Friday, July 15, 2011

The Future of Middleware and the BizTalk Roadmap

Tony Meleg said some interesting things about BizTalk Server at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in LA. You can see his whole presentation / video here.

Another blogpost I found interesting was from Richard Seroter, which is called Is BizTalk Server Going Away At Some Point? Yes. Dead? Nope.
His most important conclusion is "Is BizTalk dead?  No.  But, the product named BizTalk Server is likely not going to be available for sale in 5-10 years.  Components that originated in BizTalk (like pipelines, BAM, etc) will be critical parts of the next generation integration stack from Microsoft."

Friday, July 8, 2011

Monitoring BizTalk with BizTalk360

When I was attending the last BizTalk User Group meeting in Almere the 29th of June, it was the first time I heard of this product: BizTalk360. It describes itself as "World's first web based BizTalk production support / monitoring tool". It immediately got my attention.
At the BTUG, Saravana Kumar was representing Kovai Ltd., the company behind BizTalk360. The funny part about this is, just a few hours ago I saw that his Preparation Diary for BizTalk 2006 R2 helped me get that MCTS! Thanks for that :-)

Now on to the product, it's like the BizTalk Admin Console, but then much better.
BizTalk360 Environment dashboard
- Environment dashboard: an overview of all the properties, you could compare this to the Group Hub page.
- Fine grained authorization: users can be given different access rights to the dashboard (read-only, certain applications, various parts of the dashboard).
- Topology diagram: this automatically provides the physical network topology of the BizTalk group. It recognizes BizTalk and SQL-servers and wether it is a web / database / application server.
- Governance / auditing: all the key activities performed by users can be taken care of. You never have to wonder who stopped that Send Port or who restarted the Host Instance.

Next to that, there are also the Advanced Event Viewer, the BizTalk Server dashboard, the fact that it is web-based and lots of other things. I won't go explaining all the features, you should just check it out yourself. Or, if you don't have any development server set up, you could also try their Demo, which is made possible through Windows Azure with the AppFabric service bus.

As we are just in the middle of getting to manage more BizTalk applications, BizTalk360 could have come at the right time and the right place. I am definitely going to have a look into the dev-edition and see what I can get out of it. I think our administrators would love to use it too.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

MS SharePoint Server 2010 SP1

I'll start my first real post on this blog with the following: a few weeks ago Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2010. So why is it important for PowerPivot? It drastically improves performance for PowerPivot users!
In SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 1, members of Excel Services were able to cut the number of ECS query requests nearly in half, which means half the load on PowerPivot application servers per user action and therefore almost double the PowerPivot scalability.

You can find more details about the Service Pack here, you can also download it directly here.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Disclaimer added

I think it would be smart to write a disclaimer for my blog, so I took some examples from Danny Foo and put together my own disclaimer.

New blog added

I started this blog today and I'll be posting to it on a regular basis.
The main things I'll be talking about will be BizTalk, Business Intelligence with PowerPivot and related topics.

Please feel free to distribute this blog to colleagues and friends.

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