New design on my personal homepage

by eliasen 24. February 2008 01:58

Hi

Finally(!) I found time (Well, I should probably have done something else...) to review the design of my eliasen.dk homepage. It was awful, black and very much outdated.

The new design is better, updated, brighter, happier, implemented in .NET and much more :-)

If you have comments about it, feel free to send them to me.

--
eliasen

Tags:

Personal

Back on "track"

by eliasen 6. January 2008 21:27

Hi

Well, the time has come for me to start running again.

11 years ago (when I was a soldier), I was quite the runner. My best times are 5 km in 17:30 and half a marathon (21,0975 km) in 1:32:46.

Since then, the weight has come up, as the amount of exercise went down :-).

Anyway, I have lost about 7kg in the last 3-4 months, and now was the time to start running again... and today was the first time.

A local fitness center had an offer for new members, that I have taken, so not only did I run today for the first time in a very long time, I also did it on a running machine. That took some getting used to! :-) I managed to get the damn machine running, but then it stopped... then I started it again... and then it stopped. Probably next time I will get some help figuring out how to set the machine appropriately. The run itself went fairly well... around 7km. I will have to bring some music the next time, though.

It felt pretty weird, that I did some interval training, where the maximum speed (16 km/h) was just about the same speed as I ran for an hour without breaks in my earlier years (15 km/h) :-)

So, any goals, Jan? Yes, off course. I have a couple;

  1. I would like my average time to run 1 km to be about 4 minutes.
  2. At "Limfjordsløbet" (14 km) at the end of May (2008 :-) ), I want to run faster than a friend of mine called Tom. Also, running faster than my old boss Anne would be nice :-). 4 minutes per kilometer would take care of both :-)
  3. At some point, I want to run a marathon. I will wait a couple of months to set any specific dates, times, etc. for this one, since I am really in no shape to guess right now :-)

My legs are fine, I believe.. but perhaps tomorrow I will edit that part out of this blog post :-)

The plan now is to run every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday on average.. sometimes it will be Wednesday instead of Tuesday and so on.

Wish me luck...

--
eliasen

Tags:

Personal

System.Exception vs. General Exception

by eliasen 12. December 2007 18:53

So...

People sometimes ask, what is the difference between catching System.Exception and the General Exception in a Catch Exception shape in the orchestration designer in BizTalk.

Off course, an obvious difference is, that with the General Exception, you don't get an object with properties to investigate. But then it seems that the General Exception is useless... surely there is a point to it?

Well, I was curious about this myself, so I investigated a bit, and found this post. So basically, I think the catch of the general exception in BizTalk 2006 is a left over from BizTalk 2004. In BizTalk 2004 it made sense, since you actually have exceptions thrown at you that didn't derive from System.Exception. That is no longer possible in .NET 2.0 - they just haven't removed it from the designer - probably just to be backwards compatible.

That's it...

--
eliasen

Tags:

BizTalk 2004 | BizTalk 2006

Quicklearn BizTalk 2006 R2 Deep Dive course

by eliasen 12. December 2007 18:02

Hi everyone

Right now I am attending the Quicklearn BizTalk 2006 R2 Deep Dive course. I have taken their BizTalk 2004 deep dive and 2006 deep dive earlier, and now the time has come to the R2 one.

The last two times I was taught by John Callaway, and this time it is Alan Smith.

Basically, if you feel like taking a BizTalk course, that goes deeper than the normal courses, I highly recommend the quicklean course.

--
eliasen

Tags:

Personal

Handyman

by eliasen 21. November 2007 23:37

Hi

Inspired by my post some weeks ago about me mending a fuse on our car, I really have outdone myself this time.

First of all, I have changed a light bulbe on my parents car.

Secondly, I have exchanged the dripping faucet in our kitchen for a brand new none-dripping one. It was actually quite a mess, and after a couple of trial-and-errors, I got it working. So now we have a new faucet in the kitchen - it doesn't drip, and I made the switch!

:-)

--
eliasen

Tags:

Personal

XML disappearing when calling a BizTalk Web Service

by eliasen 21. November 2007 23:34

Hi

Recently, I ran into a peculiar problem, which really had me fooled a long time.

Basically, I had a BizTalk Server 2006 R2 solution running. It consisted of 10 assemblies. One of the orchestrations in each of 9 of the assemblies was exposed as a web service, all using complex types - no strings, ints and so on.

And then there was the system, that was to call my web services. I had no saying over that system. We started calling the first web service. Everything went ok. Then they implemented code to call the second web service, everything OK... all was well (except some minor things here and there) for the first eight web services.

But at the ninth web service, strange things started to happen.

Basically, the other system would call my web service, IIS would return http 200 OK, but still, no data came into BizTalk. I had NOTHING in group hub page, nothing in HAT, nothing in the eventlog, NOTHING! IIS log said: I received a post on this url and responded with 200 OK - that's it - nothing more.

Really weird - I mean... where did the XML go? Why were there no errors? So we installed YATT, which is an http sniffer tool, that would be able to tell us what was exatly sent across the wires. Basically, what we found out was, that allthough the sender might have send 13000 bytes, the sniffer only reported maybe 10500 bytes. So we started investigating the network. The two servers were on the same subnet, one hop away from eachother. So no servers on the route could mingle with the traffic.

I decided that I would write my own little C# test program, that would call the web service and see if that failed as well. It didn't. I ended up calling the web service succesfully with more than 100k (I didn't bother to try anything higher than that.)

But it turned out, that the sniffer must have a bug - it reported all sorts of different numbers, when using my test program, and none were correct. Apparently, it wasn't created to handle large packets, but just a few kilobytes. So we installed wireshark instead (get it from sourceforge). Now THAT is a nice tool! Totally professional (and free), and it showed us everything that came in and out - no limitations.

So we did a test with my tool, and a test with the other system, and tried comparing the http headers, the soap action, and so on. It turned out, that all the other web services, when called by the other system, returned http 202 Accept and not http 200 OK. And when my test program called the web service, it got the http 202 Accept.

We ended up discovering what the issue was. The other system (programmed in .NET) wasn't calling my web services the "right way". They were sending everything using httprequests. Now, this is a perfectly legal way of doing it, but it really requires that you know what you are doing. I mean: They added a header to the httprequest for the SOAPAction, and then they built up XML with the soap envelope, soap body, elements for the web method and inside that the actual XML. This was just a string that they sent using httprequest.

The answer ended up being that the XML that the other system was sending me had invalid data in elements of type xsd:date. So basically, the XML couldn't be deserialized into the object that my web method on the web service was expecting. Therefore, the web method was never called, and therefore there was no data in biztalks log, the eventlog or anywhere else.

So, I have learned two things from this:

1. You should always accept the help your programming environment gives you. If the programmer of the other system had added a web reference to the web service and built XML and deserialized it into the object that was the parameter, he would have gotten an exception at runtime, that he could debug. The way he did it meant that we got NO errors at all - the data just disappeared (which I think .NET shouldn't do. Some sort of warning somewhere would have been nice.)

2. When debugging, don't trust the tools you download you to help debugging :-)

I hope this can help someone.

--
eliasen

Tags:

.NET | BizTalk 2006

Error debugging orchestration in BizTalk 2004

by eliasen 21. November 2007 23:11

Hi

I am currently supporting an existing BizTalk 2004 environment, and came across the need to debug an orchestration in the production environment. Yes, I know - "Not in the production environment", you scream... but yes, indeed - in the production environment.

Anyway, I set some breakpoints, waited for the orchestration to hit the breakpoint and tried to attach to the orchestration. I got this error:

Debugging user validation against group '<servername>\BizTalk Server Administrators' failed with error: Debuging Client is not a BizTalk Server Administrator.

This seemed odd, so I investigated a bit further. It turns out, that the setup is a multiple server setup, ie. one server for SQL Server and one for BizTalk 2004. Also, it tunrs out, that the gyuy who installed the servers didn't use domain groups. The services were running under domain accounts, but the BizTalk groups were created on both machines. Not a supported setup, but I am hoping they will upgrade to BizTalk 2006 R2 before long, and therefore, we are not going to touch that.

Anyway, it turns out, that the user I was logged in as was a member of the "BizTalk Server Administrators" group - but only on the BizTalk Server. Once I added him to the same group on the SQL Server server, all was fine.

I googled the error, and didn't stumble upon an answer, so I just thought I'd blog about it in case anyone has the need for the answer some day :-)

--
eliasen

Tags:

BizTalk 2004

Error configuring BizTalk Server 2006 R2

by eliasen 21. October 2007 18:02

Hi

I just thought I would share my experiences from the first BizTalk 2006 R2 I have installed and configured.

It was on two different boxes - one for SQL Server and one for BizTalk. Domain groups were created beforehand, as well as a service account for the services. So everything should be in place.

Installation went fine, naturally, but the configuration wouldn't let me configure Group and Runtime. I checked the logs, off course, and the first error was this one:

[09:14:15 Info ConfigHelper]  is not a local entity.
[09:14:15 Error ConfigHelper] d:\depot2300\mercury\private\common\configwizard\confighelper\service.cpp(729): FAILED hr = 80070421

[09:14:15 Warning ConfigHelper] The account name is invalid or does not exist, or the password is invalid for the account name specified.
[09:14:15 Warning ConfigHelper]  Failed to validate service credentials for account: %1

So it had to be something about the credentials I have specified. So I unconfigured, reconfigured, being very carefully to enter the correct credentials - same error. I tried again, with extra extra focus on not mistyping anything. Same error.

Then I searched some more in the log file, and found this:

2007-09-25 09:16:49:0441 [INFO] WMI Deploying 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006\Microsoft.BizTalk.GlobalPropertySchemas.dll'
2007-09-25 09:16:49:0723 [WARN] AdminLib GetBTSMessage: hrErr=80070002; Msg=The system cannot find the file specified.;
2007-09-25 09:16:49:0723 [WARN] AdminLib GetBTSMessage: hrErr=c0c02560; Msg=Failed to read "KeepDbDebugKey" from the registry.
The system cannot find the file specified.;

But the file actually existed. Then I searched the log file some more, and found this:

2007-09-25 09:16:49:0863 [INFO] WMI Error occurred during database creation; attempt to rollback and delete the partially created database'hcpr-hd-axa-01\BizTalkMgmtDb'
2007-09-25 09:16:49:0863 [INFO] WMI Calling CDataSource.Open() against hcpr-hd-axa-01\master
2007-09-25 09:16:49:0879 [INFO] WMI CDataSource.Open() returned
2007-09-25 09:17:09:0942 [WARN] WMI Rollback failed.  Could not delete database.
2007-09-25 09:17:09:0942 [ERR] WMI Failed in pAdmInst->Create() in CWMIInstProv::PutInstance(). HR=c0c025b3
2007-09-25 09:17:09:0942 [ERR] WMI WMI error description is generated: Exception of type 'System.EnterpriseServices.TransactionProxyException' was thrown.
2007-09-25 09:17:09:0942 [INFO] WMI CWMIInstProv::PutInstance() finished. HR=c0c025b3
[09:17:09 Error BtsCfg] d:\depot2300\mercury\private\mozart\source\setup\btscfg\btswmi.cpp(358): FAILED hr = c0c025b3

[09:17:09 Error BtsCfg] Exception of type 'System.EnterpriseServices.TransactionProxyException' was thrown.
[09:17:09 Error BtsCfg] d:\depot2300\mercury\private\mozart\source\setup\btscfg\btscfg.cpp(1769): FAILED hr = c0c025b3

This error pointed to some transaction error, so I downloaded and ran dtctester and it turned out my MSDTC settigns were not good enough. I spend the better part of a day looking for this. What really had me confused was that the SSODB was created fine - the BRE-DB was created fine... and the BizTalkMgmtDb database was sometimes created just fine. I mean... sometimes it would create the BizTalkMgmtDB database and fail during creation of the MessageBox. Other times it would fail on the Management database. So seing as two databases were created just fine, I really didn't think there were any issues with DTC.

BUT, this just goes to show; Before starting a multibox installation of BizTalk, ALWAYS run dtc tester first - just to be sure :-)

--
eliasen

Tags:

BizTalk 2006

I have mended a fuse

by eliasen 18. October 2007 20:07

Hi all

This isn't about BizTalk, .NET or anything else technical. This is about ME!

The other day I mended a fuse in our car.

Really? you might say.. so what? Well, to me this is a big deal :-) I don't like getting dirty hands - I generally never do anything practical around the house... I am lousy at it, I hate it, and I would rather pay someone else to do it.

But then, the back light on the car stopped working. I changed the light bulbe, which in itself took me about 2 hours, including driving to the gas station to buy a new bulbe... and then it turned out the original bulbe wasn't broken. That sucked! Then I decided I had to take the car to the mechanic... but a friend asked me if I had checked the fuses. Well, duh... off course not - how would I do that? So with the manual in one hand and a screwdriver (YES, a screwdriver... me... a screwdriver...) in the other hand, I found the fuse that wasn't working anymore. I drove, once again, to the gas station, bought a new one (approximately one dollar) and put it into place. And now the back lights are working again.

WOW! What en experience, eh? :-)

So after reading this, you might still think: "Is this guy crazy? All this fuzz about mending a fuse (Thanks to Mads Orbesen Troest for telling me how to say this in English)? YES! It's a bg deal! :-)

--
eliasen

Tags:

Personal

The specified path, file name, or both are too long.

by eliasen 14. October 2007 19:52

Hi

The other day I published an orchestration of mine as a web service. Not a big deal. Then, I needed to export the MSI for my application, so I could install it on the test server. Now THAT was a Big Deal! :-)

I got this one:

A really silly restriction on a quite normal Windows Server 2003 R2 - as you can see, the entire path of a file, including the filename, must be less than 260 characters long. And the path itself must be less than 248 characters long.

This had me stunned for a moment, until I took a closer look at what file creation was the issue. It turns out, that the issue was with creating temporary files in c:\documents and settings\administrator\local settings\temp. Yes, I am logged in as administrator. No, I wouldn't normally do that. Quit asking these questions, and let me finish the post! Right. Then I got clever, if I might say so myself (nobosy else is saying it, so I suppose I have to do it myself :-) )... Turns out that the temporary files are created in the %TMP% (NOT the %TEMP% one...) directory. So what to do? Simple - change the %TMP% environment variable to point at c:\tmp in stead of c:\documents and settings\administrator\local settings\temp. That's what I did, and it worked. I got my MSI file.

BUT... Well... You know that sometimes you do something that is like peeing in your pants? At first it is warm, but then it just gets cold and nasty? Well, this is like that. Because when I then took the MSI file to the test server and tried to install it (not the import part, but the install part), I got the exact same error. The default installation path is C:\Program Files\Generated by BizTalk\ - which is also a rather long path. So in order to install my application, I ended up installing it to c:\biz. Now having to tell your customer that they can't install the application to a path longer than 5 characters really isn't an option.

So my clever and very nice workaround to just set the TMP environment variable to c:\tmp in order to generated the MSI file really wasn't all that clever, since the installation wasn't acceptable at all. Had the issue just been my own developers box, I wouldn't have minded... but now I have to go rename all artefacts anyway. Bugger!

So basically, this post is written for people looking for a workaround for the error they get with long filenames/paths. My suggestion: Rename your artefacts, and don't wet your pants! :-)

--
eliasen

Tags:

BizTalk 2006

About the author

Jan Eliasen is 37 years old, divorced and has 2 sons, Andreas (July 2004) and Emil (July 2006).

Jan has a masters degree in computer science and is currently employed at Logica Denmark as an IT architect.

Jan is a 6 times Microsoft MVP in BizTalk Server (not currently an MVP) and proud co-author of the BizTalk 2010 Unleashed book.

BizTalk Server 2010 Unleashed


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6 times: July 2004, July 2008, July 2009, July 2010, July 2011, and July 2012. Not currently an MVP.

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