Jul 05

Another great solution build on BizTalk RFID by S3Edge.

BloodCenter of Wisconsin Blood Center Expects to Automate Product Tracking, Cut Costs with RFID Solution

BloodCenter of Wisconsin provides blood and blood products to hospitals for patients in need throughout the state. In consortium with partners, the center wanted to create an automated, efficient way to reconcile and track blood products and containers. It plans to deploy a radio frequency identification solution based on Microsoft BizTalk Server RFID 2010. Once the solution is implemented, the organization expects to streamline processes, reduce errors, lower costs, and improve efficiency.

Microsoft Case Study: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 – BloodCenter of Wisconsin

May 04

Great RFID case study…

Toll Global Logistics

Feb 10

The recent economic crunch has decisively demonstrated that retailers need lean, on-target inventories to succeed in a changed marketplace. But simply slimming down product inventories isn’t enough. Retailers need similarly lean execution throughout their enterprises in order to reap the benefits of this new business model.

This RIS News Web Connections seminar, sponsored by Xterprise, will demonstrate how item-level RFID solutions are transforming “the detail of retail,” making store operations more efficient and helping to ensure that leaner inventories don’t mean disappointed customers and lost sales.  You’ll learn how leading apparel retailers have been able to improve the speed and precision of inventory cycle counts, gain a comprehensive view of in-store inventory, and reduce both shrinkage and out of stocks.

I encourage you to join us on Feb 18th, at 2pm eastern, as Leslie Hand, Retail Industry Analyst with IDC Retail Insights and Dean Frew, founder and CEO of Xterprise discuss how item-level RFID solutions can turn lean inventories from a survival strategy into a competitive advantage.

To register for this event, click here.

Jan 29

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is now available. This service pack is an update for BizTalk Server 2006 R2 and includes a roll-up of hot fixes from the BizTalk Server 2006 and 2006 R2 releases, some hot fixes from the BizTalk Server 2009 release, as well as some additional enhancements.

Important Links:

  1. Location: Download Location
  2. Detailed Article: KB Article
  3. BizTalk Server Roadmap: http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/en/us/roadmap.aspx

Additional Details

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is an update for BizTalk Server 2006 R2. The SP1 installation program offers a unified installation experience: It will automatically detect and update all of the BizTalk Server components that are currently installed. It will also detect all BizTalk Server hotfixes currently installed, and will distinguish between hotfixes that predate this service pack, and those which were issued after this service pack was released.

SP1 includes a roll-up of hotfixes from the BizTalk Server 2006 and 2006 R2 releases, some hotfixes from the BizTalk Server 2009 release, as well as some additional enhancements. Some of the key fixes and enhancements in this service pack are the following:

New Features

  • For WCF-Custom and WCF-CustomIsolated Adapters, the ability to look up custom bindings from locations other than machine.config.
  • Support for using multiple certificates to sign outgoing AS2 messages

Better reliability, performance, and scale for the following key features

  • Throttling and dehydration of orchestrations.
  • Archiving and purging operations.
  • BAM alerts and archiving.
  • HIPAA.
  • Reduced memory consumption in scenarios using scripting functoids.
  • Improvement in the bts_FindSubscription stored proc, resulting in faster execution and lower CPU utilization.

Better management and deployment experiences

  • Performance and user experience improvements of key scenarios.
  • WCF configuration management.
  • Significant improvement in deployment time for send ports using a map.

Improved support

  • X12 and EDIFACT updates.
  • Increased footprint of supported FTP servers and locale.
  • XMLDocument message types in orchestrations.
  • Configurable timeout for Basic HTTP.
  • WCF adaptor now suspends messages instead of terminating when the host instance is stopped.
  • Configurable transaction timeout for WCF Adaptors.
  • Mapping of inline schema for SQL Adaptor now allows for using $ characters as part of the updategram.
  • The SQL Adaptor now supports calling from a BizTalk Server dynamic send port. The following properties can be set on the call to the dynamic port:
          Connection string (all the SQL connection properties)
          Document Target Namespace
          Response Document Root Element
  • Ability to disable generation of Routing Failure Report.
  • Fixes to some issues that used to cause high CPU usage by BizTalk Server hosts due to certain .NET updates.
  • Ability to use multiple certificates for signing outbound messages.
  • Message Pack 2009.
  • Message property tracking with BAM for all messages in the interchange, irrespective of the usage of pipeline or mapping.

Integrated tracing to help in debugging EDI specific issues. This improvement is aimed at reducing the time taken for diagnosing and isolating an EDI problem.

Jan 11

We have an excellent MSDN Webcast on Thursday this week for you to watch. Especially if want to learn how to drive down costs and achieve more with less for your integration projects.

Register here.

Following are the details of this Webcast:

Air date/time: 1/14/10, 1:00 PM Pacific

Title: MSDN Webcast: Business Process Automation & Integration: Connecting Partners, Applications and Devices with Microsoft Application Platform

Abstract: Tough economic times bring us back to focus on improving efficiencies, cutting cost and extracting more value from existing systems.  These times also present excellent opportunities to streamline information-sharing among partners, customers, employees and suppliers, as well as automating sophisticated, high-value transactions, both inside and outside the organization.  Automation and Integration can do a lot for your organization during these challenging times. Learn about the price/performance advantage of Microsoft’s Application Platform to drive your automation & integration, SOA and composite application projects.

Level 200 (intermediate)

Presenter : Syed Rasheed, Sr. Product Manager, Microsoft.

Nov 16

PDC – Professional Developers conference is the premier Microsoft conference focusing on developer community. We show off our upcoming technologies and releases at this conference. It is going to be a big week for BizTalk Server too. We have multiple sessions and we will be rolling out BizTalk Server roadmap as part of the event.

Following are sessions to look out for if you want to know more about BizTalk Server…

Speaker: Balasubramanian Sriram in 502A on Tuesday at 3:00 PM

Abstract: Learn how BizTalk Server 2009 lets you focus on writing the code to do the hardcore business logic and let BizTalk take care of moving the data. Hear how your development skills with Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), and Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) work seamlessly with the powerful integration platform of BizTalk. Find out how BizTalk aligns with the Microsoft application server in the longer term.

Speakers: Syed Rasheed, Dmitri Ossipov in 515B on Tuesday at 4:30 PM

Abstract: See how the BizTalk Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) enables you to build services that can be quickly located and connected, whether they live behind the firewall or in the cloud, without creating a brittle point-to-point link. Learn how to dramatically improve the service lifecycle of development, testing, and deployment by using the powerful messaging, routing, and transformation capabilities of the BizTalk ESB in your solution today, and get a glimpse of future plans for BizTalk service bus/pub-sub pattern.

  • Chalk Talk Title:  BizTalk and StreamInsight: A Better Together Story (Session 3 – Theatre Chalk Talk on Tuesday at 1:00 pm)

Speaker: Mark Simms

Abstract: SQL Server 2008 R2 introduces Stream Insight, providing a powerful platform for developing and deploying complex event processing (CEP) applications.  Come and learn how Stream Insight can be used to enable new capabilities in BizTalk for providing real-time monitoring and analytics for infrastructure and business events at scale.

  • Lab: Introduction to BizTalk Server 2009 Demo: Process Automation Solution with SharePoint & WF (lab code: SRV001)
  • Lab: Introduction to the BizTalk ESB Toolkit: Providing Service Integration Agility  (lab code: SRV002)

Last but not least stop by the BizTalk demo booth in the Microsoft Products Pavilion if you want to chat with members of the BizTalk product team and other BizTalk experts. We will be presenting cool demos and would love to talk to you.

You can also meet us at the “Ask the Experts” session on Wednesday 5:30 – 7:00 PM.

See you next week at PDC!!!

Nov 16

This week I was in Germany of tech-ed Europe 2009. I reached Berlin on 9th Morning and headed straight to Messe, Berlin location of the event. It was fun to travel through Berlin city. I love train networks in Europe. 🙂

I could not sleep much on Sunday night due to jet lag. Monday morning I delivered a session on Integration and Interop along with couple of my colleagues. After the event we headed to enjoy the celebrations at Berlin city center on 20th anniversary of fall of Berlin wall. Was awesome event. Got back at midnight.

Had to deliver another session on BizTalk Server 2009 on Tuesday early morning hence worked on my deck and demo most of the night. Again could not sleep much. Tuesday was really hectic with my session from 9-10:15 and couple of press briefings on SQL Server later in the afternoon.

Wednesday, I had to visit a customer in Karlsruhe which is 2 hours from Frankfurt or 1 hour from Stuttgart. I took morning 6am flight to Frankfurt, met with Richard(SSP for App Plat in Germany) and headed to customers office. Had a great 3-4 hour meeting on integrations especially how they could leverage BizTalk Server. Had beer with Richard at Stuttgart airport and got back to Berlin at 10pm.

By Thursday I was completely exhausted. 🙁 Again could not sleep much at night got some emails done and spoke to my wife at 5:00am. Then I crashed and when I got up it was 2:00am and cleaning crew was banging my door. 🙂 Got up headed to do booth duty at the show. Went out for dinner with all the colleagues to a great Italian Restaurant. 🙂

I did not sleep whole night on Thursday and headed back to US on Friday. 🙂 Now time to pack-up and go to LA for PDC. We are announcing BizTalk Server roadmap next week at PDC. Stay tuned.

Some Pictures:

IMG_5151 IMG_5154

IMG_5161IMG_5160

 IMG_0204 IMG_0208

Jul 30

We launched BizTalk RFID 2009 operations guide. It is a great document if you are thinking of deploying BizTalk RFID in your environment. 

Welcome to the first edition of the Microsoft® BizTalk® Server RFID Operations Guide. We created this guide to be a valuable resource for anyone involved in the implementation and administration of a BizTalk Server RFID solution.

To download a copy of this guide in .chm or .docx form, go to http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=158724.

  Which Versions of BizTalk Server RFID Does the Guide Cover?

This guide is primarily for the BizTalk Server RFID product that is released as part of Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009. Even though most of the guidance applies to BizTalk Server RFID that was released as part of BizTalk Server 2006 R2, the guide uses the new platform changes wherever applicable.

  What’s in It?

This document applies to the operational readiness phase in the solution life cycle management of the project. The operational readiness phase precedes deployment to production. It consists of a set of tasks for ensuring a stable operating environment. It is targeted toward system administrators responsible for BizTalk Server RFID (server computers and RFID devices), DBAs responsible for the SQL servers used by BizTalk Server RFID, and developers involved with maintaining the infrastructure and solution. This document assumes that the BizTalk Server RFID solution has already been validated in a Pilot stage and is prepared for deployment to production.

Key portions of this guide are new; however, a considerable portion consists of documentation taken from BizTalk Server RFID Help, white papers, Knowledge Base articles, and other sources. It has been reviewed and evaluated by experts from the community of BizTalk Server IT professionals and members of the product development team, whom we gratefully acknowledge at the end of this topic. We believe that the information presented here will help BizTalk Server RFID users solve—and above all, avoid—many of the common problems that can occur while deploying and maintaining a BizTalk Server RFID installation.

  Interesting! Where Do I Start?

We organized the guide according to the functional aspects of planning, deploying, and managing a BizTalk Server RFID installation. You can therefore read it according to these functional aspects. If you are performing the following tasks, you can start with the related sections:

  • Evaluating operational readiness. If you are focused on assessing and evaluating the operational readiness of a BizTalk Server RFID deployment, then start by reading the Operations Checklists section.
  • Becoming operationally ready. To ensure that your BizTalk Server RFID infrastructure and applications become operationally ready, refer to the Planning the Environment for BizTalk Server RFID section.
  • Managing the operational environment. Most of the topics in this operations guide assist you in managing and maintaining an operational BizTalk Server RFID environment. You will find best practices, key concepts, and procedures for maintaining an operational environment in Managing BizTalk Server RFID and Monitoring BizTalk Server RFID.

Author: Rama Ramani (Microsoft)

Editor: Mary Browning (Microsoft)

Contributors

  • Mark Simms (Microsoft)
  • Rohan Makhija (Microsoft)
  • Ravi Vankamamidi (S3Edge)
  • Clint Tennill (Xterprise)
  • Damir Dobric, Andreas Erben (daenet)
  • Mick Badran (Breeze, BizTalk Server MVP)

Reviewers

  • Petr Kratochvil (Microsoft)
  • Ewan Fairweather (Microsoft)
  • Quoc Bui (Microsoft)
  • Douglas Trimble (The Boeing Company)
  • Robert Auston (Vail Resorts Management Company)
  • Luke Rennells (Bank of America N.A.)

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009 RFID Operations Guide

Jun 26

This is a great BizTalk RFID case study in hospitality. 🙂

Resort Streamlines Skier Check-In, Improves Data Collection with RF Technology

Enhancing the guest experience is central to the corporate mission at Vail Resorts, but ski lift pass authentication for season pass holders was often a time-consuming process due to passes being worn under layers of winter clothing. In addition, the company had little visibility into the skiing patterns of its guests. Vail Resorts switched to season passes embedded with radio frequency (RF) tags that can be scanned through a skier’s jacket, streamlining the pass-holder authentication process. The company also placed RF scanners on upper-mountain lifts to capture lift access data that helps sharpen targeted marketing. The solution uses Microsoft® BizTalk® Server RFID and SQL Server® 2005 to handle authentication transactions, SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services for data analysis, and Windows® Communication Foundation for point-to-point data exchange.

Microsoft Case Studies: Vail Resorts

Jun 25

Many of you have asked me about Dynamics Nav and RFID story. Following blog post by Naveen is a great one to get started. 

Now it was left for us to how to provide a solution in a timely manner that our partners and customers could benefit from. To begin with we chose Microsoft BizTalk RFID technology that provides a device independent platform for integrating various RFID scanners, printers and solutions. This technology platform coupled with power of Dynamics NAV gave us ample opportunity to build a showcase implementation.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV and RFID – Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team