Sep 27, 2011

Yet another BizTalk error

Your BizTalk installation worked like a charm, but suddenly you receive errors like this?

There was a failure executing the receive pipeline: "PipelineName, PipelineAssembly, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=..." Source: "Init Message Processing Properties" Receive Port: "..." URI: "..." Reason: Loading property information list by namespace failed or property not found in the list. Verify that the schema is deployed properly.
In my case, and, as it seems, some others, this was caused by corrupted installation of third party adapters for BizTalk. Reinstallation of adapters solved the problem.

Sep 19, 2011

BizTalk tools: LoadGen 2007

The Microsoft BizTalk LoadGen 2007 Tool is the tool you want for load and performance testing of your BizTalk Server instance. It can do all you want and don't ;-). It's very intuitive and simple, despite being made by Microsoft ;-). One nasty thing, though it uses XML files for configuration it will not work if you add standard (!)
<?xml version="1.0"?>
 declaration at the beginning of the file. Except for that I didn't encountered any problems so far.

P.S. This dead blog is still very helpful if you doing your first steps in BizTalk server performance tuning.

BizTalk tools: Best Practices Analyzer

The BizTalk Server Best Practices Analyzer (V1.2 as of now) is another tool that allows you to nail minor potential problems in you BizTalk installation. It comes from Microsoft, so UI is even worse ;-), but if you really want to analaze and learn your BizTalk installation you definetely need to run it thru this app.

I must add, that such tools allows you to learn about some aspects of BizTalk, which you didn't even thought of before. This is very good in my opinion, it's extends your knowledge horizon and you understand system complexity deeper. You may not need that knowledge now, but you will be prepeared.

WPF: Final

So here it comes, Windows 8. This discussion on StackOverflow provides some really good answer about all-new WinRT platform from Microsoft employee. BTW seems like this fellow is definetely monitors and answers most of winrt tagged questions on StackOverflow, this is so nice of Microsoft.

So, what is the answer to question "Is WPF is dead?". The answer is both yes and no. In fact the whole .NET system is left behind. In the UI design aspect we that while you are still can use XAML you, in fact using all new WinRT libraries which are available not only to .NET, but to C++ and JavaScript. You can name WinRT as a "Native .NET". So WPF is dead for WinRT. Yet Microsoft did very good job in saving your XAML experience in WPF, so you can use it in WinRT via "replace namespace" method. Also WPF and .NET is still there, and will be for a very long time, but I don't think this is as good investment as it was three years ago, then Microsoft pushed WPF as their primary API for UI.

Resume. Microsoft made .NET second time, this time in native languages. This results in all Windows 8 cool features we have seen, such as very low memory usage and blazingly fast speed. WPF and .NET just couldn't make it, even using DirectX, so Microsoft falled back to native apps. To me, as developer, this is actually a good thing, since we get a "Win32 Reloaded" platfrom which have all (or most of) RAD stuff which makes .NET so popular.

P.S. Related video.

Previous post on subject.

BizTalk tools: MsgBoxViewer

MsgBoxViewer is one of that not pretty, but great tools that can gather all valuable information about your BizTalk installation in one place. It'll also provide incredibly valuable recommendations given it found some inconsistencies with your BTS installation. This is very helpful in many situations, from initial BTS tuning to quick examination of unknown to you BTS installations. You should certanly give it a try.You can get MsgBoxViewer here.

Sep 2, 2011

Python Tools for Visual Studio 2010

There is an incredible product available to all of us. Not only it's extremely nice to have Python language in VS, but to me no less important that it's also open source. There is a lot of open source code, but I think this one is specifically valuable since it covers a lot of aspects of VS integration at all levels, and it's from Microsoft.

P.S. some videos on features.

Sep 1, 2011

Conjurer: crafting engine for a games

A small PR of my own open source project. Conjurer is a game crafting engine. It's relays on a Terraria game as a model for it's functional capabilities. I mean by that (since I'm not a native speaker and can produce gibberish sometimes), if you use this engine in your game all major tasks which are required to perform crafting can be performed by the engine. For example: can a specific item be created now? Answering this question requires checking if all of the requred items are available and all required conditions are met. Crafting not always result in an item. It also can be some new condition of the game. Other questions can include:
  • What items can be produced by a player with his current items?
  • What items use this item as ingredient?
  • Which ingredients are missing in players inventory for creating that item?
and, most probably, many others. Not all this questions are answered by current version of Conjurer's code (actually only the very first one), but that's the point: it can be not an easy task to implement all of it from scratch. However easiness is not a major factor for any good developer. Most of us will gladly solve some interesting task. But if this task isn't interesting to you, then it will be, I hope, very useful to you.

P.S. Terraria is a great game, you should absolutely try it.