Migrating Service Fabric Sample Voting App to ASP.NET Core

Service Fabric is emerging as popular hosting model for microservices, due to its scalability, resilience, and powerful service orchestration capabilities. The fact that it can run anywhere (Azure, other cloud providers, and on-prem) makes for a compelling story, particularly when considering that single cluster can be stretched across multiple locations (see this great blog post by my Mexia colleagues talking about a proof-of-concept hybrid cluster). In my recent interview for SSW TV, I talk about Service Fabric being “PaaS for DevOps”.

Recently Microsoft introduced support for ASP.NET Core stateless services. This is especially relevant when building Service Fabric application in Visual Studio 2017 which has built-in support for .NET Core. However, it can be a bit tricky trying to migrate existing .NET Web API services to ASP.NET Core – which is the subject of this post.

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Month of Achievements!

“When it rains, it pours.”

Well, I must say I’ve had a pretty remarkable run the past few weeks! I can’t remember any point in my professional life where I’ve enjoyed so much reward and recognition in such a short time span.

mcsa-cloud-platform-certified-2017-smFor starters, after six weeks and probably 50-60 hours of study, I managed to pass my MS 70-533 Implementing Azure Infrastructure Solutions exam. Since I’d already passed the MS 79-532 Developing Azure Solutions exam a couple of month earlier, this earned me the coveted Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) qualification in Cloud Platform. I now have just one more exam to pass to earn the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) qualification.

MVP_Logo_Preferred_Cyan300_RGB_72ppiThen just last week I was granted my first  Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award  in Azure! This is incredibly exciting to say the least, and not only a surprise to myself to have been identified with so many incredibly accomplished leaders in the industry, but also to many others because of the timing. Microsoft has revamped the MVP program so that now awards will be granted every month instead of every quarter, and everyone will have their review date on July 1st. I’m looking forward to using my newfound benefits to contribute more to the community.

And if that wasn’t enough, this week Mexia promoted me to the position of Principal Consultant! Aside from the CEO (Dean Robertson), I am the longest serving employee, and the journey over the last seven and a half years has been nothing short of amazing. Seeing the company grow from just three of us into the current roster of nearly forty has been remarkable enough, but I’ve also watched us become a Microsoft Gold Partner and win a plethora of awards (including ranking #10 in the Australia’s Great Place to Work competition) along the way. Working with such an awesome team has afforded me unparalleled opportunities to grow as an IT professional, and I will strive to serve both our team and our clients to the best of my ability in this role.

So what else is on the horizon? Well for starters, next week I join the speaker list at Ignite Australia for the first time delivering a Level 300 Instructor-Led Lab in Azure Service Fabric. I’m also organising and presenting for the first ever Global Integration Bootcamp in Brisbane on 25th March, and doing the same for the fifth Global Azure Bootcamp on 22nd April. And somewhere in there I need to fit in that third Azure exam… It’s going to be a busy year!

Busy Days!

If you’re wondering why my blogging frequency has dropped off over the last couple of months, it’s because I’ve been busy with some other projects. Here are just a few of them:

Brisbane Azure Bootcamp

BAB2015_Dan_OrientationAlthough originally intended to be the Brisbane chapter of the Global Azure Bootcamp, we had to change the date to a week later since the global event coincided with ANZAC Day in Australia. This year marking the 100th anniversary of the event at Gallipoli, it seemed irreverent (and also impractical) to hold the event on that day. So we joined Perth in organising our own version of the all-day event. Alessandro Cardoso from Readify and myself were the main organisers, while Damien Berry set up the event website.

 

BAB2015_Dan_HCWhat a success! With over 50 registrations, we had a full house at Microsoft headquarters, with the event stretching from 8:30am to 5:30pm. Presenters included Readify’s Alessandro Cardoso and Andrew Harcourt, myself on Hybrid Connections, and Microsoft’s Steve van Bodegraven with a session on Azure ML and lean start-ups.

Lots of prizes were given out thanks to sponsors Mexia, Pluralsight, and the Global Azure Bootcamp. Also a big thanks to Readify for funding the catering.

Brisbane Azure User Group

For the next Brisbane Azure User Group event, I’ll be presenting with Mexia’s Lee Simpson on Logic Apps – so preparation for that is keeping me occupied as well.

Pluralsight

And if that was not enough, I’m also authoring my second Pluralsight course. While I’m not allowed to say too much about the content until it’s published, I can reveal that it is based on an exciting Azure technology directly related to hybrid integration. Only one more module to go! Expect an announcement in a few weeks. 🙂

Of course there are other things stealing my time (and sleep) away as well, including heavier than usual workloads at our current client and preparation for a looming deadline for lodging my income tax return. But I hope to be back to more regular blogging next month! There are plenty of exciting things to write about…

Testing for Empty/Nil/Missing Source Nodes in BizTalk Maps

Re-posted from another blog – original publish date 27 Aug 2012

Scenario: You are mapping an optional node in your source schema to an optional node in your target schema. But… the target schema has stricter validation rules and cannot accept empty or “nil” nodes, whereas the source schema can.

By default, if the source node doesn’t exist, it won’t be output in your target. No problems there. But… what if the source node is empty or null?

Let’s look at this mapping example:

BadMap

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MABS: Lessons in Configuring a (Service Bus) Queue Source

An excellent tip by Mark Brimble on how to avoid this trap when integrating Service Bus with MABS.

Connected Pawns

This weekend I keep on getting this error when I tried to deploy a Microsoft Azure BizTalk Services solution;

“COQueueSource deployment failed at ‘https://biztalksoa.biztalk.windows.net/default/COXmlOneWayBridge/sources/COQueueSource’.
Failed to connect to the ServiceBus using specified configuration.”

image

I also observed this error in the MABS tracking portal.

image

This error had me stumped for awhile;

  1. This had worked months ago when I had followed a post by Steef-Jan Wiggers. I had followed his pattern to the letter.
  2. I could use the same connection string in the Service Bus Explorer to connect to the same queue without issue.

The default authentication mechanism for Service Bus namespace has changed from ACS to SAS since I had last tried to use a Queue source and I wondered if this was the cause. I had created the service bus using powershell commands to make sure that the queue source could use ACS in its connection string…

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Gotchas When Accessing an IaaS SQL Server in an Azure Cloud Service

It’s not that uncommon a scenario… You implement a spectacular BizTalk Server integration solution with well-designed Business Activity Monitoring, and you want to expose all that BAM goodness out through a custom-designed Web application built with HTML5, etc.

What might make this scenario slightly less common is when you’re hosting the BizTalk Server infrastructure in Azure. In this case, your custom Web application needs to be hosted within the same virtual network in order to access the BAM databases – unless of course you want to expose your SQL Server to the world by establishing a TCP endpoint on a port like 1433 (usually not a great idea).

Establishing that connectivity should be trivial – and it probably is if you get past a few potential stumbling blocks. I thought I might list some of them here in hopes that it may be helpful to others who try this.

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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 Server 2013 RTM Now Available!

BizTalk Server 2013 has now finally been released to manufacturing! View the full details on the BizTalk Server Team Blog.BizTalkServer2013

Note that there is a new pricing model based on cores rather than processers. The official Licensing Datasheet & FAQ document is available from Microsoft, while Saravana Kumar has a very comprehensive and detailed post to explain the new licensing scheme. You can also download a BizTalk Server 2013 License Maintenance spreadsheet that Saravana has made available.

Also of interest is that there is no developer edition of BizTalk 2013 to download. Instead, MSDN users can download the Enterprise edition, which is the same as the developer edition. There is also the 180-day free trial edition.

Happy BizTalk-ing!

Discovering Domain Group Membership for an Account

Today was not the first time that I’ve had to verify that BizTalk service accounts were in the right domain groups, but didn’t have access to AD to check.  Fortunately a bit of time with Dr. Google unearthed this command line tool:

net user {username} /domain

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Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrre’s…..Dan!

Well, after almost 13 years of service in the IT industry, I’ve finally decided to have my own blog! Not that I haven’t published before – I’ve posted several times on my employer’s website here, and  also published a number of presentations and webcasts as the leader of the Brisbane BizTalk User Group. But finally, I have my own personal soapbox! 🙂  I hope you enjoy whatever you may read here.

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