Streamlining Custom Pipeline Component Development Using Base Class Library

It is widely known that custom pipeline components are highly popular extensibility points in the BizTalk architecture. The topic has been extensively discussed for many years and many useful content is available on the Web. Through observations in recent customer engagements, we noticed that there is still a couple of recommendations which could be made…


A Complete Solution to Provide Remote Assistance (debugging etc.) for .NET4 Workflows Managed by Windows Server AppFabric

A common problem IT support teams (especially multi location enterprises) have to grapple with is providing debugging assistance to IT Admin and Junior Developers at remote locations. Compounding the problem is restricted access to the machine due to logistical or security considerations. Packaging the meta data, instance data and log files relating to the erroneous instance…


Troubleshooting BRE Policies Failing to Return Results

One of our BizTalk ISV partners recently bumped into an interesting behavioral aspect of the Business Rules Engine (BRE). Their experience deserved sharing it with the community. It is likely that other BizTalk developers might be facing with similar challenges, hence this post. As part of the BRE adoption exercise, the ISV implemented a policy…


Configuring WF Activity Properties by Morphing Activity Designers: Improved end-user (ITPro) experience in Workflow Designer

There are quite a few configuration steps to be completed on the Workflow Activity after it is dragged onto the workflow design surface. The complexity and the number of data entry points for configuring these Activities could lead to errors and poor user experience.  A very common ask from the developers and ITPro users in…


Displaying Appropriate Workflow Activity Icons in rehosted Workflow Designer – improved usability of for .NET4 Windows Workflow

Rehosting the .NET4 Workflow Designer enables all the Built-In or ‘Standard’ Activities are available within the ISV partner’s custom application.  However one issue our ISV partners are running into is that the Activity icons do not show up. The (default) Workflow Designer hosted in Visual Studio has contextual icons associated with the Standard Activities (Figure…


Best Practices for Configuring BAM Data Maintenance and Cube Update SSIS Packages in BizTalk Solutions

Background It is known that the world of ISV applications is different. A typical ISV application tends not to come bundled with a support team responsible for making sure that the application is healthy and operational. Ultimately, the burden is on the ISV developers to ensure that their applications are capable of sustaining in the…


Hosting the Workflow Designer is so much easier in .NET4

One of the most appreciated features of .NET Framework 4/Windows Workflow Foundation namespaces  is the ability to (re)host the Workflow Designer within a line-of-business design ‘surface’ (application) with relative ease. This is especially important for ISVs that prefer to provide a domain specific Workflow authoring application instead of the Visual Studio environment – the default…


SharePoint Server 2010 and Windows Server AppFabric Interoperability

Calling a .NET4 WCF/Workflow Service hosted in AppFabric from a .NET3.5 Workflow hosted in SharePoint Introduction The following blog put together by our team goes into some details of demonstrating interoperability between SharePoint Server 2010 (Beta1) and Windows Server AppFabric (Beta1). As you may be aware SharePoint 2010 uses .NET 3.5 based Workflow technologies while…