Welcome to my blog!

Who am I?  My name is John Scott and I'm a consultant for Microsoft Consulting Services, located in the central region, but I tend to work wherever the projects may take me.  I've been doing the IT thing professionally now for just over a dozen years, and got an opportunity back when BizTalk 2000 first came out to build an eCommerce platform for the food service industry.  Managing several hundred trading partners' integrations teaches you a lot in a hurry about integration, EDI, BizTalk and scores of other technical and non-technical "dos" and "do nots."  I've been with Microsoft about 14 months and have worked on six customer projects in that time - things are never dull as a consultant and the travel keeps things interesting.  Many thanks to my wife and son (and daughter once she's old enough to understand when Dad's gone) for putting up with the travel!

What are my technical interests?  BizTalk, obviously.  But as anyone who works with BizTalk knows, both within the BizTalk solution and because of its role as an integration server, it touches so much else.  So in addition to "core" BizTalk concepts (orchestrations, maps, schemas, etc.) I'll be talking about ancillary BizTalk services such as BAM and BRE, as well as other technolgies used in the solutions, such as C# and WCF development, Analysis Services, and Notification Services.  Additionally I've gotten involved in a really fun internal "side" project which uses Azure, .NET and SQL Data Services.  Also, and it's hit or miss depending on the project, but I tend to sporadically do Sharepoint, ASP.NET and Silverlight development - this is ironic since I am probably the most artistically-challeneged person on the planet, and need a graphic designer to show me a picture of a UI before I can go develop it.  Otherwise I tend to make websites that would make Craigslist look graphically rich.

So what is my goal with this blog?  So often as developers, the samples from the book or proof of concepts we develop work fine for the demo, setup on a single-server installation with everything running with administrator privileges, but when released into the wild, the small nuances relating to performance, permissions, and other headaches rear their ugly heads when deployed to a "real" multi-server, minimal permissions environment.  Or how about finding that real-world use case which the tool in question almost, but doesn't quite, solve.  Can you extend or customize the tool to fully meet your needs, even if no one else has really done it before?

Primarily what I'd like this blog to be would be as a place to share the quick-wins and gotchas, those little annoying details which though small, have the ability to become what my friend and co-worker Troy calls "Time Vampires."  To that end, when I post samples and examples here, I will try and make my instructions, notes, and examples as clear and unambiguous as possible.

Additionally from time to time I'd like to present a "major" write up on interesting things I'm working on.  For example, currently I'm working on a BAM solution which definitely does not follow the Purchase Order example used in the documentation, as well as the Azure/.NET Services based-application alluded to above, where I'm developing an application which can control a deployed application remotely using only the cloud for communication.

Enough about me - time to post a "real" article!

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