July 2004 - Posts
Carl is giving away a Tablet PC. Not just a Tablet PC, THE Tablet PC.
- 1.80 GHz Intel® Centrino™ Pentium M
- 1GB RAM and 60GB 7200 HD
- Microsoft® Windows XP Professional Tablet Edition
- Microsoft® Office OneNote™ 2003— ($199 value!)
- High resolution 12.1" SXGA+ (1400 x 1050) display*
- NVIDIA® GeForce™ FX Go5200 graphics w/32MB memory
- Up to 4.34 hours² battery time
- Integrated Wireless LAN (802.11b)
- Integrated 10/100 Ethernet, V.90/56K modemº
- Cisco Compatible Extensions Program Certified
- 3-year parts and labor, 1-year battery
Register here: http://www.franklins.net/dnrforms/tabletcontest.aspx
After installing BizTalk on a VPC running Windows Server 2003, I started doing the tutorials that can be downloaded from the BizTalk Website. The first one went without a glitch but I failed to make the second one work in part because I didn't knew all the BizTalk concepts at that point. So I decided to do some reading. Well, the only reading that I could find was the documentation in the form of the help file (that I updated with the latest refresh of course).
Boy this is a complex product! The lack of books, MOCs or self training material doesn't help either.
See you after I'm done reading.
After my failed attempt at installing BizTalk 2004 onto XP, I prepared a VPC running Windows Server 2003 and went back to the BizTalk installation guide.
Welcome to the land of confusion...
I found a few points that created some confusion in my mind. Things like:
Business Activity Services requires Windows SharePoint Services that require the FrontPage Server Extensions to be NOT installed.
BizTalk requires C# and Visual Studio .NET requires the FrontPage Server Extensions to be installed to be able to publish Websites on the server.
Damn! What to do? I guess I won't need VS to publish ASP.NET apps but wait, what about Web Services? Let's not bother about that BAS thing for now anyway, I haven't installed SharePoint Services, we'll see later.
BizTalk requires that IIS isolation mode must be turned off.
Windows SharePoint Services requires IIS isolation mode to be on.
Damn! What to do? Since I haven't installed SharePoint Services, I won't bother but what if I had it installed?
The SOAP Toolkit 2 must be installed.
My first reaction was: Hey, version 3 is available, let's install version 3. On second thought, let's stick to version 2. But why not version 3 ? At least specify that you can or not install version 3.
After walking in the land of confusion, I started the install and....success! But that dreadful configuration wizard came back to haunt me.
Welcome to the land of ignorance.
The problem with this wizard is that you must make decisions that will impact your installation at a point where you may have not enough knowledge to make those decisions. In other words, you must know what to do before running that thing. Since I didn't had a clue (remember, I'm a BizTalk newbie), I selected the default settings and clicked next, next, next and next. Success! This time the wizard was happy (happier then on XP).
Next steps, some reading and the tutorials....
I thought it would be cool to document the learning process I will go trough learning BizTalk 2004. At least, I'll have some form of trace that I can share with others at a later time.
Let start by saying that I never use previous versions of BizTalk so I'm pretty green.
The first thing I did was to download a few MSDN TV videos:
Developing for BizTalk Server 2004 Inside Visual Studio .NET
Building Your First Business Process
Both feature Scott Woodgate, a BizTalk program manager, who give an informative overview of how a business process is built with Visual Studio .NET.
I then tried to install BizTalk on my PC. I'm running XP Pro and the installation document states that XP is supported. My inner self told me that it would be better to install it on a fresh Windows Server 2003 in a VPC but I guess I was lazy after seeing that one of the requirements was C# and SQL Server; both were already installed in XP. So I started the installation on XP. The first thing you have to do is install a gazillion set of patches and updates, yikes! After returning from reboot hell, I started the BizTalk installation. The install went well, it's after that problems occured...
Welcome to the configuration wizard
After finishing the installation, BizTalk present you with this wizard. You must at this point make important configuration decisions. As a newbie, I was lost so I clicked the Help button and after reading the help topic, I was lost deeper! The wizard states that the default settings should be used. Hummmm, let's try this I said to myself. Click next, click next, click next (hey, that's easy!). At the end, the beloved wizard told me that it failed. Arggggghhhhh! I tried to run it again by disabling some features but no go, the wizard failed but did part of the work and didn't cleaned after itself. Arggggghhhhh!
I then decided that lazyness was not a good idea (bummer!) and I should really install BizTalk on Windows Server 2003 so I deinstalled it from XP.
Next step...install BizTalk on a Windows Server 2003 VPC.
Looking for ideas on how to learn Biztalk 2004 from scratch. Yes I know, I should read the damn manual but beside of that, any suggestions for self-paced learning? What worked for you?
Microsoft has released tech preview of service packs for the .NET Framework 1.0 and 1.1.
You can find more information and download them on the .NET Framework Developer Center.
Be aware that those are unsupported and for testing purposes only.
Microsoft .Net and J2EE Interoperability Toolkit
Author: Simon Guest
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Retail Price: $59.99 US, $86.99 CDN
Publication Date: October 2003
Paperback: 543 pages
Online information: Strangely, not much !
CD: Included CD-ROM with an electronic version of the book along with source code and evaluation versions of third party tools. Author Website: http://www.simonguest.com
No application is an island and with both Microsoft and Java sharing each 40% of the market, at some point your .NET application will need to talk to a Java application (or vice versa). Microsoft .NET and J2EE Interoperability Toolkit is a book targeted at developers and architects who need to interop to one or the other platform.
Like C# for Java Developers, this book is totally unbiased. The author first start by introducing .NET and J2EE platforms then explains the basic concepts of interoperability like point-to-point and resource tier. He then describes different techniques like serialization, .NET remoting, Web services, shared databases, Biztalk and messaging with MSMQ and WebShere MQ. Each time, Guest's approach is to see how you can interop from .NET to J2EE and vice versa and points out the pitfalls.
This book is slowly becoming the bible of interop and is been referred by articles and books. If you need to interop to a J2EE application, look no further, this is an amazing book.
High praises for Microsoft .NET and J2EE Interoperability Toolkit.
C# for Java Developers
Authors: Allen Jones, Adam Freeman
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Retail Price: $49.99 US, $72.99 CDN
Publication Date: September 2002
Paperback: 548 pages
Online information: Table of content, Index, Chapter 9
C# for Java Developers is a book targeted at experienced Java developers who want to learn C#. Now before you skip this review because you don't code in Java, don't go away because it's one of the best C# book around.
Coming from Microsoft Press, I would have thought that this book would be .NET biased and that you would find Java bashing all around. Was I surprised when I read it! This book is totally unbiased. My second surprise came when I realized how great this book was at teaching C# and .NET. First, you won't have to skip the first few chapters because the authors are jumping right into the middle of the action by introducing .NET and C# (read here: this book is not intended for beginner developpers). They do it by comparing both platform and languages. Next more notions are introduced like file I/O, XML processing, reflection, threading, networking, remoting, database programming and cryptography.
Can this book be used by non Java developers to learn C#? I'd say yes, just skip the Java parts because it would be a shame only to let Java developers read this book. If you're already a seasoned C# developer, reading this book is also a great way to learn a little bit about the Java platform. It would belike putting your toes in the water without jumping in it.
High praises for C# for Java Developers.
Just got news that I'm a brand new MVP (ASP/ASP.NET). Yipee !