BizTalk Server 2013 R2 Pipeline Component Wizard

While working on the current upcoming installment in my BizTalk Server 2013 R2 New Features Series, I realized that I did not yet have a version of Martijn Hoogendoorn’s excellent BizTalk Server Pipeline Component Wizard that would work happily in Visual Studio 2013.

As a result, I filed this issue, and then made the necessary modifications to make it work in Visual Studio 2013 with BizTalk Server 2013 R2. It is now available for download here (updated 27-FEB-2015) if you want to give it a test run.

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Unfortunately, that has consumed a significant portion of my evening, and thus the next installment in the blog series will be delayed. But fear not, there is some really cool stuff just around the corner.

Integrate 2014 Registration is Live

In other news, Integrate 2014 registration is now live, and is only 72 days away! It’s going to be an awesome start to a cool Redmond December as 300-400 BizTalk enthusiasts from around the globe converge on the Microsoft campus for a few days of announcements, learning, networking, and community.

I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty excited for this one! Especially seeing these session titles for the first day:

  • Understand the New Adapter Framework in BizTalk Services
  • Introducing the New Workflow Designer in BizTalk Services

Well, that’s all for now. I hope to see you there!

BizTalk Summit 2014 in December

Save the date for BizTalk Summit 2014, which will take place December 3-5 on the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, WA. There will be 300+ partners and customers, so bring your questions, knowledge, and business cards.

Agenda

  • Executive keynotes outlining Microsoft vision and roadmap
  • Technical deep-dives with product group and industry experts
  • Product announcements
  • Real-world demonstrations from lighthouse customers
  • Roundtable discussions + Q&A
  • Partner Showcase Sessions
  • We are also planning hands-on labs so you can roll up our sleeves and experience new capabilities
  • Networking and social activities

BizTalk Server 2013 R2 Available!

If you have been waiting for BizTalk Server 2013 R2, the wait is over. Although this is not a huge new release, if the new features are of interest to you then it is available for download from MSDN as of today. It has a huge long ugly url which I shortened to help you all out. We haven’t seen the specific numbers but the buzz is that performance is greatly enhanced especially for EDI specifically HL7 scenarios.

http://tinyurl.com/BTS2013R2Download to download the bits, (with an MSDN license of course).

http://tinyurl.com/BTS2013Features for a comparative list of features between BTS 2013 and BTS 2013 R2.

Happy BizTalking!

New Class for BizTalk Administrators Goes Even Deeper than Ever Before

I think I can speak for everyone here at QuickLearn Training when I say that I am proud to announce the upcoming release of our BizTalk Server Administrator Deep Dive course! It has been a long labor of love in which I’ve invested an incredible amount of time including many late nights.

We are coming down the home stretch of development of this course, and I’m so excited that I wanted to share the three things about the course of which I am most proud.

A TRUE TECHNICAL DEEP DIVE

This class is a true deep dive into BizTalk Server technologies. Our primary goal for this class is to teach people how to be the best BizTalk Server administrators by teaching them more than how to do their job; we wanted to teach them how BizTalk Server does its job. I don’t want to reveal too much here but we have many detailed discussions about the internal mechanisms of BizTalk Server which provide greater understanding of why we do the things we do on Planet BizTalk.

This is the thing that makes me most excited for this class; I cannot wait to have these conversations with other experienced and interested BizTalk professionals.

PERFORMANCE TESTING AND TUNING

Everyone knows that performance testing and tuning is important in order to ensure that your BizTalk Server implementation is successful, but sadly there is very little practical guidance showing you how to do it. We spend about three days of the course focusing on running performance tests, identifying performance bottlenecks, and eliminating those bottlenecks. We look at how you can improve performance by changing hardware, reconfiguring network infrastructure, optimizing the underlying Windows Operating System, and other ancillary services. We also walk you through a variety of advanced configuration options for BizTalk Server databases and hosts.

This is where we’ve spent the most amount of time designing the course. I’ve personally spent weeks running performance tests so I can better understand how these changes affect performance and so I can prove to you the impact that a particular optimization might have.

Performance Monitor

ANALYZING THE IMPACT OF THROTTLING

I have one word for you: Throttling. Other than the MessageBox database I cannot think of single component in BizTalk that can have greater impact on performance than throttling. I know it is so clichéd now, but Stan “the man” Lee once said “With great power comes great responsibility”. The sad reality however is that there are so many people who’ve shirked all their responsibility when it comes to throttling.

I have enough faith in my fellow BizTalk professionals to believe that this is not because of carelessness or a general disregard for efficiency but instead stems from a lack of understanding; which isn’t surprising considering the amount of documentation and guidance coming out of Microsoft. We’ve worked hard to create the most comprehensive explanation of throttling including practical information that will finally demystify it forever.

Rate-Based Throttling

CLOSING THOUGHTS

I hope that this small insight into the upcoming BizTalk Server Administrator Deep Dive course has sparked your interest in the course. We are currently in the process of testing labs and editing slides and expect to have the course ready later this summer.

You can expect to see it on our calendar starting in July 2014. It will be offered publicly allowing anyone from anywhere in the world to attend remotely or if you prefer you can attend in-person at our state-of-the-art training facility based in Kirkland, WA.

See us and win at the ALM Forum Seattle 2014

QuickLearn is committed to the ALM community and have signed up as Gold Sponsors for the upcoming ALM Forum Seattle 2014.

ALMForum

BEFORE THE EVENT – WIN A FREE TICKET

You can win a free ticket (valued at $ 1,895) to the ALM Forum Seattle on 1st-3rd April 2014. We have two free tickets to give away to lucky readers of our newsletter. We’ll be announcing details on how to enter the draw in our newsletter. If you’re not a subscriber, you can sign up from our community page.

AT THE EVENT

Come and see us at our booth and learn about the world’s most comprehensive TFS training curriculum. We’ll have two of our TFS trainers available to discuss your training requirements. You can also go into the draw from some great prizes including the Lenovo 64Gb Thinkpad 8 Tablet. This amazing device was a true standout at the CES conference in Las Vegas earlier this year!

WinLenovo8Tablet

Top Rated Pre-con on TFS at TechEd Europe 2013

Congratulations to Anthony Borton, QuickLearn’s TFS course developer and lead TFS trainer! Anthony recently received an email from Microsoft confirming he delivered the highest rated developer pre-conference seminar at TechEd Europe this year. His seminar was titled Kickstart Your Application Lifecycle Management Using Team Foundation Server 2012 and was focused on helping attendees get a better understanding of how TFS 2012 can offer benefits across the entire application lifecycle.

In addition to this, he also had the highest rated developer-focused Instructor Led Lab (ILL) for the conference. His ILL, titled Get Started with Team Foundation Service gave attendees hands-on skills to get started with Microsoft’s Team Foundation Service.

If you would like to learn more about Microsoft’s ALM suite including TFS, join Anthony for a range of TFS 2012 courses during August. All our TFS 2012 courses have the most up to date content including content for TFS 2012 Update 2. Find out more at http://www.quicklearn.com/tfs-training.aspx

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Announcing BizTalk Server 2013 Virtual Labs

IMPORTANT: With the release of the IaaS functionality in Windows Azure, the Virtual Machine templates for BizTalk Server 2013 have been updated and no longer include Visual Studio 2012. Due to this, it is not currently possible to complete these lab activities as provided. We will update this space with more information as it is available.

QuickLearn is pleased to announce the availability of two hands-on labs that you can run from within your BizTalk Server 2013 Beta virtual machines running on Windows Azure.

These labs, originally presented at the BizTalk Summit in December, will provide an early look at the new features coming with the BizTalk Server 2013 release, while demonstrating live integration with the Salesforce.com online CRM system.

To complete either of the activities, follow the instructions below:

Lab #1: Integrating BizTalk Server 2013 with Salesforce using a Windows Azure Service Bus Relay

  1. Create a Windows Azure Virtual Machine using the BizTalk Server 2013 Evaluation Template. All setup scripts assume that you are using the Evaluation template, and not the Standard or Enterprise editions.
  2. Start, and then Connect to the Windows Azure Virtual Machine once provisioned.
  3. Inside the image, launch Powershell
  4. At the powershell prompt, type and execute the following command to setup and start the lab:
    (New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString("http://labti.me/biztalksalesforce")| iex
    
  5. In the setup wizard, type the user name and password you used for the account that you created when provisioning the virtual machine, and then click Next.
  6. Once setup completes (5-15 minutes depending on image size selected), in the Internet Explorer window, type your First/Last/Email and then click Start Lab

Lab #2: Accessing Salesforce data through the REST API using the WCF-WebHttp Adapter

  1. Create a Windows Azure Virtual Machine using the BizTalk Server 2013 Evaluation Template. All setup scripts assume that you are using the Evaluation template, and not the Standard or Enterprise editions.
  2. Start, and then Connect to the Windows Azure Virtual Machine once provisioned.
  3. Inside the image, launch Powershell
  4. At the powershell prompt, type and execute the following command to setup and start the lab:
    (New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString("http://labti.me/salesforcerest")| iex
  5. In the setup wizard, type the user name and password you used for the account that you created when provisioning the virtual machine, and then click Next.
  6. Once setup completes (5-15 minutes depending on image size selected), in the Internet Explorer window, type your First/Last/Email and then click Start Lab

If you would like to see a walkthrough of this process, you can watch the video below:

Launching a QuickLearn Lab on Windows Azure from QuickLearn Training on Vimeo.

Introducing the Visual Studio ALM Rangers – Nicholas Hauenstein

We would like to congratulate Nicholas Hauenstein, the most recent addition to the Visual Studio ALM Rangers! Nick was nominated for his subject matter expertise and contribution to the ALM community.

Nick is currently working on study materials for:

  • Exam 70-496: Administering Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012
  • Exam 70-497: Software Testing with Visual Studio 2012
  • Exam 70-498: Delivering Continuous Value with Visual Studio 2012 ALM

More information on these study materials will be announced soon.

Nick joined the ALM Ranger because he wants everyone to succeed with their endeavors, and have the best guidance and tooling available in that pursuit. Nick says, “I’ve already gained immensely from ALM Ranger deliverables (e.g., the Branching and Merging guidance, and the Visual Studio Build Customization Guide), and am excited for the opportunity to give back where I am able.”

See Nick’s announcement and interview on Willy-Peter Schaub’s MSDN Blog.

ALM MVP for a 7th year

MVP_Horizontal_FullColorJanuary 1st is one of 4 dates during the year when Microsoft announce their new and renewed Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs). As someone that was awarded on January 1st, it means the year starts off with a regular scan of my emails to see if my community contributions have been sufficient to be re-awarded.

Sitting proudly in my Inbox was the much anticipated email confirming that I have once again reached the bar to be an ALM MVP for another year.

In addition to my community contributions, I’ve been very busy with our TFS training curriculum. We start 2013 with 6 TFS 2012 courses, the most comprehensive curriculum for TFS 2012 in the world today. Over the next 3 months we’re also releasing two new courses to bring the total up to 8 courses.

Stay tuned for news on the following two courses.

  • Mastering Builds with TFS 2012
  • Applied Scrum with TFS 2012

Score a Microsoft Surface from QuickLearn!

ms_SurfaceBlue_WhiteBGHave you heard that the Microsoft Surface is now available for pre-order?

Be one of the first to score the hottest Windows tablet! Register for any 5-day class before November 1st and you will receive a free Microsoft Surface from QuickLearn.

Visit QuickLearn’s Course Calendar and select your next course!

Take advantage of this offer while registering by using the promotion code: SURFACE.

This offer is only valid for 5-day courses from Kirkland, WA with a retail value of $2,995 or higher booked between October 17th and November 1st, 2012. Not valid when combined with any other offer or discount. Offer is for 32 GB Surface with Windows RT ($499 value). Does not include cover or accessories.

The order for your Microsoft Tablet will be placed upon receipt of payment. If you request a cancellation and are eligible for a refund, the cost of the Microsoft Surface will be deducted.

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