Integration Hashtags

With the recent name change from Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure, the old WABS (Windows Azure BizTalk Services) hashtag has become obsolete. It was a risky hashtag to view at times anyway, given some of the dodgy meanings for “WABS” particularly in my neck of the woods – but that’s another story!

So far I haven’t seen a consistent replacement for the WABS hashtag being used, which got me thinking about the other hashtags we use in the integration space.

It would be really nice to have a definitive list of those hashtags to keep things relatively consistent when tweeting about integration technologies.

I’ve kicked this off below and created a poll for the ones there is some uncertainty around.

Please send me any alternatives or any I’ve missed and I’ll them to the list. In a weeks’ time after the polls close I’ll re-publish the list here.

  • #MSBTS – BizTalk Server
  • #Integration – Generic Integration
  • #Azure – Microsoft Azure
  • #ServiceBus – Microsoft Azure Service Bus
  • #Cloud – Generic Cloud
  • #WCF – Windows Communication Foundation
  • #AppFabric – Microsoft AppFabric for Windows Server
  • #SSIS – SQL Server Integration Services


Here is an updated list of suggested integration hashtags to use:

  • #MSBTS – BizTalk Server
  • #MABS – Microsoft Azure BizTalk Services
  • #ESBT – BizTalk ESB Toolkit
  • #Integration – Generic Integration
  • #Azure – Microsoft Azure
  • #ServiceBus – Microsoft Azure Service Bus
  • #Cloud – Generic Cloud
  • #WCF – Windows Communication Foundation
  • #AppFabric – Microsoft AppFabric for Windows Server
  • #SSIS – SQL Server Integration Services

BizTalk Adapter Service Installation

March 26, 2014 Leave a comment

In an article I recently published on TechNet Wiki I covered the installation steps required for the BizTalk Adapter Service (February 2014 Update).

The BizTalk Adapter Service facilitates communication between a cloud application and an on-premise Line-of-Business (LOB) system. The following on-premise LOB systems are supported:

  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Oracle Database
  • Oracle E-Business Suite
  • SAP
  • Siebel eBusiness Applications

With the Windows Azure BizTalk Services February 2014 Update there is no longer a SQL Server installation requirement for the BizTalk Adapter Service. The BizTalk Adapter configuration data has been moved from an on-premise SQL Server database to a Windows Azure SQL database.

Categories: BizTalk Services

Sysprep BizTalk Server

March 26, 2014 Leave a comment

The System Preparation (Sysprep) tool prepares an installation of Windows for duplication, also called imaging, and enables you to capture a customized Windows image, or “golden image”, that can be reused throughout an organization.

This can be particularly beneficial when provisioning machines for a team of BizTalk developers. Installing and configuring BizTalk Server machines from scratch increases the lead time on a project. The other main advantage is the guarantee that each developer is working off a consistent configuration reducing the chances of “it works on my machine” incidents.

However, Sysprepping a BizTalk Server image is not as straightforward as Sysprepping a base Operating System image; mainly due to BizTalk Servers reliance on SQL Server.

BizTalk Server ships with some sample Sysprep scripts, but as with most samples these just serve as a foundation and require some customizations and additions. The documentation that accompanies the sample scripts is misleading in places and contains some gaps that can cause confusion.

I recently wrote an article on the TechNet Wiki that covers the steps required to Sysprep a fully configured BizTalk Server virtual machine.

The article was subsequently awarded a silver medal in the TechNet Guru Contest for January 2014.

Categories: BizTalk Server

Tracing with ESB Toolkit 2.2

May 13, 2013 3 comments

Thanks to Tomasso Groenendijk for figuring this one out and sharing.

As with previous versions of the ESB Toolkit there is a minor change required to get tracing working. The switch name no longer has the version number appended to it. So instead of “BizTalkESBToolkit20” or “BizTalkESBToolkit21” as in previous versions, it is now “BizTalkESBToolkit”.

This should remain constant going forward removing the need to guess what the switch name is on each release!

Similar to ESB Toolkit 2.1, the full list of steps are:

  1. In Notepad openC:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\CONFIG\machine.config for 32-bit
    C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\CONFIG\machine.config for 64-bit
  2. Locate the line with the closing configSections tag.
  3. Under that line paste the following section:
              <add name="BizTalkESBToolkit" value="4"/>
  4. Save and close machine.config.
  5. Start the DebugView program (Download)
  6. In DebugView, on the Capture menu, click Capture Global Win32 to make sure that it is checked.
  7. In the BizTalk Server Administration console, restart the BizTalkServerApplication host instance.

ESB Toolkit 2.2 Itinerary Designer Installation

April 22, 2013 4 comments

Brian Loesgen has a post on his blog describing an issue he ran into performing a clean build of BizTalk Server 2013 and ESB Toolkit 2.2, where the Itinerary Designer extension is not registered in Visual Studio 2012 after the ESB Toolkit 2.2 installation step.

I experienced this also so it may be more widespread than first thought. I’d be interested to hear how many other people run into it; it might be the case that this step will need to be added to installation instructions.

Before Brian pointed me to his post I had resolved this inadvertently when I installed the latest Visual Studio 2012 update, which would have resulted in a similar command being executed with the same outcome.

ESB Toolkit 2.1 Installation Checklists

April 8, 2013 2 comments


One of the biggest barriers to ESB Toolkit adoption I have come across is the installation and configuration overhead. This is a genuine concern, especially when you need to deviate from the standard configuration. If project timelines are tight, this can result in the ESB Toolkit being overlooked.

Through working on a number of ESB Toolkit based solutions for different customers I have compiled some high level installation checklists that cover the most common environment configurations. I will cover each of these in this blog series with a view to removing the initial barrier to building solutions based on the ESB Toolkit.

The Installing BizTalk 2010 ESB Toolkit 2.1 guide and Installing the BizTalk ESB Toolkit MSDN library topic should be used as a reference for drilling down into the detail of the steps included in the checklists.

If there is anything you have come across that you feel should be included in the checklist please get in touch and we can look at adding it.


  1. ESB Toolkit 2.1 Core Standalone Installation Checklist

ESB Toolkit 2.1 Core Standalone Installation

April 1, 2013 3 comments


The environment configuration covered under this checklist is as follows:

  • 1 x 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition
  • BizTalk Server 2010 Developer Edition
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Developer Edition
  • ESB Toolkit 2.1
  • All programs are installed on a drive isolated from the OS, an E drive in this case


  1. Install the BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.1-x64.msi
  2. Install the Microsoft.Practices.Services.Itinerary.DslPackage
  3. Import and install the Microsoft.Practices.ESB.CORE64.msi
  4. Create a 32-bit Host, Host Instance and assign the SQL send and receive handlers to it
  5. Configure the All.Exceptions send port in the Microsoft.Practices.ESB application to use the 32-bit SQL send handler
  6. Launch the ESB Configuration Tool and configure the toolkit
  7. Copy the following ESB Toolkit pipeline components from the “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010\Pipeline Components” folder to the “E:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010\Pipeline Components” folder:
    • Microsoft.Practices.ESB.ExceptionHandling.PipelineComponents.dll
    • Microsoft.Practices.ESB.Itinerary.PipelineComponents.dll
    • Microsoft.Practices.ESB.Namespace.PipelineComponents.dll
    • Microsoft.Practices.ESB.PipelineComponents.dll
  8. Copy the ItineraryDescription.xsd from the “E:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.1\Web\ESB.ItineraryServices.Response.WCF\App_Data” folder to the “E:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.1\Web\ESB.ItineraryServices.Generic.Response.WCF\App_Data” folder
  9. Add the SQL Server Service Analysis account as a User to the BAMStarSchema database and grant it the db_datareader role
  10.   Deploy the BAM activities
  11.   Configure Tracing
  12.   Restart host instances and perform an IISRESET
  13.   Verify all services are browse-able

Download OneNote Checklist