Our New Blog Home

Please follow us on the new MSDN blog where a combined workforce of the ASG ISV Team and BizTalk Customer Advisory Team (CAT) will continue providing the community with latest best practices and technical guidance covering the entire family of Microsoft’s Application Server products and technologies.


Management Tasks for BizTalk CAT Instrumentation Framework – Fully Explained

The following post is intended to drill down into most common administrative tasks involved in the ETW event trace session management, specifically, as it relates to getting the true value of the BizTalk CAT Instrumentation Framework by being able to extract data out of the instrumented BizTalk application code into traditional human-readable trace log file….


How to Support Component-Level Instrumentation Using BizTalk CAT Instrumentation Framework

In one of our recent publications, we explained the key usage patterns for the ETW-based instrumentation framework which was made available to the community on the BizTalk CAT Best Practices Code Gallery. We have received a number of insightful follow-ups and interesting questions and one of them has triggered the following post. Scenario A BizTalk…


Scripting Window Server AppFabric Configuration

Windows PowerShell cmdlets are an administration-focused scripting language that helps you achieve control and productivity when managing your Windows Server AppFabric installation.  There are cmdlets particular to AppFabric and those that are generic in nature.  The output results of one cmdlet can be piped to another cmdlet by combining the two statements with a single…


Tips and Tricks in hosting .NET4 Workflow Designer: how to load a ‘blank’ Activity Builder Designer Grid!

Background: ISVs typically host the Workflow Designer to enable the ITPros use the tool set outside the Visual Studio UI experience. Problem: While loading a new Designer view in the rehosted Workflow Designer, the method workflowDesigner.Load (new Sequence ()) by default loads an empty Sequence Activity in the Activity Builder designer grid (Figure 1).  In…


Best Practices for Instrumenting High Performance BizTalk Solutions

During a recent technical engagement with a BizTalk ISV, we helped the ISV partner implement a tracing framework which combined the high performance and flexibility provided by the Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) infrastructure. This work has enabled us to produce and validate the foundation of the best practices for instrumenting BizTalk solutions. We are…


Collecting Business Values from AppFabric for Analytics

Synopsis: Persistence Store extensibility to store and query metadata relating to workflow instances – useful to generate IT and Business Reports from Workflow Services hosted within Windows Server AppFabric – http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/ee695849.aspx. The ability to report Workflow Process tracking status to end users is a very important feature of any Business Process Management (BPM) product, especially…


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…


Windows Server AppFabric: Extensibility to support remote troubleshooting

A common problem ISV support teams (and multi location enterprises, e.g., Microsoft) 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…


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…