Azure Facts: Storage Accounts and Blobs

 Posted on Apr 11, 2019

This is the first entry in what will be an ongoing series of posts related to various components and service offerings within Microsoft Azure. The landscape of cloud computing is immense and can be overwhelming to those unfamiliar with the concepts. Through the Azure Facts series, I hope to digest smaller fragments of the overall landscape and briefly examine how they can be utilized. The first topic in the Azure Facts series will focus on Blob Storage within the Azure Storage Account.

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Configure BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.2 Management Portal

 Posted on Apr 8, 2013

During my evaluation of BizTalk Server 2013 and the ESB Toolkit 2.2, I ran into an issue running one of my favorite components, the ESB Management Portal. I followed the set of instructions for installing and configuring the portal which were essentially the same as the ESB Toolkit 2.1 instructions. When I tried to navigate to the home page, I received a number of errors:

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Meet Windows Azure

 Posted on Jun 9, 2012

Microsoft unveiled a major release of Windows Azure on Thursday, June 7 at the “Meet Windows Azure” event. Windows Azure has been out for quite some time, but some in the industry are describing this as Windows Azure 2.0. The amount of new functionality is really impressive and is the culmination of more than a year of work. If you were unable to attend, the full event was recorded which can be seen at http://www. [Read more]

AppFabric Service Bus Relayed Messaging

 Posted on Nov 11, 2011

Picking up where we left off in the Service Bus Introduction, this post will walk through a Relayed Messaging sample in order to highlight how the AppFabric Service Bus could be utilized to build Hybrid applications. In addition to the basic sample, I will also demonstrate how to provision a BizTalk Server 2010 Receive Location on the Service Bus.

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Azure AppFabric Service Bus

 Posted on Oct 30, 2011

I recently had the honor of delivering a presentation entitled ‘Build Hybrid Applications Using the Azure AppFabric Service Bus’ at the Richmond and Philly.NET Code Camps. Virtually no one in either of the sessions had any previous experience with Windows Azure or the components of the AppFabric. In this series of blog posts, I will expand upon the presentation in an effort to introduce the AppFabric and take a deeper dive into the code and practical application of the Service Bus messaging patterns.

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BizTalk is not dead

 Posted on Jul 16, 2011

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. ~Mark Twain (or BizTalk Server)

For the past 5 years or so, various technologists have been predicting or even proclaiming the untimely demise of Microsoft BizTalk Server. Usually these predictions come in the form of blog posts espousing the new hotness whether it was a new product from Microsoft or a competing product claiming it was a better middleware solution than BizTalk. Oddly enough, the chatter ramps up the loudest shortly after Microsoft releases a new CTP of technology X that may be tangentially related to an existing product like BizTalk. The problem with all of the proclamations is that they never seem to come from the Microsoft Product Development groups or BizTalk MVPs. I am not an MVP, but I do consider myself to be plugged in to what is happening with BizTalk. With that in mind, I would like to briefly take a look at the current state of BizTalk’s life and put an end to the urban legend.

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Practical Applications of BizTalk Server, Windows Workflow and SQL Server Integration Services

 Posted on Sep 24, 2010

In an effort to maintain control over the proliferation of application servers and data, many organizations have undertaken projects to consolidate and integrate systems. One of the first hurdles in undertaking an integration project is determining the most efficient integration technology. Unfortunately, just within the Microsoft stack, there are technologies that consistently cause confusion and are often misused.

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BizTalk Orchestration Design – Choose Your Shapes Wisely

 Posted on Feb 2, 2010

During my past BizTalk engagements, I have had the opportunity to work closely with my clients in developing flexible and maintainable applications. One of the most common issues that I come across is the misuse of some of the shapes available within the Orchestration Designer. By misuse, I simply mean to say that many BizTalk developers will drag and drop shapes into an orchestration to implement the business process, but do not take into account the implications of doing so. More often than not, the result of selecting the wrong shape for the job is not seen until the application is tested or even worse, the production environment. One of the primary reasons that BizTalk is used is the opportunity to build loosely coupled, flexible and scalable applications. By choosing the wrong shape, many developers will wind up doing exactly the opposite, thus setting the application down the course of tight coupling and brittle implementation. In this post, I am going to highlight two of the most often misused shapes, Call Orchestration and Start Orchestration, explain when they should be used and provide an alternate technique to overcome their shortcomings.

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