Kudos to Kirk!

 I received an invitation from my buddy Kirk Evans a couple of weeks ago to attend a DevDays event in Atlanta. The event was great! I had an awesome time and learned quite a bit. Kudos to Kirk for throwing a killer event and for throwing an invite my way. While I was there I was able to chat some with Mark Dunn and Mark Berry. Those are 2 sharp guys and I look forward to talking to them again soon. Hopefully we'll be able to work something out for some custom BTS training from them later this year.

The woes of BizTalk build and deployment

Recently I was tasked with helping to devise a standard method for our 'build and deploy process' for BizTalk applications.

So I pulled out my  Pro BizTalk 2006 book and started to dig. Sure enough, page 40 begins a section titled "Creating a Build-and-Integration Environment". The book lays out a 5 step process which I found incredibly useful. It helped me to get a better idea of how the process works.

Next we started examining using MSBuild as well as  Scott Colestock's Deployment Framework for BTS 2006 using NANT. Over the weekend, a friend of mine told me about how they are using Team Foundation Server. Unfortunately, we won't have TFS available here at work until the Fall sometime....

In the end, what I'm learning is that there is no magic bullet for this process....

 More to come as things start to come together...


Drinking from the Firehose

It's been a whirlwind month after joining the Application Services team here at work.  After being shipped out to class during my first week, I've been trying to learn as much as I can about Biztalk. It really has been like drinking from the firehose.

I've seen that BTS is a different animal unto itself. It definitely isn't something that one would "just add to your repertoire". You have to commit some time to really get to know the product. So far I'm having a blast. I'm looking forward to the future.

Filling up my brain with BizTalk goodness

Ok. So last week I went through a 3 day "condensed" version of the MS-2933 BizTalk class. I had a good time and I got my first real dose of "Here's what BizTalk Server 2006 can do."

The instructor did a great job. His name is Brian Prince (link to Brian's blog) and he was flown in from Ohio for the class. Brian is one sharp dude. He's also an MVP. Check out Brian's blog because he just updated his annual "list of BizTalk resources"

So this week, the question has been "So now what?" I've started to pick up where the class left off and I've been reading lots of material online.

I also just ordered 2 books from Bookpool.com 

1. Professional BizTalk Server 2006 - from Wrox Press 

2. Pro BizTalk 2006 - from APress

After the class last week, my goal is to just start filling my head with as much advanced material as I can find. Today I started reading "Integration Patterns" from the Microsoft Patterns and Practices web site. I'll let you know how it goes...

On becoming "The BizTalk Guy"

I needed a change of pace here at work, so I recently applied for, and accepted a position on a different team. My official new job title is "BizTalk Developer / Consultant".

So now begins the journey....It is my job to go from knowing very little about BizTalk to becoming the local "expert" and serving as a resource for other developers. One thing is for certain in this picture. The more I slowly learn about the product and it's capabilities, the more I realize that I have a LOOONG way to go.

 So the good news is that I think this will provide me with an opportunity for some blogging. I want to try and blog things as I make this journey. Hopefully it will help others along their path as well.

Back in Business
I am sure that no one will see this, but I managed to get a password reset and can now blog once again. Now I'll have to come up with some juicy content to share with the world.

Sorry for this useless post. I'll go work on it now.
What a deal!

A buddy at work sent me this link. I've had one of these Media Players for several months now, and I absolutely love it! It's the Creative Zen Portable Media Center. Until 11/7 you can buy it at buy.com for $199 after a rebate.

Check it out.

Side Note: If you pick up one of these bad boys, you need to also check out Napster 2 Go!! Unlimited downloads to your portable device. It's PURE HEAVEN for a music lover. You won't be disappointed.


Fighting for PDC Content

Once I discovered yesterday that the PDC'05 presentations were available for available for download, I started grabbing sessions that were of interest to me. THEN it happened. The word started spreading, fast. I managed to download about 7 or 8 presentations before the bandwidth became so bad, that I was getting timeouts. The one I'm currently downloading still has about 3 hours to go. (if I'm lucky) 

Yesterday it would have been finished in 20 minutes. *sigh* Oh well.....I guess we should just be ecstatic that they are available for FREE. It's worth the wait. :)

What about GoDaddy.com??

Anyone have any experience with hosting at GoDaddy.com?? I've been looking at moving my web site there, and thought I would poll the public for any input.

Anyone takers?



Hehe.... you made me laugh......
Here's a funny post from Andrew.

I guess you could say that's what happens when IT managers "Run for the Border". :)

And here's an interesting (and lenghty) debate on .NET vs. Java.


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