woensdag 23 februari 2011

Warning: Don’t change the time on your BizTalk server

Apparently you better not change the time on your BizTalk Server... check out this blog for more details

Source: http://connectedpawns.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/warning-day-light-saving-testing-dont-change-the-time-on-your-biztalk-server-unless-you-are-a-masochist/

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 is now available

Download: Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (KB976932)

dinsdag 22 februari 2011

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 Operations Guide

Provides detailed information for planning a BizTalk Server environment, as well as recommendations and best practices for configuring, testing, maintaining, monitoring, and optimizing this environment.

Guide: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg634499(BTS.70).aspx

download guide as chm, PDF, Docx: Download details: Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 Operations Guide

maandag 21 februari 2011

Biztalk Adapters: Buy Build or CodePlex

BizTalk contains many built-in adapters for communication with external systems. When those built-in adapters do not meet the needs of your project, some hard decisions need to be made such as whether to buy an adapter, build an adapter using the framework, or use an adapter from CodePlex (i.e. open source). This article will take a look at the pros and cons of each approach.

Buy an Adapter: While this option would require an outlay of cash up front, it can be advantageous in terms of support and speed of implementation.


Support is provided by the adapter vendor which can be rapid and 24x7.

Adapter vendor provides a simple, legal licensing model.

Purchased adapters are usually buy now, install tomorrow so there is no lag time to get up and running.


Purchased adapters have an upfront cost to the project.

You may not be able to customize the adapter if it does not meet your needs.

Build an Adapter: While this can seem like the obvious answer for a software or consulting company, usually this is a large undertaking. I talked with the writers of the famous SFTP Adapter on CodePlex. They said it took 300 to 400 hours of effort to build that adapter. Out of this time, it took about 200 hours just to learn the adapter framework and the rest to implement the protocol-specific logic. Even at a conservative rate of $100 per hour, this is between $30,000 and $40,000.


There could potentially be additional services revenue for the company and they may maintain Intellectual Property (IP) rights.

You have the complete flexibility to build what you want and how you want it.


The company that builds the adapter will have to do the maintenance and support.

The building company may not be a subject matter expert in either the BizTalk Adapters Framework or the implementation protocol.

It could take a significant amount of time to complete, test, and deploy.

Use a CodePlex Adapter: CodePlex is a large open source software community. It hosts many different BizTalk Adapters. Some of the most popular are the SFTP Adapter and the Scheduled Task Adapter. Sometimes 3rd party support is available, but in general support is through community forums.


Adapter is provided at no cost.

You have access to the source code to customize as needed.


There is no support for things that do not work as expected.

There are gray areas in terms of licensing and the impact of customizations.

When a new release is available, customizations need to be reapplied.

Company legal policies might restrict or prohibit the use of open source code.

SQL VARCHAR(MAX): The New TEXT « Chris Tierney

Great info on the use of SQL Types VARCHAR, NVARCHAR and TEXT on this site.

BTS 2010 Exam will be published

Looks like Microsoft is releasing the BizTalk exam for Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 soon.

The exam will be published on March 30.

Source: TS: Developing Business Process and Integration Solutions by Using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010

vrijdag 11 februari 2011

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 Performance Optimization Guide

This guide was created to provide in-depth information for optimizing the performance of a BizTalk Server solution.
The purpose of this guide is to consolidate and provide prescriptive guidance on the best practices and techniques that should be followed to optimize BizTalk Server performance.

To download a copy of this guide in chm, pdf, or docx form, go to http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=209185.

More info: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee377064(BTS.70).aspx

BTS: transform messages in pipeline decode stage

I just discovered a very neat functionality.
It seems that it's possible to execute a mapping inside the decode stage of a pipeline.

To have a complete guide on how to achieve this, visit this website

dinsdag 8 februari 2011

xs: int VS xs:integer... what's the difference?

When creating an xsd schema you'll have the option to define a certain type to an element.
Two of those possible types are xs:int and xs:integer. I never thought about a possible difference these types would imply. Now, their is apparently a difference in the way .NET treats both of these types.

Check this site to learn more on the subject.

woensdag 2 februari 2011

SQL Trace flags

A handy way to find a solution to some SQL problem is by using the SQL logging.
To help you analyze a problem you can add additional data that should be traced, by using so called Trace flags.

Trace flags are used to temporarily set specific server characteristics or to switch off a particular behavior. Trace flags are frequently used to diagnose performance issues or to debug stored procedures or complex computer systems.
In SQL Server, there are two types of trace flags: session and global. Session trace flags are active for a connection and are visible only to that connection. Global trace flags are set at the server level and are visible to every connection on the server. Some flags can only be enabled as global, and some can be enabled at either global or session scope.

Now, How can you activate these trace flags?
The answer is quite simple. you should just execute the DBCC TRACEON and DBCC TRACEOFF commands. And to make sure it is set globally, add the -1 argument.

For Example:
  • DBCC TRACEON (2528) (set at session scope)
  • DBCC TRACEON (2528, -1) (set as global scope)
  • to turn the flag off again you use DBCC TRACEOFF (2528) or DBCC TRACEOFF (2528, -1)

Possible flags can be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms188396.aspx
OR at http://www.mssqlcity.com/Articles/General/SQL2000TF.htm (here are some flag descriptions that aren't on MSDN).

To find out which trace flags are active, use the TRACESTATUS command, also possible with the -1 argument for the global scope. For Example:
  • Status of all trace flags that are currently enabled globally: DBCC TRACESTATUS(-1)
  • Status of trace flags 2528 and 3205: DBCC TRACESTATUS (2528, 3205)
  • Display whether trace flag 3205 is enabled globally: DBCC TRACESTATUS (3205, -1)
  • List all the trace flags that are enabled for the current session: DBCC TRACESTATUS()