Sylvain Duford's Integration Blog

Enterprise Integration and the Microsoft Platform

  • BizTalk 2006 R2 is getting close...

    The latest beta version of BizTalk 2006 R2 is quite stable so Microsoft should meet its target release date later this summer. This upgrade has some pretty cool new functionality that make BizTalk an even more complete and compelling solution for the Enterprise. Amongst these new features are a more complete set of functionality to support EDI and AS2. While EDI is now an ancient technology, it is still very popular for large companies that need to exchange orders and such. However, they are gradually moving their EDI infrastructure off of the archaic VAN networks and unto the Internet. This is where support for the AS2 standard comes in handy. Note that BizTalk will not support VANs out of the box, but I don't see that as a big limitation.

  • K2 Blackpearl Beta 1 TR2 delayed

    Originally, this release was supposed to occur on March 21st, than as I indicated in my post last week, it was delayed to March 26th. Now they are telling us it should be out by March 30th. Let’s hope that last date is the real one!

  • K2 "BlackPearl" Beta 1 TR2

    On Mach 26th, SourceCode Technology Holdings will release the Beta 1 Technical Refresh 2 of their k2_bp_default.gifupcoming K2 product code-named “BlackPearl”. If you’ve never heard of SourceCode they are best known for their workflow product called K2.NET. The new product is currently branded K2 “blackpearl” but there is no word yet on what the final name will be. I will just call it K2 from here on. You can get a preview of K2 at this teaser site.

    I spent some time at SourceCode’s North American head quarters in Redmond last week for some in-depth demos, and I was really impressed with what I saw. While the old K2.Net product was pretty nifty and quite successful (I blogged about it here), this new product is going to make K2 a world-class player in the workflow and Business Process Management (BPM) arena. In fact, this new product is so rich in functionality it defies description, and I think it breaks new ground that no competitors are covering yet, on any platform. As I was going through a demo of the new functionality my mind was racing, thinking of all the new possibilities this technology brings to the table. I was also struggling to come up with a concise way of describing it. After much reflection I came up with “Business Process Oriented Development Platform”.  Here’s why…

    K2 is still a workflow product (now built on top of Microsoft’s Workflow Foundation), but it also becomes a true BPM platform, something the old version was not. K2 is also strong as an Enterprise Application Integration platform (leveraging the new BizTalk/.NET Adapter Framework built on Windows Communication Framework). Last but not least, K2 is also an Application Server with strong support for rapid application development (leveraging SOA standards and principles, SQL Server, the .Net Framework, Visual Studio, and the Office Platform). So it is a complete application server and development platform with a strong workflow engine at its core, and a very flexible integration platform built-in.

    There is way too much new functionality to do it justice in a single blog post so I will post a series of articles as I take the latest beta version through its paces.

  • Bill G. at the MVP Summit

    I spent most of the week at the MVP Global Summit in Redmond, where 1700 of my fellow geeks from all over the world met with Microsoft’s product teams to discuss upcoming technologies.

  • New personal blog

    I have a new personal blog at I decided to creat that blog as there are a lot of things I like to discuss and share that are not related to work and Microsoft technology, and I felt uncomfortable talking about those subjects on this Microsoft provided blog.

  • Microsoft RAW Thumbnailer and Previewer.

    If you are into digital photography and use a Nikon or Canon dSLR, Microsoft quietly released a Windows XP powertoy a few weeks ago that adds the capability to handle RAW files to your Windows Explorer. After installing this, you can view thumbnails of your RAW files and also preview the files. It does not however support preview in the "film strip" mode. A worthwhile download, and it is written in .NET!