Ben Runchey’s Integration Dev Blog

a.k.a Ben’s spot to put stuff he does not want to forget

What I Learned Yesterday 12

  • Orchestration Throttling within BizTalk – It appears that Scott Colestock has a nice approach to throttling.  Richard Seroter has it outlined on his blog here.  While I like this solution, I still wish that the good guys on the BizTalk Server dev team would provide some sort of functionality for us in this realm.  I realize it is maybe not the most important functionality, but it is probably the only feature from BizTalk 2000/2002 that I miss.
  • Archiving Pipeline Component – Ran into a situation where I wanted to archive outbound flat-files in a send pipeline.  So I looked into using the Archiving component written by Gilles Zunino a few years ago since it has worked so well for me on the inbound files.  Well after some testing it appears that there are some issues using this with the FF Assembler in the same Send Pipeline.  I tried implementing some of the solutions others have posted on their blogs, but none worked for me.  Not exactly sure what causes this, but to handle archiving my file, I used the CForwardOnlyEventingReadStream Class which is found in the Microsoft.BizTalk.Streaming namespace (and assembly of the same name).   I found a great post about using it at Mikael Hakanssons blog here about how he was using it in a component to archive messages to a TEXT field.  Basically what this class provides is the ability to have a callback for when BizTalk reads the stream to give you the opportunity at the same time.
  • Xobni Add in for Outlook – If you are using outlook you might consider trying the addin from Xobni.  It really makes “seeing across” your email intuitive.  It tracks all sorts of “social” information about your inbox. 
  • BizTalk Best Practices Analyzer – While this is not a new application, I have been trying to use it more religiously when setting up a configuration on one my client’s biztalk server group.  It just makes sure to catch things that I may miss that do not adhere to what the BizTalk team has designated as best practices.  Kind of nice to schedule running this on a regular basis (like nightly maybe) to catch when something might have gotten out of wack on your server.  It would be nice to be able to have the report be loaded into the MMC console.  Kind of a one stop shop to manage your BizTalk server. 

May 27, 2008 Posted by | BizTalk, What I Learned Yesterday | Leave a comment

What I Learned Yesterday 11

  • Google and their “exodus” – Found an article on earlier today about “What’s next for Google?”.  Much of the article focused on why many of the most talented people are moving on from Google.  I don’t think that those writing these articles are always in touch with what makes many technical people tick.  Working for Google was probably something that allowed many of these engineers to work on advanced projects, learning new things from people they may not otherwise have run into.  The one down side to this for these engineers is that they are working FOR other people who are making the decisions.  Many of the best engineers would ultimately like to have some sucess on their OWN terms.  This in my opinion is why many of the best people are most likely moving on to start their own thing, or have more say in what goes on.
  • Blogical sFTP adapter for BizTalk – Found a really great sFTP adapter on Codeplex.  While I still love the adapters from /n Software, if you are only going to be using the sFTP adapter, it is kind of expensive to pay the 2500/proc to buy it.  Not to mention the guys that wrote it are very quick to respond to emails (thanks Mikael!).
  • Sql Server Integration Services – I am having to work with this quite a bit these days.  I like it but there are a few things I wish it had
    • The support for Checkpoints is nice, but I wish it were improved to support multiple checkpoints within one package.  I have to basically use a custom built state machine to make this happen for myself right now.
    • Ability to have some common scripts.  I would like to have to only write common code once and share it between all of my script tasks.  I realize that I can use a .NET component to do this, but for small blocks of code I would like to be able to use a module of some sort.

May 14, 2008 Posted by | BizTalk, SSIS, What I Learned Yesterday | Leave a comment