Some worthy Project Management Videos

Can Introverts Lead?
 
 
 

Great learning platform for developers and techies

Look out for PluralSight.com, it is an excellent website to find quality training material exclusively for programmers. They do have a good collection of courses on most of the latest technologies and provided by notable and experienced instructors. I find it very useful to watch videos in my free time and update myself. There is a monthly subscription fee, but its well worth it.

Happy learning!

Bug in BizTalk Oracle ODBC Adapter - Decimals trimmed while quering

I had a very serious problem with Oracle Adapter (the old ODBC one) in my project. The adapter somehow trims last decimal place while query oracle 10g tables. This happens both with Query/QueryResponse or TableChangeEvents. The behavriour is so strange that it doesn't happen always nor it happens for the same number.

Some sample numbers:
1477032.43 to 1477032.4
-1977473.59 to -1977473.5

The issue is not seen with few records and is appears randomly. We've opened a ticket with Microsoft and they ackonwledged the problem.

Ah at last, it turned out to be altogether different problem. The issue is not with Biztalk adapter, the problem was with the Oracle ODBC driver. The specific version of Oracle had issue and we had to upgrade it. The solution was identified by Microsoft Support guys.

BizTalk - Oracle ODBC Adapter not generating schema

Issue
When you try to generate schema for Oracle table/procedures using the Oracle ODBC adapter, it generates only one schema with a suffix _obj. It doesn't generate the actual schema with the table/procedure columns. See your event log if it has an error similar to this:

Exception occurred: HYC00 :
[Microsoft][ODBC driver for Oracle]Driver not capable

Solution
You are using a wrong ODBC driver. Do not use "Microsoft ODBC for Oracle", rather use the native driver ("Oracle in OraHome....") provided with Oracle Client tools.

Rare problem with BizTalk orchestration designer

I had this problem in my project where Biztalk orchestrations would not open once they are saved and closed. The problem is seen only for a particular user account and works fine when tried with another user on the same machine.

The following is the error you get when you try to open them.

"The information in the .ODX file is not proper .ODX format and cannot be opened with Orchestration Designer. The file might be in another format and have been improperly renamed, it might have been corrupted, or it might have been edited without using the Orchestration Designer"

After a lot of research and talks with Microsoft, we got a clue that the problem was with corrupt user setting for Visual Studio. The current logged on user's profile has something to do with it.

We could not exactly pin point where the settings were stored in the users profile. So the only solution was to erase the user's profile from the machine and login again. Here is the steps you need to do that.

  1. Create a new local administrative user on the machine
  2. Restart the machine
  3. Logon with the new user
  4. Navigate to "Document and Settings" folder and rename the actual user's (where problem exists) folder. You may also delete it, if you have backed up your personal data.
  5. Logout and Login again with your user.

Note that by resetting the profile, you will loose all the settings stored for that user.

BizTalk Server 2009 Beta released (Features)

Microsoft has release the beta for BizTalk Server 2009 along with the newer version of ESB 2.0 guidance.


https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=218 
(Windows 2008, VS 2008 SP1, SQL 2008, TFS, .NET 3.5 SP1. )
http://www.codeplex.com/esb
(ESB Guidance)

Some Key Features
  • Support for latest technologies: 
  1.  Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 SP1, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
  2. SQL Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V virtualization and enhanced failover clustering
  3. interoperability with Microsoft’s application life-cycle management (ALM) solution
  4. Visual Studio Team System and Team Foundation Server
  5. Support for recent versions of IBM Mainframe environments (CICS, DB2, AS400 etc..)
  • ESB 2.0 Guidance
  • New LOB Adapters: SQL Adapter, Oracle E Business etc.
  • RFID Mobile

Microsoft Cloud Computing

Check out these presentations to get an understanding of Microsoft's offerings on the Cloud Computing world.  The presentations are good to get some basic understanding on cloud computing, windows live mesh services and Azure platform.


Here's the link:

Biztalk Server 2006 compatibility with Visual Studio 2008 (VS2008)

This is for all you guys who are trying to figure out whether Biztalk 2006 works with VS2008.

I had this requirement in my project that we all migrate to .NET 3.5 environment / VS2008. Everything looked fine untill we realized that Biztalk 2006 is not supported by VS2008. I did a lot of reaseach in blogs and talking to Microsoft Support. The anwer is found was that "Biztalk Server 2006 will not work with VS2008". In fact Biztalk is not compatible with any of the 2008 technologies including SQL Server 2008.

I spoke to MS Tech. Support and they confirmed that there is no compatibility. It is expected that future versions of Biztalk (R3) will possibly support VS2008. They have no idea when it would be release, but the hint is that the CTP version might hit by the end of the year.

I also tried out practically on my machine. I installed VS2008 on existing Biztalk setup, but VS2008 doesn't recognize ".BTPROJ". I even tried to install VS2008 first and then Biztalk, still the same issue.

Its really so bad on Microsoft that Biztalk being such a advanced technology will not be a part of .NET Framework 3.5 environment for so long :(.

Here is the response I got from Microsoft.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thank you for contacting Microsoft Sales Information today.

Per our discussion, I've attached links/information that you requested below.

From my research I have found that BizTalk Server 06 and Visual Studios 08 actually are not compatible. The .NET framework used by Visual Studios 08 to create applications is not compatible with the requirements of BizTalk Server 06; Microsoft may be releasing a Service Pack for BizTalk Server or a new BizTalk Server which will address this compatibility issue.
This blog on this Microsoft web site will outline more in-depth what I have just stated here.

http://blogs.msdn.com/stevemar/archive/2008/04/23/biztalk-server-platform-updates.aspx

XXXXX

Microsoft Sales Information Agent
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Biztalk Server Patterns Wizard

For all those new comes in Biztalk, I would recommend you to download the Biztalk Server Pattern Wizard from http://www.codeplex.com/PatternWizard. Its particularly useful to have a jumpstart in creating popular BizTalk patterns without having to go through the pains of comprehensive learning. The wizard currently takes care of the following patterns. You will also find video files in the documentation for each of the pattern implementation.

  1. Async Aggregation
  2. Inverse Direct Bound Port
  3. First In First Out
  4. Splitter
  5. Interrupter Pattern
  6. Terminate
  7. Retry Pattern
  8. Non-uniform Sequential Convoy
  9. Calling Pipelines
  10. Parallel Convoy
  11. Filter
  12. Uniform Sequential Convoy
  13. Message Broker
  14. Suspend With Retry
  15. Error Handling

Happy Biztalking !

First look at Windows Live mesh

I just received my tech preview invitation for live mesh. It looks cool to me. I just moved all my stuff from XDrive to LiveMesh. Right now the features are basic, you can:

1. Have a online desktop
2. Add folders and syncronize them with the local folders in any of your computers (devices). You need to install a desktop version of mesh on your local computer that syncronizes your folders with live mesh. Its pretty cool as it does it automatically. so no matter where you update these files, you need not bother to sync them.
3. Control on what devices your folders should be syncronized.
4. Share your mesh folders with other users and allow them to change them
5. Add comments to every change and view history of events (news) for each an every file

You may say that these features are pretty straight forward, but more is to come. mesh is a comprehensive web 2.0 platform.

Coming up:
6. You could also add your mobile/mac as a device in coming versions. More newer devices should be supported over a period of time.
7. Add custom applications into your mesh (similar to Facebook)

Here is a demo: http://www.mesh.com/Welcome/Tour.aspx



Is mesh just a file sharing service?
No not exactly. Mesh is a cloud service that provides data serices for users. All the data (documents, apps etc) is stored in the mesh. Access to all these information is possible with a) mesh feeds that come in a variety of formats b) through the usage of api (good for .net users). The best part is that the user can add all his devices into his mesh and syncronize the information across all of them. Currently the deivces supported are windows desktop PCs, coming forth are Mac PCs and Mobiles.

Imagine, no matter where you are and using any device, you still access your documents & applications. Thats really cool stuff. For example I have my brower favourites which get synced on all my devices. In fact mesh is your online desktop operating system.

Mesh opens up whole lot of possibilities with mesh applications. I guess the concept is very much similar to FaceBook applications. SDK is provided for developers to create apps. Check out this video at https://www.mesh.com/web/developer.aspx

Check out this post for more info:
http://weblogs.asp.net/hosamkamel/archive/2008/04/23/live-mesh-first-look-at-microsoft-s-new-platform.aspx

Also a good video at http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=live+mesh&hl=en&sitesearch=