Mexia Named in BRW Top Starters List!

Mexia Consulting has ranked 71st in BRW‘s list of Australia’s Top Starters for 2013! Congrats to my fearless leaders Mat Coleman and Dean Robertson who’ve led our team to great achievements over the past couple of years. Proud to be a member of this awesome enterprise integration team!!

Mexia Projects Director Mat Coleman and Technical Director Dean Robertson accepting the award from BRW

By the way, Mexia is hiring! Immediate positions available in Brisbane & Melbourne.  If you’ve got BizTalk or enterprise integration skills using the Microsoft stack, please contact us ASAP.

BizTalk 2013 RTM VM Now Available in Window Azure Gallery

With Scott Guthrie’s announcement the other day concerning General Availability (GA) of Windows Azure Infrastructure Services, we now have available a selection of new BizTalk Server 2013 RTM virtual machine images in the Windows Azure Gallery:

  • BizTalk Server 2013 Enterprise
  • BizTalk Server 2013 Standard
  • BizTalk Server 2013 Evaluation

The Evaluation image will help you get started with the evaluation bits of BizTalk Server 2013 and SQL Server 2012.

This IaaS availability is a key aspect of the BizTalk Server 2013 release. Now you can quickly and easily spin up pre-configured BizTalk servers in the cloud without relying on the time, expense and other overheads of on-premises acquisitions. Imagine being able to provision an entire testing environment in minutes/hours instead of days/weeks/months!  And the best part is that, like all Azure services, you only pay for what you use. 🙂

The pricing details for these VMs can be found here.  Remember that there is also a (very small) storage cost for the disk images as well.

More information can be found on the BizTalk Server Team Blog.

BizTalk Saturday Event Completed

Just finished our BizTalk 2013 Hands On Day event in Brisbane, presenting with Bill Chesnut to a captivated audience about the new features and abilities to integrate with Azure. This is the last event for this round… but stay tuned for future events.

Presenting at BizTalk Saturday

Many thanks to Bill for his tireless effort at organising this and giving up most weekends, traveling all over Australia & New Zealand! Also thanks to Dean Robertson for the pic.

Using BizTalk xpath() Function to Retrieve Optional Nodes

I often suffer a bit of trepidation when trying to retrieve values for optional XML nodes using the built-in xpath() function in an orchestration, as I wonder if it will result in an exception of some kind if the node isn’t found in the message.  This concern is heightened by reading Microsoft’s own documentation of the xpath function on MSDN:

The engine is not schema-aware, so you can only read values from or write values to a node that exists in the containing message (the complete path must exist), or the engine will raise an exception. This is true even if you supply a default value.

The conclusion from this is that if the node doesn’t exist in the message instance, you’ll get a runtime error trying to read from it using xpath(), right?

Wrong! In fact, as Leonid Ganeline proved in an older blog post, you will either get an empty string or “null”, depending on whether you wrap the XPATH expression in a string() function or not:

BizTalk Saturday: Hands On Day Coming to Brisbane!

BizTalk Saturday is back with a new Hands On Day in Brisbane! Delegates will have a chance to get up to speed with the new features of BizTalk Server 2013 under the guidance of Microsoft MVP Bill Chesnut ("BizTalk Bill") and myself. The format will be presentations followed by hands-on labs. Topics covered will include:

  • What’s New in BizTalk 2013
  • Creating an Azure VM for BizTalk 2013 Beta
  • REST Services in BizTalk 2013
  • Building a Cloud/On-Premises Hybrid Solution
  • Integrating with Windows Azure EAI/EDI

The Brisbane date is Saturday, 13 April 2013. Be sure to register now at the link below:

http://www.eventbrite.com.au/event/5679020102

Cost will be $100 and you will need your own laptop & Azure account. Please see the link above for further details.
This community event is brought to you by the Australian BizTalk User Groups.

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