Microsoft BizTalk Server Performance Optimization Guide
From MSDN: Welcome to the first edition of the Microsoft® BizTalk® Server Performance Optimizations Guide. We created this guide to provide in depth information for optimizing the performance of a BizTalk Server solution. Full end-to-end performance testing is frequently overlooked during enterprise application deployment. Knowing that Microsoft has built a scalable messaging infrastructure, many organizations that use BizTalk Server spend little or no time conducting performance testing of their own applications.
Control Windows Media Center with New Windows SideShow BETA Gadgets
From the Windows Experience Blog: The Windows SideShow Team has announced the availability of 4 BETA Windows SideShow Gadgets that let you control Windows Media Center from a Windows Sideshow device. You can sign-up via Microsoft Connect to gain access to Beta Test these new Windows SideShow Gadgets: http://connect.microsoft.com/InvitationUse.aspx?ProgramID=2380&SiteID=312&InvitationID=GPB-79MM-RFJ2 Here is the breakdown of the 4 Windows Media Center BETA Windows SideShow Gadgets and what they do: Now Playing: View what is currently playing in Windows Media Center (includes playback controls) Pictures + Video: Browse your Photos and Videos folders Music: Browse your Music folder and play any song TV: Look at what is on TV via the Windows Media Center Guide, Schedule Recordings, and View Recordings (in a Thumbnail view)
From CodePlex: BizUnit Designer is a GUI that allows rapid creation of BizUnit test cases which can be used for unit testing or system testing distributed applications. The easy to use drag and drop user interface has minimal learning curve which will get you up and running with test cases in a matter of minutes. I’ve used BizUnit on a couple of projects (even non-BizTalk projects) and I think it’s very useful.
More BizTalk posters
Somebody at the product team has really started a rush to push out these nice looking posters. Here is a rather new one: BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Database Infrastructure Poster http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=24662FB5-622C-4E7E-9E83-505D1F664C4D&displaylang=en And as a service to those of you that haven’t seen anyone of these: BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Runtime Architecture Poster http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=8790E652-1DA5-4E80-88FE-B87606233DB4&displaylang=en BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Capabilities Poster http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=34F41573-C552-466F-B531-32CB09A57CDD&displaylang=en BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Scale-Out Configurations Poster http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=FF468298-64BE-4947-A086-F61584CAF995&displaylang=en
Home Server campaign
(File URL) in case you haven’t seen this yet, Microsoft has a rather interesting marketing campaign around Windows Home Server. One of the parts of the campaign is a book about Home Server which looks like it’s written for kids. The book explains what the magic ‘Server’ in the house is all about. Microsoft went so far with this campaign that it actually looks like you can buy the book from Amazon!
How-To: New ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions Video Screencasts
From the almighty Scott Hanselman: Released today are four new screencasts about the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions by various members of the ASP.NET team. Every video is available in numerous formats, and note that this also includes re-encoded versions of my **Intro to MVC Screencast **in a pile of formats including an iPod/iTouch compatible format, as well as ones for the **Zune **and **PSP **and a utterly unwatchable 😉 40 meg 3GP one for 3G Phones.
Video: BizTalk Services Explained
In this video, James Conard talks with John Shewchuk and Dennis Pilarinos about BizTalk Services. In the simplest definition, BizTalk Services simplifies application connectivity by extending WCF and providing a set of hosted services. John and Dennis quickly explain BizTalk Services by discussing the challenges with building applications today. Dennis also shows four demos of BizTalk Services and then drops into Visual Studio along the way to show the programming model.
Released: BizTalk Server 2006 extentions for WF
Just released (oh well, a couple of months ago), the long awaited BizTalk Server 2006 extensions for Windows Workflow Foundation SDK. Use WF modeling and host workflows in BizTalk Server. Note the BTS messaging activities in the image. The new BizTalk Server edition will most likely sport the Workflow Designer instead of the plain old Orchestration Designer. This probably results into something that looks a lot like what you get with the extentions.
Microsoft LoadGen 2007
Microsoft LoadGen 2007 generates message transmission loads to run performance and stress tests for your Microsoft BizTalk Server applications, and provides performance counters to monitor the performance of the infrastructure running BizTalk Server. This tool is intended for developers and IT professionals to simulate load on a BizTalk Server. Using this tool, you can simulate load to instrument performance and stress against a BizTalk deployment. In addition, this tool may also be extended by developers to simulate load for custom transports.
BizTalk Server capabilities poster
From the source: This poster lists the BizTalk Server 2006 R2 capabilities bucketed in categories and is designed to provide both a high level and a detailed view of the capabilities and features that are included in the product. (When printed in full scale this poster size is: 35x 32) Download the poster here.
FarPoint Spread for BizTalk Server 2006
If you’ve ever wanted or needed to parse Excel files using BizTalk, you can now. Some time ago FarPoint released a pipeline dissassembler component for BizTalk Server 2006 which is able to convert Excel files into XML. From their website: Spread for BizTalk Server 2006 provides a complete solution for integrating Microsoft Excel data seamlessly into your BizTalk applications. Spread includes a pipeline disassembler that parses Excel data (XLS, Excel 2007 XML, CSV, TXT) into XML, and a pipeline assembler that creates Excel (XLS, Excel 2007 XML) and PDF documents from XML data in BizTalk Applications.
Map xs:string to xs:datetime
Remember that situation where you needed to convert a string representation of a DateTime to a valid DataTime using the BizTalk mapper? No? Well, I do. The parsing of the string as a DateTime is not the real problem here. Once you know how the string is formatted it is simply writing a way to parse it, either using substrings or using the DateTime.Parse method. Once you have a DateTime though, you need to format it to be valid according to the XSD spec.