Speaking at San Diego Code Camp July 28 2013

I’ll be speaking at the San Diego Code Camp next weekend, doing a session on BizTalk Server Best Practices. I just signed up a couple of days ago as I wasn’t sure if I’d be in town. This is a fun and interactive session, hope to see you there!

This is usually a very well run and attended event. For details, see


3 BizTalk Servers, 2 Datacenters, 1 On-prem

As you’re probably aware, Windows Azure IaaS went general availability recently. There are three BizTalk images in the gallery that you use to create a new BizTalk virtual machine.

This was too much for me to resist, I wanted to do something cool and distributed as a proof-of-concept. The result is this blog post, and the accompanying video that shows the demo running.

To get to the bottom line, I used 2 BizTalk VMs on Azure, and 1 running “on prem” (in a Hyper-V VM). The roles of the servers are as follows:

Server 1 (“Spoke”, Western Europe):

  • receives a batch of orders
  • disassembles the batch into individual orders
  • uses the WCF-WebHttp adapter to send each order to the hub via a REST POST

Server 2 (“Hub”, Southeast Asia)

  • receives each order via the WCF-WebHttp adapter
  • sends each order on the the Azure Service Bus using the WCF-NetTcpRelay adapter

Server 3 (“On-prem”, San Diego USA)

  • establishes an endpoint on the Windows Azure Service Bus using the WCF-NetTcpRelay adapter
  • receives order messages sent to that endpoint
  • persists them to file

As this is the ultimate “watch a file disappear here and another show up there” canonical BizTalk demo, I put a video together showing it working. All BizTalk people have done one of these demos before, but this is as far as I know the first one to circle the planet, leveraging Windows Azure.

I created this demo by first getting everything running locally in a single Hyper-V VM. Then, after deploying, all I needed to do was re-configure thee Spoke machine send port to that it would send to the Hub machine. For the BizTalk Servers running in Windows Azure, I used the Evaluation image, which has SQL Server installed (the Standard and Enterprise images do not).

The Spoke machine uses the default settings (it seems the default behavior of a WCF-WebHttp adapter in a send port is to do a POST, which makes sense).


The Hub machine receive location also uses the default settings:


The Hub machine send port (sending to the Windows Azure Service Bus) looks like this:



The credentials used above are the credentials for the Service Bus namespace.

Remember to watch the video!


FIX: Missing itinerary designer after installing BizTalk 2013

This happened to me. I’m not sure if it will prove to be a common problem, or just something specific to me, but I put this post together to save time for others that may run into it.

Scenario: I did a clean install of BizTalk Sever 2013. When I went into Visual Studio 2012, I did not have the option to add ESB Toolkit itinerary designers to a BizTalk project.

Explanation: During the BizTalk 2013 beta the itinerary designer was distributed as a VSIX package. However, in the RTM version it is no longer there. I went into the registry and saw there were entries for the designer, implying it was installed, yet it was not in Visual Studio.

Turns out that VSIX installation step is now integrated into the ESB Toolkit installation (yeah!), which is why there was no longer a separate VSIX package.

Fix: go to a Visual Studio command prompt, and run “devenv.exe /setup”. This “Forces Visual Studio to merge the resource metadata that describes menus, toolbars, and command groups, from all available VSPackages. ” (see


BizTalk 2013 is now RTM

BizTalk Server 2013 (the 8th release!) has released to manufacturing, and is available NOW for download at MSDN for MSDN subscribers.

You can read the team blog post at

A list of enhancements can be found at



BizTalk Server 2010R2 Image Available for Azure Virtual Machine


In case you missed it, the Windows Azure Virtual Machine Gallery now contains an image for BizTalk Server, letting you create an Azure Virtual Machine with BizTalk installed.


It was super-easy to do. I had to run the BizTalk configuration wizard and turn on SQL Agent, but that’s all. In a few minutes, you can be up and running with a fully configured BizTalk Server running on a Windows Azure VM. This opens up MANY interesting use cases…


Connecting Cold Fusion 10 to Azure SQL Database

This is easy to do, IF you have the right pieces.

For the connection string, you can use the JDBC connection string presented in the portal (see below).

For the JDBC driver, you need to be using Version 4. The reason is that earlier versions had problems with wildcard SSL certificates. You can download the driver at:

We tested this using with Cold Fusion 10 installed in an Azure Virtual Machine.



Video Case Study: MOC1 Solutions Brings Wireless Service Advisor To Windows Azure, Streamlines Auto Service Experience

This is the third in a series of video case studies I am doing with some of the ISVs I work with.

The video is available here. Enjoy!


When MOC1 Solutions wanted to move their applications supporting automotive dealerships to the cloud, they chose Windows Azure.

In this video, Software Development Manager Alex Hatzopoulos and Architect Greg Cannon speak with Microsoft Principal Architect Evangelist Brian Loesgen. In this wide ranging conversation, they cover their experiences in ramping up their team, setting up their environments, and share other first-hand application migration experience gained while moving their flagship Wireless Service Advisor™ (WSA™) product to Windows Azure.

WSA uses wireless and mobile technologies to streamline and standardize the Repair Order (RO) write-up process. WSA enables a service advisor to greet customers at their vehicle when they arrive at the dealership service department. Using a tablet PC, the service advisor scans or hand-writes the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or license plate number and transmits the information to multiple databases to retrieve critical customer and vehicle data related to that particular vehicle identifier – the critical data includes repair history, recommended services, warranty and recall information, and customer contact information.

Additionally, the WSA allows the service advisor to complete a full inspection process, handle customer's questions, and provide maintenance recommendations in a timely and interactive fashion, all while standing at the customer's vehicle. The customer can provide service authorization by signing the RO on the tablet PC so they can avoid having to wait for a printed copy. The WSA also allows for the preparation of a printed repair order as well as the update of the DMS database. The WSA presents a user-friendly front-end application that both effectively represents the entire Repair Order write up process and efficiently standardizes the Repair Order write-up procedure. The WSA™ accomplishes all this via an Azure-based backend.

About MOC1 Solutions

Based in in Glendora, CA MOC1 Solutions is a traditional ISV that was founded in 2005 and was incubated in MOC Products until June 2006 when the company was spun out as an independent private entity. MOC1 offers software applications used by automotive dealership service departments and vehicle service facilities.