk360.com/) to try out the monitoring capabilities. I also thought it would be interesting to see how things go since this given environment was a BizTalk 2006R2 environment and fairly old stuff now. I had a couple of issues during the install/setup but i was able to solve all of these using the troubleshooting page on the BizTalk 360 website and a little common sense. To be honest a couple of them were me being a bit lazy and not reading the install ......

Posted On Friday, May 13, 2011 4:19 PM | Comments (1) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Build Generator & BizTalk 2010

Ive eventually had time to migrate the build generator to work with BizTalk 2010.

Ive released this as a beta for now and would love to hear any feedback from others who might be using it while i work on getting some more testing with other migrated projects.

If your interested in taking a look please refer to:

http://biztalkmsbuildtool.codeplex.com/releases/view/65036

Posted On Saturday, April 23, 2011 6:24 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

UK Connected Systems User Group - May 2011
The next uk connected systems user group event is open for registration: 11th May 2011 @ EMC http://ukcsbugmay2011.eventbrite.com/

Posted On Friday, April 15, 2011 6:09 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk RFID & NServiceBus

Ive just posted a paper on the technet wiki about BizTalk RFID and NServiceBus used as a publishing component

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/biztalk-2010-amp-nservicebus.aspx

 

 

Posted On Friday, March 25, 2011 7:18 PM | Comments (2) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Light & Easy Update

Just to let everyone know the BizTalk Light and Easy Webcast Series has been updated with some new BizTalk 2010 videos

http://www.cloudcasts.net/Default.aspx?category=BizTalk+Light+and+Easy

 

Posted On Tuesday, March 8, 2011 2:35 AM | Comments (2) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

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