BizTalk Server databases and their health are very important for a successful BizTalk Server database messaging environment. BizTalk is shipped out with a total of 13 SQL Agent jobs that perform important functions to keep your servers operational and healthy.

Like any other system, all BizTalk Server databases should be backed up and BizTalk Server will provide out-of-the-box a job for accomplished that: Backup BizTalk Server (BizTalkMgmtDb) job.

This job makes both Full and Log backups. By default the Backup BizTalk Server job performs a full backup once a day and performs log backups every 15 minutes. This means that once the full backup is performed you need to wait 24 hours for it to automatically do another full backup of the BizTalk Server databases… even if you try to manually run the job, it will only make the backups of the log files.

But sometimes we need, for several reasons, to have the ability and the possibility to force a full backup:

  • We will have some maintaining plan on the server, or apply a new configuration, and we want to backup the environment
  • Or simple we will install a new integration application and again we want to have a backup in this exact moment

Each company have is policies, so again for several reasons, we sometimes need to force a full backup of all BizTalk Server databases.

The standard way is to use the “BizTalkMgmtDb.dbo.sp_ForceFullBackup” stored procedure. However, and unlike what many people think, this stored procedure does not perform a full backup it only marks internally on BizTalk Server databases that the next time the Backup BizTalk Server job runs it will need to perform a full backup of the data and log files.

All BizTalk Admins know this (if they don’t know, they should!), however sometimes we need to really on DBA Admins to perform this task, and do not misunderstand me, I have nothing against DBA! All the BizTalk Administration team should be composed by several element with different skills: DBA Admins, network admins, Sys Admins and a BizTalk Admins… each playing its role. But sometime DBA don’t really understand the BizTalk infrastructure and BizTalk Administrator should have an important role advising and helping them (like in other situations it will be the opposite).

And because this is not a day by day task people tend to forget all the steps and sometimes they will create custom scripts to perform this task, but you really need to be aware of two important things:

  • The Backup BizTalk Server job is the only supported method for backing up the BizTalk Server databases. Use of SQL Server jobs to back up the BizTalk Server databases in a production environment is not supported.
  • You can use the SQL Server methods to backup the BizTalk Server databases only if the SQL Server service is stopped and if all BizTalk Server processes are stopped.

So to help one of my DBA teams I end up creating this job that is composed by two steps:

  • Step 1: Force Full Backup
    • That will call the “BizTalkMgmtDb.dbo.sp_ForceFullBackup” stored procedure
  • Step 2: Backup BizTalk Server
    • That will call the standard Backup BizTalk Server (BizTalkMgmtDb) job

Force-Full-Backup-BizTalk-Server-BizTalkMgmtDb

Note: Of course this custom job should be disabled and manually executed when you need it!

Hope you find it useful

You can download the custom “Force Full Backup BizTalk Server (BizTalkMgmtDb)” Job from:

Force Full Backup BizTalk Server (BizTalkMgmtDb) Job (863 bytes)
Microsoft | TechNet Gallery

 

This post is for the BizTalk Server and SQL Server Portuguese Community, will be held on April 23, 2014 between 18:30 – 21:50 the XLIX SQLPort Community Meeting at the Science and Technology Park of University of Porto (UPTEC) in Oporto.

XLIX Encontro da comunidade SQLPort

Realiza-se no dia 23 de Abril de 2014, o XLIX Encontro da comunidade SQLPort, que tem como objectivo a partilha de experiências e conhecimento entre os profissionais e entusiastas de SQL Server em Portugal. O evento vai ser realizado no PORTO, no auditório da UPTEC, pelas 18:30, sendo a entrada livre para todos os inscritos.

Sobre minha sessão…

A minha sessão será uma introdução a dois papéis existentes em BizTalk: BizTalk Administrator e BizTalk Developer.

Podemos dizer que o coração do motor do BizTalk Server é a MessageBox que é composta por dois principais componentes: uma ou mais base de dados sobre Microsoft SQL Server e um e o agente de Mensagens.

As base de dados SQL Server fornecem persistência para diversas dados, nos quais se incluem mensagens ou partes das mensagens, propriedades da mensagem, subscrições, estado das orquestração, dados de tracking, host queues para roteamento entre outros. Desta forma podemos dizer que existe um forte dependência entre o BizTalk Server e o SQL Server e com base nisso qualquer equipa de administração desta plataforma também requer um SQL Admin.

Uma das partes desta sessão irá abordar alguns dos tópicos que um SQL Admin deverá conhecer para administrar uma plataforma BizTalk Server ao nível do SQL, demonstrando alguns erros comuns e como os podemos evitar.

Mas como o BizTalk Server também têm uma forte componente de desenvolvimento, que nos permite desenvolver processos de negócios complexos que irão comunicar com os mais diversos sistemas de uma organização ou entre parceiros de negócios e geri-los de uma forma organizada, e uma vez que estamos num evento de SQL, nesta sessão também iremos efectuar uma introdução e abordar como podemos trocar mensagens com o SQL Server: consumir mensagens provenientes de SQL ou enviar mensagens para SQL Server.

A Agenda…

18:30: Abertura e recepção;

19:30: Community News

19:10: Utilidade das funções de: Ranking, Window e Analytic no nosso dia-a-dia!
           by Etienne Lopes [Consultor Senior – Newvision SA]

20:10: Networking / Coffee Break;

20:30: BizTalk and SQL Together: For Developers & Admin
           by Sandro Pereira [Microsoft Integration MVP, Senior Developer - DevScope]

21:30: Sorteio de prémios

21:30: Fim do evento;

22:00: Jantar livre

Data Evento: 23 Abril 2014 – 18:30H

Local do Evento: Parque de Ciência e Tecnologia da Universidade do Porto (UPTEC) | Rua Alfredo Allen, n.º455/461 | 4200-135 PORTO | Portugal

Saiba mais sobre o evento na página da Comunidade SQLPort.

O evento é gratuito! De que está à espera? Reserve já o seu lugar aqui e participe!

Estamos a sua espera.

Exciting news for the BizTalk Community… specially the 200 persons that attended the BizTalk Summit 2014 London that already know the potential of BizTalk NoS addin!

Nino Crudele just public announce in is blog: BizTalk NoS Add-in Beta version has been officially released through Visual Studio Gallery that the BizTalk NoS Addin is now available for you to download it in install it on Visual Studio gallery at: BizTalk NoS Addin!!!!!

What is BTSG NoS Addin purpose?

The purpose of BTSG NoS addin is to help all BizTalk Developer, why not, all BizTalk Administrator too in a lot of different situations, by improving the developer experience and why not reduce the development time in new or existent BizTalk projects.

It will provide several functionalities like quick search inside artifact, fast register/unregister in GAC, find critical, internal or external dependencies… and many fore functionalities like JackHammering, which will compare your VS artifact with the artifact deployed in BizTalk environment, you can also extract the artifact (Orchestration, map, schema and so on) from BizTalk environment and put it in the VS solution or even test your pipeline in VS simply… several features that are usefully in our day by day work and a time saver in a lot of situations.

How can I install BTSG NoS Addin

You can install BTSG NoS Addin directly from Visual Studio “Extensions and Updates” option. For that you must:

  • Open Visual Studio as Administrator, go to the “Tools” menu and select the “Extensions and Updates” option.
  • In the “Extensions and Updates”, in the right panel select “Online” tab and search for “BizTalk” or for “BizTalk NoS Addin”.
  • And Download the BizTalk Nos Addin”.

The rest of the installation process is described in one of my previous post: How to install BTSG NoS Addin for Visual Studio 2012

You can find all the documentation about this addin in:

Or in my posts:

Special Note

It has been a challenge, an extreme playfulness and a privilege to work with my dear friend Nino Crudele! I feel extremely honored that Nino have chosen me to help in this final phase of his work and for that THANKS Nino!

_DSC2735

Now is time to take a small vacations of BizTalk NoS addin and finish my ongoing work: BizTalk Mapper Pattern eBook… witch of course Nino will be one of the reviewers J

In my last posts I’m being describing some of the features of BTSG NoS Addin. This is the final post about the overview of all features available with this Visual Studio addin and how can you use them.

Test Pipeline

There are many ways to test BizTalk pipelines: by using Biztalk Pipeline Framework to create unit testing, using the Pipeline.exe tool or by create and use them by implementing "for real" in BizTalk messaging scenarios. But there isn’t for real an easy build support feature in Visual Studio to test our custom pipelines.

Once again BizTalk NoS addin will provide that for you. This operation will test our custom pipeline pipelines directly from Visual STudio by simple right click and “Test Pipeline”:

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Test-Pipeline

  • Visual Studio will prompt a window for to select and instance of the message that you want to try against the pipeline.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Test-Pipeline-open-file

  • and will show the result for the pipeline directly in VS IE

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Test-Pipeline-result

Test Pipeline Component

As the previous one testing or debugging a custom pipeline component can be a challenger and most of the times you will need to create and testing them by implementing and configuring a BizTalk messaging scenarios and then attach the BizTalk process in Visual Studio to debug the components.

You now will be able to debug your pipeline component attaching an external process from VS without care about BizTalk environment by:

  • Right click on the pipeline that contains the custom pipeline component that you want to try and select the option “Test Pipeline Component”:

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Test-Pipeline-Component

  • A window will be show that will describe all the steeps necessary for you to configure you testing scenario and debug the custom pipeline component

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Test-Pipeline-Component-2

  • The first thing you need to do is select an instance of a message that you want to try against the custom pipeline component, by clicking in the add wheel in the left:

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Test-Pipeline-Component-3

    • A window will prompt for to select and instance of the message

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Test-Pipeline-Component-open-file

  • The second step is to set a breakpoint in you custom pipeline component and attach the BTSG TestPipeline process with the Visual Studio Debugger by:
    • On the Visual Studio “Debug” menu, select “Attach to Process”

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Test-Pipeline-Component-attach-process

    • Select the BTSG.TestPipeline.exe process (the title will also contains the name of our pipeline) and click “Attach”

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Test-Pipeline-Component-attach-process-select

  • For the third and final step, you will need to go to the BTSG window to configure you testing scenario and debug the custom pipeline component, to submit the select message instance to debug it against the custom pipeline component, by clicking in the submit wheel in the right side:

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Test-Pipeline-Component-4

And you be able to start debug your custom pipeline component code.

Heuristics

Heuristics are basically the same of the above dependencies features (internal and external) but more useful during refactoring or before to do an update in an artifact. For example you need to modify an artifact and you want to know what will be the artifact update impact in the entire solution.

Other extreme situation could be, I want to know where this property schema or schema could be used, and this is not so simple to know because a property schema or schema could be used in lot of different way using his root nodes.

Heuristic Internal Propagation

This feature is basically the same as the “Internal Dependencies” but with the difference that we will also go ahead and will also the sub-levels of dependencies, i.e., the sub-artifacts.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Heuristic-Internal-Propagation

You can access this features by:

  • Right click in your resource (file) name and select the “Heuristic Internal Propagation” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Heuristic-Internal-Propagation-option

Heuristic External Propagation

This feature is basically the same as the “External Dependencies” but with the difference that we will also go ahead and will also the sub-levels of dependencies, i.e., the sub-artifacts.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Heuristic-External-Propagation

You can access this features by:

  • Right click in your resource (file) name and select the “Heuristic External Propagation” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Heuristic-External-Propagation-option

Heuristic Circular Propagation

This feature is basically the combination of both above heuristic operation (internal and external propagation) in a single operation.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Heuristic-Circular-Propagation

You can access this features by:

  • Right click in your resource (file) name and select the “Heuristic Circular Propagation” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Heuristic-Circular-Propagation-option

Heuristic Anchoring Dependencies

Looking in all files in the solution for all artifact that could be associated with the artifact selected.

You can access this features by:

  • Right click in your resource (file) name and select the “Heuristic Anchoring Dependencies” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Heuristic-Anchoring-Dependencies-option

Heuristic Similarity Dependencies

Looking in all files in the solution for all artifact that could be associated (same solution domain, for example are using the same namespace) in any possible option, with the artifact selected.

You can access this features by:

  • Right click in your resource (file) name and select the “Heuristic Similarity Dependencies” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Heuristic-Similarity-Dependencies-option

Heuristic Contagion Dependencies

Looking in all files in the solution for all artifact that could be associated with the artifact selected, in all of possible combinations, type name, fields used, root name and more…

You can access this features by:

  • Right click in your resource (file) name and select the “Heuristic Contagion Dependencies” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Heuristic-Contagion-Dependencies-option

Finally all the features are documented… And we only need to wait the release announcement!!!!

In my last posts I’m being describing some of the features of BTSG NoS Addin. In this post we will continue to have an overview of all features available with this Visual Studio addin and how can you use them.

Locate it

How many times you open your old or new project will several files opened in the Visual Studio MDI window and you want a simple way to locate where this file is in your projects structure? For example: you are working in a transformation but know you need to locate the map file to specify a “TestMap Input Instance”… if don’t know exactly where it is, you need to check the full path of the map and then manually navigate in the solution explorer to the file that you want.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Where-is-my-file

Finally now you will have an easy way to accomplish this! Which will save us much time in the developing process, for me this one of the basic stuff that is a timesaver.

Note: Even if you don’t have the “Solution Explorer” Window opened, this feature will find the file that you are locking for and will automatically open (or give the proper focus) the “Solution Explorer” window!

You can access these features by:

  • On the Visual Studio MDI window, right click in tab with the name of the file and select “Locate it!” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Locate-it

The result is, as you can see the picture below, the project will be expanded and the desired file will be selected:

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Locate-it-result

Again this is very useful for a BizTalk Developer because he needs to locate the file to test or generate schema instances or test, validate or debug maps.

Dependencies

This addin will provide several option to deal with dependencies between BizTalk artifacts. Choosing what to use will depend on the situation and what you want to archive.

External Dependencies

Sometimes we want to know who use this artifact. This is really useful in order to get a clear sense of where the changes that we need to do can have impacts. For example, if I need to change a schema, will this changes will have impact in my maps or in my orchestration? So I really need to know, before modifying my resource, which artifacts are using it.

You can access this features by:

  • Right click in your resource (file) name and select the “External Dependencies” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-External-dependencies

The result is, as you can see the picture below, the project will be expanded and all the resources that are consuming the artifact will be selected:

BTSG-NoS-Addin-External-dependencies-result

Note: You will also have available the option to automatically open all the files (this is a behavior/functionality that you will find in many features).

BTSG-NoS-Addin-open-artifact-to-option

Internal Dependencies

Well if you like the previous one, this will be the opposite and also useful in several situations. In this case we want to know what this artifact is using (or which artifacts are consuming). For example: I need to modify the schema, or the schemas, used by a map… and you need to remember in huge solution this simple task to find schemas in your solution can be a challenger and a boring repeated task by BizTalk developers!

Don´t get me wrong, we have all the information on the map file by simply place the cursor over the schema:

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Where-is-my-file-schema

But again, out-of-the-box I don’t have any easy way to locate and open the schemas, I need to manually navigate in the solution explorer to the file that we want.

You can accomplish this by access this feature by:

  • Right click in your resource (file) name and select the “Internal Dependencies” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Internal-dependencies

The result is, as you can see the picture below, the project will be expanded and all the resources that being consumed by the artifact will be selected:

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Internal-dependencies-result

These are simple things/operations but they are timesaver for a BizTalk Developer. For example, about orchestration, I can ask internal dependencies and select the option “Open it”, because I want with one click to have available and ready to work all the artifact (schemas, maps and so on) to make all the necessary changes.

Critical dependencies

This feature van be found in the project context and will find all critical dependencies to solve the classical problem that you may have when deploying a project or solution, for example, an pipeline (or other artifact like map and so on) that exist in this project is being used by an external application, normally Visual Studio will generate an error about a foreign key database strict without to specify who the application is or what port that is using it.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Visual-Studio-error-critical-dependencies

You can accomplish this by access this feature by:

  • Right click in the name of your project and select the “Critical Dependencies” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Critical-Dependencies

The result is, as you can see the picture below, the project will be expanded and all the resources that being consumed by the artifact will be selected:

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Critical-Dependencies-result

In this manner you can fix it and decide you deploy strategies

Heuristic Dependencies

We will talk about this features (there are 6 Heuristic Dependencies!) in another post.

Refactory

Similar with Reflector feature, the Refactory will create a more simple report with a circular reference (internal and external) with other artifacts that can be very useful to understand the refactory strategy to use.

You can accomplish this by access this feature by:

  • Right click on your artifact (Orchestration, map, schema…) and select the “Refactory” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Refactory

This feature will provide some statistics and information’s about

  • Who is using this artifact
  • And what artifacts this resource is consuming.
  • And some general information like complexity, persistent point and error handling (in orchestrations) and so on.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Refactory-result

For several reasons some people don’t like the day of their birthday… I on the other hand love it! I enjoy celebrating the day with family and friends, receive gifts … but also give back something!

And as happens every year on this day, I always try to write a post for the BizTalk community… this year I will introduce the most expected features of BTSG NoS Addin… the infamous JackHammering!

BTSG-NoS-Addin-JackHammering

JackHammering

You can accomplish this by access this feature by:

  • Right click on your artifact (Orchestration, map, schema…) and select the “Jackhammering” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-JackHammering-option

This features is useful for several things and will be mainly used to validate if the version we are using in development is or is not equal to the solution that is published in your BizTalk Server environment: DEV, E2E or even Production!

With this feature you can, for example:

  • Compare your artifact with artifact deployed in BizTalk Server environment or extract the artifact from BizTalk Server environment into your BizTalk Solution by:
    • Double click in your artifact (in this case the Orchestration) (Note: Nino is fixing the layout of the screen)

BTSG-NoS-Addin-JackHammering-orchestration

    • And an additional window will be presented for you to select the task you want to perform:

BTSG-NoS-Addin-JackHammering-menu

      • Compare it

BTSG-NoS-Addin-jackhammering-Compare-it

      • Or “Extract it” (in the left is the orchestration extract from BizTalk Server Environment and in the right is my orchestration version in Visual Studio)

BTSG-NoS-Addin-JackHammering-extract-it

  • Or you can accomplished the same task from an assembly file. This option is extremely useful if you import the DLL from production to compare to your version in developer, because normally the DEV machine cannot connect to production.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-JackHammering-from-assembly-file

  • When you choose “Extract form DLL” option, it will open a file explorer windows to select the DLL, the end result will be the same.

JackHammering will be useful for Developers but also for Admins. Developers can use it to for recover the solution to your BizTalk Developer machine because you lose your artifact (orchestration, map, schema and so on) code, or a normally situation when you arrive to the client and they don’t have the source code!! Or just because you aren’t sure if you are using the last version and so on.

But admin will also have a good way to validate if the solutions that are running are the right versions, if there is differences and knowing were problems can happen.

BTSG NoS Addin will be available soon… you just need to be a little more patience… stay tuned to Nino personal blog!

Last post I explain the propose of BTSG NoS Addin and start to descrive some of this features. In this post we will continue to have an overview of all features available with this Visual Studio addin and how can you use them.

Build Project

You are probably thinking you do I need another Build option? And the reason is simple, sometimes we have huge solution with several project inside, and in this situations try to build one simple project can be a challenger with Visual Studio because it simple takes a huge of time trying to make this task because all of dependencies.

This option will build the desired project without any interaction with Visual Studio design environment, making this operation faster than the native build operation on Visual Studio.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Build-Project

You can access this features by:

  • Right click in your project name and select the “Build project” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Build-Project-option

Fast register/unregister in GAC quickly

How many times you desired to have a simple easy and quick way to install DLL, and why not also uninstall, in the Global Assembly Cache (GAC) and why not directly from your favorite developer tool: Visual Studio? Instead we need to install using Gacutil.exe tool, and don’t get me wrong, it is an excellent tool, but is not practical in the day by day work!

Finally now you have this option! At the moment is not a “direct” operation that you can do in your project. In other words you need additional but simple steps to accomplish these operations.

You can access these features by:

  • Select your project name and then in the solution explorer window click “Show All Files” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Show-All-Files

  • Navigate to the folder that contains the project DLL or the DLL that you want to register/unregister
    • For example: “\bin\debug”
  • Right click in the DLL name and select “Register in GAC” or “Unregister from GAC” options

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Register-Unregister-GAC-Visual-Studio

Note: This work with all DLL’s it doesn’t have to be a BizTalk DLL, you can easily register a C# Helper Class used by BizTalk Project in GAC with this functionality.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Register-in-GAC

I personally LOVE this feature!

Deploy assembly

Again you are probably thinking you do I need another Deploy option? And the reasons are exactly the same as de “Build project” option that we described earlier.

This operation will deploy a BizTalk assembly directly from the bin directory in VS environment by simple right click and deploy it:

  • Select your project name and then in the solution explorer window click “Show All Files” option
  • Navigate to the folder that contains the project DLL that you want to deploy
    • For example: “\bin\debug”
  • Right click in the DLL name and select “Deploy assembly” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Deploy-2

This operation will be exactly the same as add/update resource from BizTalk Server administration console.
What’s the purpose? In some situations I simply don’t want to use Visual Studio environment will all the dependencies and other stuff. What I want is only to deploy the assembly fast.

This option will allow you to make this directly from Visual Studio, making this operation faster than the native deploy operation on Visual Studio.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Deploy

BTSG NoS Addin will be available soon… you just need to be a little more patience… stay tuned to Nino personal blog!

What is BTSG NoS Addin purpose?

The purpose of BTSG NoS addin is to help all BizTalk Developer, why not, all BizTalk Administrator too in a lot of different situations, by improving the developer experience and why not reduce the development time in new or existent BizTalk projects.

It will provide several functionalities like quick search inside artifact, fast register/unregister in GAC, find critical, internal or external dependencies… and many fore functionalities like JackHammering, which will compare your VS artifact with the artifact deployed in BizTalk environment, you can also extract the artifact (Orchestration, map, schema and so on) from BizTalk environment and put it in the VS solution or even test your pipeline in VS simply … several features that are usefully in our day by day work and a time saver in a lot of situations.

How to get start with the addin?

After you installing the addin, the first thing you need to do is to load the BTSG NoS addin to Visual Studio by:

  • On the Tools menu, click Add-In Manager.
  • In the Add-in Manager window, select the add-in from the list.
    • You can select the option “Startup” so that the addin is available a soon you open your Visual Studio solution
  • Check the box next to the add-in in the Available Add-Ins column, and then click OK.

(see my previous post for more details).

BTSG Settings

When you install the BTSG NoS addin, it will be defined 3 default setting for the internal use of the addin. You can check and configure this settings by:

  • Right click in your solution name and select the “BTSG Settings” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-BTSG-Settings

  • BizTalk Server Name: Name of the SQL Server instance that hosts the BizTalk Management database, “.” (local) by default.
  • BizTalk Configuration Database: Name of the BizTalk Management database for the group, “BizTalkMgmtDb” by default.
  • Be verbose: By default this option is active. This option is good for debugging problems because it will display to the user more detailed messages in output window about what is happening.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-BTSG-Settings-2

To check the messages produce by the addin you just need to select BTSG in output window and you will see the messages:

BTSG-NoS-Addin-BTSG-output-window

Build and Scan the solution (the most important step)

Because the addin work with a lot of reflection in some functionalities, before you start using the addin in your BizTalk Solution and for the addin work with precision you need to build your solution and then “Scan solution” by:

  • Right click in your solution name and select the “Scan Solution” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Scan-the-solution

Note: If you already have the solution build, i.e., you already have the correct DLL files generated in the respective solution folders, then you just need to “Scan solution”.

What is the Scan Solution?

This option will analyze you solution: all the files, folders, DLL and so that it can have a have a clear notion of what is composing your BizTalk solution: How many project exist in the solution, what type of artifacts the project have or and what are the dependencies between projects. These are some of the task that this option will analyze so it can work with consistency and with accuracy.

List of available features

In this section we will have an overview of all features available with this Visual Studio addin and how can you use them.

Expand and Collapse solution

Let’s start with the basic new functionalities that are available in the context of the solution:

  • Expand Solution: This option will full expand all the projects in your current solution. This feature can be useful when we want an easy and simple way to have visualization of the entire structure of the solution.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Expand-solution

  • Collapse Solution: this is exactly the opposite of the previous feature. This option will collapse all the projects in your current solution in a simple and easy way.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Collapse-solution

You can access this features by:

  • Right click in your solution name and select the “Expand Solution” or “Collapse Solution” options

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Expand-and-Collapse-solution

Wild Search

I think the name explains the feature itself. This feature will perform a full text searches in all the artifacts of your entire solution, which means that for example, in schemas will search for elements, records and attributes but also properties of the map itself, in orchestrations will search for shape names, messages names, variable names and so on. The best way to explain the mode of how this operation works or to find an analogy is: inside the Visual Studio open the artifact (schema, map, orchestration and so on) with XML (text) Editor and make a search inside that artifact. Now think in this process, automatically, to all articles of your solution.

We can also call this as a “Search” –> “Selection” –> “Open it” operation.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Wild-Search

Because all the artifact in your entire solution that meet the search requirement will be selected and you will have the option to open it all automatically after the search finished.

You can access this features by:

  • Right click in your solution name and select the “Wild Search” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Wild-Search-option

Reflector

This feature will create a report with a lot of useful information’s about your entire solution or for a particular project in our solution so that you can analyze:

  • It will provide some statistics and metrics, for example
    • Solution metrics: number of projects, artefacts, orchestrations, transformation, Schemas and Pipelines
    • Artifact metrics: Information about the kb average used by the artifact in memory or some metrics to understand the complexity of the artefact (orchestration, map and so on),
  • But also information about:
    • What use this artifact or what doing this artifact (very useful with orchestration)
    • Show all the information’s like:
      • Artifact dependencies
      • What ports are using this orchestration or schema or map?
      • How many shapes exist in the orchestration or how many Transactions (Atomic, Long Running) exist, Compensation or Error handling?
      • How many Construct messages or even how many transformations?
      • How many Functoids or links exists inside a transformation?
    • And so on.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-BizTalk-Solution-Report

This is basically an interactive report or documentation of your solution. Interactive because you can interact with the report and he will automatically open the artifact while you are reading it. You can open the directory, maps, orchestrations, schemas and so on directly from the report.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-BizTalk-Solution-Report-2

The reflector can be used in all levels of your solution, from simple artifact, from a single project or to produce a full report of your entire solution (this last means to have a report of all of the artifacts in the solution)

This will also can be used to produce a good documentation of your BizTalk Projects

You can access this features by:

  • Right click in your solution/project or artifact name and select the “Reflector” option

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Reflector

BTSG NoS Addin will be available soon… you just need to be a little more patience… stay tuned to Nino personal blog!

Don’t be fooled because I am the first to talk about this addin, BTSG NoS Addin is a creation of my dear friend Nino Crudele.

Who is Nino Crudele?

I think if you didn’t knew who was Nino, after his session in BizTalk Summit 2014, he doesn’t need any introduction anymore: Nino Crudele lives in Italy and he has been a Microsoft Integration (BizTalk) MVP for 7 years. Besides that he is also a Virtual Technology Specialist for BizTalk Server, a role in which he works closely with Microsoft Italy. He enjoys this role as it enables him to work with many different clients seeing BizTalk in different scenarios from a technical point of view, size, and criticality.

Follow Nino Crudele through is person blog or in is twitter.

BTSG NoS Addin Installation

Installing BTSG NoS Addin in your Visual Studio developer environment is a straight forward task. Most or all of the pre-requisites will be present and you can simply run the MSI or executable file from an Administrator command prompt.

Software Requirements

This table lists the software required for running BTSG NoS Addin.

Software Required Description Required for
Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Supported versions: Professional, Premium and Ultimate editions.
Microsoft .NET Framework Minimum .NET Framework 4.5 This is required for all the Addin components
To install BTSG NoS Addin
  • Execute “BTSGSetup.exe” file with administration writes by, right-click on the file and select “Run as administrator” option.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Run-as-administrator

  • On the Welcome to the BTSG NoS Addin Installer Setup screen, click “Next” to continue

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Welcome-Installer-Setup-screen

  • On the Completed the BTSG NoS Addin Installer Setup screen, click “Finish” to complete the installation of the Addin.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Completed-Installer-Setup-screen

  • Click “OK” and you are ready to use the BTSG NoS Addin in you BizTalk Server projects.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-configured-process

To load BTSG NoS Addin to Visual Studio
  • Open Visual Studio Project and on the Tools menu, click Add-In Manager.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Visual-Studio-Project-Add-In-Manager

  • In the Add-in Manager window, select the add-in from the list.

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Add-in-Manager-window

  • Check the box next to the add-in in the Available Add-Ins column, and then click OK.

Right click in one of your BizTalk artifacts and you can see the new options provided by BTSG NoS Addin:

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Working-in-Visual-Studio

State of the art

Nino worked over the last four months in this addin and we are currently undertaking a comprehensive battery of tests, just today we found 3 small bugs that are currently being fixed, before it’s beta release.

So why am I posting this on my blog? Well, Nino is overworked fixing all the small bugs and making small improvements.. and I’m helping him testing the addin and also creating some documentation :)

BTSG NoS Addin will be available soon… you just need to be a little more patience… stay tuned to Nino personal blog!

For the BizTalk Server and Windows Azure Portuguese Community, will be held on March 29, 2014 between 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM the Global Windows Azure Bootcamp at Microsoft Portugal in Lisbon

O que é o Global Windows Azure Bootcamp?

O Global Windows Azure Bootcamp é um evento em que a comunidade de Windows Azure vai ter a oportunidade de experimentar as últimas novidades da plataforma e entrar em contacto com os maiores especialistas portugueses na plataforma.

Um dia que começa cedo às 9h e com muitas sessões técnicas ao longo de todo o dia. Traz o teu portátil e aproveita para experimentar alguns dos desafios que temos para ti e colabora num projecto internacional de investigação da diabetes porque vamos criar uma farm a nível planetário para conseguir acelerar o processo de investigação.

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Este tipo de evento irá ocorrer no dia 29 de Março em aproximadamente 139 cidades em 57 países.

Sobre minha sessão…

A minha sessão será uma introdução as funcionalidades existentes nos novos serviços de integração na Cloud: Windows Azure BizTalk Services (WABS): EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) e EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), como gerir a troca de mensagens EDI e trading partners através do WABS Portal; Suporte a Flat files, Schemas e transformações (Mapas), migrações de projectos on-prem para a cloud entre outras funcionalidades.

A Agenda…

09:00: Registration Open;

09:30: Introduction to the Windows Azure Global Bootcamp
by Luis Calado[Windows Azure Technical Evangelist @ Microsoft]

10:00: Dev Ops in Windows Azure
by José António Silva [R&D Director @ DevScope]

11:00: Networking / Coffee Break;

11:30: Programming Windows Azure Active Directory
by Virgilio Esteves [Windows Azure MVP]

12:30: Windows Azure Biztalk Services
by Sandro Pereira [Microsoft Integration MVP]

13:30: Lunch;

14:00: “Project Siena” meets Windows Azure Mobile Services
by Luis Alves Martins [Architect @ Microsoft]

15:00: Real Life Windows Azure Web Sites
by João Pedro Martins[CTO @ Create IT]

16:00: Networking / Coffee Break;

16:30: Cloudifying Your SharePoint Development Strategies
by Rodrigo Pinto [SharePoint MVP]

17:30: Testing Scenarios with Windows Azure and Visual Studio Online
by Vitor Tomaz [Software Engineer @ Safira]

18:30: What’s new in Windows Azure Mobile Services
by Alexandre Marreiros

 

Data Evento: 29 Março 2014 – 09:00H
Local do Evento: Microsoft Portugal | Rua do Fogo de Santelmo Lote 2.07.02 | Lisboa 1990-110 | Portugal

Saiba mais sobre o evento na página do Global Windows Azure Bootcamp – Lisboa.

O evento é gratuito! De que está à espera? Reserve já o seu lugar aqui e participe!

Estamos a sua espera.