Archive for April, 2009

More BizTalk 2009 Install Guide Info Updates

I checked in the Windows Server 2008 English BizTalk 2009 pre-requisites redistributable and it DOES now include the ADOMD v10 install. Yahoo!
 
So after exploring the new information available on BizTalk 2009, I noticed that the whole SQL Server Notification Services documentation story has been updated dramatically. I had posted a few days ago about how the link from the 2009 Beta install guide for SSNS went to a version from SQL 2005 RC1 did not provide enough files and resulted in lots of errors. Now the documentation sends you to a Microsoft support site where you can download the missing SQL dependency files (SMO among them): http://support.microsoft.com/hotfix/KBHotfix.aspx?kbnum=953752. This should be a huge improvement – this should enable BAM Alerts to work without needing to install a secondary SQL 2005 instance. The result of my configuration research shows there is more than one supportable configuration for using SSNS – either as a scaled down version or on a separate SQL 2005 instance.
 
For the last couple of months I have been playing with BizTalk 2006 R2 on Windows Server 2008 and SQL 2008 to get a better understanding of software compatability between these products. I had posted on the gap of information about what server roles and features would be necessary to use BizTalk in a Windows Server 2008 environment. Fortunately, the recently released BizTalk 2009 install guide for Windows Server 2008 does mention the required roles and features for Windows Server 2008 under the section describing what should be installed with IIS. The install guides have now been split up by OS, but there is unfortunately not one for installing onto Windows 7 – perhaps we will have to wait for this to be released later. 🙂
 
It looks like the updated documentation does not include any mention of the two separate BizTalk 2009 RFID install images – one bundled with the BizTalk server software, and one as a separate ISO. The separate ISO has a lot more samples on it so be sure to get the separate ISO too. Both are available on MSDN.

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BizTalk 2009 RTW (Release to World)

I just found out that the BizTalk 2009 release has been extended to the general public: http://seroter.wordpress.com/2009/04/27/quick-thoughts-on-formal-biztalk-2009-launch-today/. I have been posting on various issues with the RTM version. It looks like the 2009 install guides can now be found at

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=128383 – the link was reset and it connects successfully. Additionally, the install guides now mention ADOMD v10 so please stop using the Beta install guide – it has now been replaced. I will be posting here soon about whether the updated prerequisites CAB includes ADOMD v10 and some other details I have been working on from the RTM version. Interestingly, the MSDN downloadable version is still from 4/6/09 (when the RTM release occurred) so it does not look like there has been an updated build; just updates of the supporting files.

If I notice anything in the install guides or the other support files, I will be sure to post about it here.

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BizTalk 2009 RFID – new WCF Endpoint Behavior

I was looking around in BizTalk 2009 RTM trying to find new features that have been mostly undocumented and found one today! It looks like there is a new endpoint behavior that comes with the BizTalk 2009 RFID installer for use with RFID events. The WCF-Custom adapter properties does not really give you the ability to edit the endpoint’s array of events so I opened up a WCF Service Application to explore it more. The following blog post gives an example of how to build a WCF service that takes advantage of this new endpoint adapter: http://blogs.msdn.com/krishg/archive/2009/04/13/epcis-support-in-biztalk-rfid-2009-part-1.aspx. Here is a screenshot of the WCF Service Configuration Tool (it is right in the middle):
 
 
I did a little reading on the blog post mentioned above to find out that this endpoint behavior basically is like an event pipeline or event bus for working with RFID in a standards-based way. Previously, you could work with BizTalk RFID using an event-sinks approach and then connect the dots and add decision logic using the Business Rules Engine. Custom events with EPCIS can be implemented and exposed on a WCF service and called on the basis of a event chain based on device events or programmatic .NET code. One of the examples in the BizTalk RFID help file shows using REST behaviors to interact with the service that exposes EPCIS events. This is really interesting because it provides a way to interact over WCF events with the BizTalk RFID infrastructure. Since .NET 3.5 WCF services can be exposed from a WF, this development makes it a very interesting development because RFID-workflows could be created. I am still learning about the BizTalk RFID capabilities, but thought this was worth blogging on.
 
There seem to be some interesting new areas to learn about with the advances in BizTalk RFID provided with the 2009 release.
 
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Getting BAM Alerts to Work on SQL 2008

With the release of BizTalk 2009 RTM, I wanted to have a development VM to do all of the latest and greatest in BizTalk development. So I decided to build a VM with SQL 2008, BizTalk 2009, and all of the adapters I could pull together. I used the BizTalk 2009 beta install guide and installed SQL Server Notification Services (SSNS) 2005 RC1 which was the version linked to the beta install guide. When I tried to configure BAM Alerts (which depends on SSNS), I got an error, then another error and I realized there must be a gap in the 2009 beta install guide. Since a 2009 RTM install guide has not been released, I was stuck trying to figure out a way to get BAM Alerts to work. BAM Alerts configures fine on SQL 2005, but due to SQL 2008 not including SSNS, there is a cliff you can fall off trying to get BAM Alerts to work properly. This post describes the errors I received and the final workaround I came up with to get BAM Alerts to configure properly and work on a server with BizTalk 2009 and SQL 2008.

When I used the SSNS 2005 RC1 version, I started encountering errors that indicated there must be other dependencies that this install relied on. Here is the first error I was getting while configuring BAM:

The main error here is “Could not load file or assembly ‘Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo, Version=9.0.242.0’ …”. So I tried copying all of these SQL 2005 assemblies to my VM and then dropped them in the GAC. Then I tried to configure the BAM Alerts again and got this message:
The main error here is “This SQL version (10.0) is not supported.”. So obviously at this point I was steaming mad – what is the problem here? I did some searching on the nscontrol.exe named in the error and found this http://download.microsoft.com/download/f/4/e/f4e80c76-3b69-4a42-a90b-79aeaca1177d/ReadmeSQL2005SP3NotificationServices.htm which mentions that there are 3 dependencies of SSNS and all must be loaded in order for SSNS to function properly. I tried download all three but still could not get BAM Alerts to configure properly. At this point I realized the next option to try would be to install a named SQL 2005 instance because SSNS really requires the 9.0 database version to work properly. This turned out to be what worked for me. I later found out that in order for BAM Alerts to configure properly, all of the BAM databases have to be on the same SQL instance so you need to have the SQL 2005 database services there anyway in order for BAM to all configure properly. Below I give the final install order if you want to use BAM Alerts with SQL 2008.
Final successful install order:
VM Base: Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2, SQL 2008, VS 2008 (minus SQL Express) installed in this order.
VM Diff:
  • Don’t use the SQL 2005 SSNS RC1 linked in the 2009 beta install guide. Use a SQL 2005 full verson.
  • Install SQL 2005 as a named instance (installing after SQL 2008 was the default instance worked fine for me), install the database services, notification services, and analysis services.
  • Run SQL 2005 SP2. If you forget this step, the BAM Alerts tells you the current SQL 2005 instance is not supported.
  • Install BizTalk 2009 full
  • Configure BizTalk 2009, use the named instance of SQL 2005 for all of the BAM databases.

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BizTalk 2009 RTM Install Guide Missing

For anyone that is downloading the BizTalk 2009 RTM from the MSDN downloads, you may have found that the Installation Guide.htm on the image refers to http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=128383, which is the location of the BizTalk 2006 R2 guides. This link should be updated soon. As far as I know, no new installation guide has been released yet so your best guide is the 2009 Beta install guide download from https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=218.
 
Once I hear about a new version of the install guide I will post more about this. Good luck to everyone trying out BizTalk 2009 RTM.
 
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BizTalk 2009 RTM

Well I guess I missed the launch party – BizTalk 2009 is now available for MSDN subscribers. I reported a lot of bugs during the BizTalk 2009 Beta and TAP releases so it will be interesting to see if people encounter any of these. Thanks to my friend Thiago Almeida for pointing out the ADOMD 10 error (http://connectedthoughts.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/biztalk-2009-rtm-prerequisites/). I had seen this during the TAP version and unfortunately it looks like a final bug.
 
The following screenshot shows what you will see if you install BizTalk 2009 in an environment with SQL 2005:
 
This error is due to the installer needing the SQL 2008 version of ADOMD, v10. I have downloaded ADOMD v10 from SQL 2008 and run it on a SQL 2005 instance to get the BizTalk 2009 installer to work. Hopefully this will be resolved soon. There may be a couple of other issues out there too.
 
It is exciting to see the launch of the new product and it will be exciting to see people talking about this new version of BizTalk!
 
Thanks!

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