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Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 9:35 AM

Pieter Vandenheede by Pieter Vandenheede

On December 13th I spoke at XL about BizTalk 2016, the new features and the key aspects of its Always On support. In this post I share with you my slide deck.

Last week, I had a great time at, while presenting my session on BizTalk 2016.

I presented the new features in BizTalk Server 2016 RTM and a few takeaway from SQL Server 2016. More specifically, and in-depth, on SQL Server AlwaysOn support for BizTalk Server 2016 on-premise and in the Azure cloud, as well as an intro on the new Logic App adapter and how to install and connect it to your on-premise BizTalk Server.

As promised there, please find my slide deck below via SlideShare:

Contact me if you have any questions regarding the slides, I'd be happy to answer you.

The other speakers there were Glenn Colpaert (session about Azure Functions), Kristof Rennen (session on Building scalable and resilient solutions using messaging) and Nino Crudele (session on Holistic approaches to Integration).

As always, it was nice to talk to the people present. A big thank you to for having me again!

Enjoy the slide deck!


Categories: Community
written by: Pieter Vandenheede

Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2016 10:00 AM

Glenn Colpaert by Glenn Colpaert

BizTalk Server 2016 is scheduled for General Availability (GA) later this year. To celebrate the launch of the 10th version of BizTalk Server, Codit organizes a BizTalk 2016 launch event.

BizTalk Server 2016 comes with lots of new, exciting features such as HA improvements, a platform refresh and more, but most important of all - BizTalk 2016 tries to bridge the gap between on premise and cloud allowing you to take your business on a successful hybrid integration journey.

What will you learn?

Learn everything about the new features in BizTalk Server 2016 and the vision of Microsoft on Integration anno 2016. See why support for SQL Server 2016 AlwaysOn makes production high availability (HA) workloads in Azure a reality. To top it off you will learn to create basic IFTT (If This Then That) scenarios, or think bigger and build full-scale enterprise integration scenarios, with Logic Apps.

Practical Details

  • Date: Thursday November 24, from 14:30 PM to 17:45 PM (Including walking dinner)
  • Language: English
  • Location: Crowne Plaza - Brussels Airport (Leonardo Da Vincilaan 4, 1831 Brussels)


Speakers and Sessions

  • Keynote: Microsoft's view on Integration anno 2016
  • A dip into the new BizTalk 2016 and and answer to your "should we or shouldn't we upgrade"
  • High Availability versus Always On Support: the battle
  • Azure IPaaS: Integration Evolved

For more information and registration, visit our website

Hope to see you there!


Categories: Community
written by: Glenn Colpaert

Posted on Friday, July 1, 2016 1:42 PM

Pieter Vandenheede by Pieter Vandenheede

In this post you can find the slide deck I presented at on June 30th around the recap of the Integrate 2016 conference, the updates in Azure Logic Apps and BizTalk Server 2016 CTP2.

Yesterday I had a great time at, while presenting my session on Integrate 2016.

I presented the new changes in BizTalk Server 2016 CTP2, covered the upcoming changes in RTM and the new schema update of Azure Logic Apps, together with the new features available in the public preview of the Enterprise Integration Pack.
Thanks again to our company, Codit, for providing me the opportunity to be there!

As promised there, please find my slide deck below via SlideShare:

Feel free to comment if you have any questions.

The second speaker yesterday was Eldert Grootenboer. He had a great talk on IoT, gateways, sensors and ... boats! Keep an eye out on his blog, since he promised some more IoT posts coming up.

As always, it was nice to talk to the people present. A big thank you to them! Especially since it was not such a great time to attend, just before holiday period and there were a lot of traffic jams around Antwerp yesterday evening. We do have a good community out there!

Enjoy the slide deck!


Categories: Community
written by: Pieter Vandenheede

Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2016 1:54 PM

Joachim De Roissart by Joachim De Roissart

Michel Pauwels by Michel Pauwels

Pieter Vandenheede by Pieter Vandenheede

Robert Maes by Robert Maes

The Codit recap of the third and last day at Integrate 2016.

Day 3 is already here and looking at the agenda, the main focus of today is IoT and Event Hubs.

Unfortunately we underestimated traffic today and spent quite a long time getting to the Excel, missing the first one and a half session. Luckily we were able to ask around and following Twitter while being stuck in traffic.

Azure IaaS for BizTalkers

Stephen W. Thomas identified the possibilities nowadays with Azure IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). The offering there is getting bigger and bigger every day. Having lots of choice means that the right choice tends to be hard to make. 58 types of Virtual Machines makes one wonder what the right one would be. Luckily Stephen was able to guide us in the differences, identifiying which ones were the better choice for optimal performance, depending on your MSDN access level. The choices you make have an immediate effect on the monthly cost, so be aware!

Unified tracking on premise and in the cloud

M.R. Ashwin Prabhu was the next presenter. He took off with a very nice demo, showing how he showed how to analyze on premise BAM tracking data into a Power BI dashboard, something a lot of people might have already thought about, but never got to doing. We all know the BAM portal in BizTalk Server has not been updated since 2004 and it urgently needs an update. Customers are spoiled nowadays and, with reason, many of them don't like the looks of the BAM portal and get discouraged to use it.

Moving from BAM data to Logic Apps tracked data is not far-fetched, so another demo followed later demonstrating just this. Just minutes later he demonstrated combining BAM data and Logic Apps tracked data into one solution, with a very refreshing tracking portal in PowerBI, using the following architecture:

(Image by Olli Jääskeläinen)

IoT Cases

IoT is not the next big thing, it already is now! 

Steef-Jan Wiggers explained how a few years ago he managed a solution to process sensory data from windmills. Nowadays Azure components like Event Hubs - the unsung hero of the day -, Azure Stream Analytics, Azure storage, Azure Machine Learning and Power BI can make anything happen!

Kent Weare proved this in his presentation. He explained how, at his company, they implemented a hybrid architecture to move sensory data to Azure instead of on premise historians. Historians are capable of handling huge amounts of data and events, something which can also be done to Azure Event Hubs and Stream Analytics. Handling the output of this data was managed by Logic Apps, Azure Service Bus and partly by an on premise BizTalk Server. The decision to move to Azure were mostly based on the options around scalability and disaster recovery.
In short, a very nice presentation, making Azure services like Event Hubs, Stream Analytics, Service Bus, Logic Apps and BizTalk Server click together!

After the break Mikael Häkansson continued on the IoT train. He showed his experience and expertise by showing off two more demos: first he managed to do some live programming and debugging on-stage. He demonstrated how easy it can be to read sensory data from IoT devices, namely the Raspberry Pi 3. He talked about managing devices such as applications and updates to firm- and software.
In a last demo he showed us how he made an access control device using a camera with facial recognition software and

The last sessions

Next up was Tomasso Groenendijk, talking about his beloved Azure API Management. He showed off the capabilities, especially around security (delegation and SSL), custom domain names and such. 

A 3 day conference takes its toll: very interesting sessions, early mornings, long days and short nights. Just as our attention span was being put to the limits (nothing related to the speakers off course), Nick Hauenstein managed to spice things up, almost as much as the food we tasted the last couple of days ;-)

He managed to give us the most animated session of the conference without a doubt. Demonstrated by this picture alone:

(Picture by BizTalk360)

A lightning fast and interactive session, demonstrating his fictional company creating bobbleheads.He demonstrated a setup of Azure Logic Apps and Service Bus, acting and behaving like a BizTalk Server solution. Correlation, long running processes, most of the things we know from BizTalk Server.

Really nice demo and session, worth watching the video for!!

Due to the fact we needed to close up our commercial stand and had a strict deadline on our EuroStar departure with some high traffic in London, we missed Tom Canters session unfortunately. We'll make sure we check that video when they are released in a few weeks.

The conclusion

Integrate 2016 was packed with great sessions, enchanting speakers and great people from all over the world. We had a real great time, meeting people from different countries and companies. The mood was relaxed, even when talking to competitors! Props to the organizers of the event and the people working to make things go smooth at the Platinum Suites of the London Excel. It was great seeing all of these people again after last year, hearing everyones progress since last year's BizTalk Summit 2015.

We take with us the realisation that Azure is hotter than ever. Microsoft is still picking up its pace and new features get added weekly. Integration has never been so complex, but nowadays Microsoft has one - or even more - answers to each question. With such a diverse toolset, both on premise and in the cloud, it does remains hard to keep ahead. A lot of time is spent on keeping up-to-date with Microsoft's ever changing landscape.

We hope you liked our recaps of Integrate 2016, we sure spent a lot of time on it. Let us know what you liked or missed, we'll make sure to keep it in mind next year.

Thank you for reading!

Brecht, Robert, Joachim, Michel and Pieter




Posted on Friday, May 13, 2016 9:12 PM

Joachim De Roissart by Joachim De Roissart

Michel Pauwels by Michel Pauwels

Pieter Vandenheede by Pieter Vandenheede

Robert Maes by Robert Maes

The Codit recap of the second day at Integrate 2016.

Day 2 of the Integrate 2016 conference passed by. Please find our recap below.

Azure Functions & Azure App Service

Christopher Anderson kicked of the day with a talk on Azure Functions. He showed us some very impressive Azure App Service statistics, clearly showing usage of Azure services is gaining more popularity fast and therefore usage increases every day.

He demonstrated Azure Functions and how they can be utilized in combination with Logic Apps as well. Azure App Service is a cloud platform that enables rapid development of functions, or µ-services as you could call them, which can connect to anywhere. Azure Functions can be called from a Logic App as well, which allows fast and easy extensibility in various programming languages.

If you want to expose a simple µ-service, you should consider Azure Functions. When you are dealing with something more complex, use WebApps, as Azure Functions is designed to keep things simple.

Service Bus

The two sessions dealing with Service Bus were hosted by Dan Rosanova and Clemens Vaster. Two authorities within the integration field. Both also have a more-than-thorough BizTalk Server background!

Dan Rosanova started off looking back to his BizTalk Server days, all while admitting he still loves BizTalk Server. From his expertise he gave us some tips from his experience while transitioning from an on premise BizTalk Server platform to a cloud one. Talking about simplifying solutions as much as possible. Pushing logic to LOB systems, making them smarter, instead of implementing them in the integration layer and masking problems. Keeping messaging simple and fast and pushing any logic or transformations into the endpoints.

Clemens Vaster talked us through the roadmap of Service Bus: the upcoming standardization of Azure Service Bus on the AMQP protocol and - not on the slides, but only verbally communicated - the announcement that Azure Stack for on premise will include Event Hubs and Service Bus, although the latter will no longer be free.
Clemens went on about AMQP and it's capabilities and went into deep-dive detail how protocols like AMQP and MQTT continue to drive innovation. 

Dan also told us earlier, that, for large scale customers, an interesting new model for Event Hubs was created: Event Hubs Dedicated Capacity model. This allows them to have a dedicated cloud infrastructure, not a shared one like the current shared model. This allows them to keep on pushing their dedicated cloud resources to the limits, instead of potentially taking any performance hits due to the shared infrastructure architecture.

Open Source Messaging Landscape

Richard Seroter, a well-known integration mastermind and superhero (again, with BizTalk roots), talked about the open source messaging landscape. At the Integrate 2016 event, we are all Microsoft integration people and we all take what Microsoft does for granted as being top-notch. However, integration experts need to dare to see further than their own technology stack. Being able to stay ahead requires you to seen beyond your own boundaries. Richard is such an expert and showed us some examples of what is available in terms of messaging platforms, next to the Microsoft stack.

kafka, RabbitMQ and NATS were the chosen few. Richard demoed each one in several scenarios. Really impressive to see such lightweight messaging platforms performing very well on simpler hardware. Talking about the pros and cons of each one and comparing them to their Azure 'neighbor'.

Worth mentioning - and really impressive - was NATS in particular. A 3MB lightweight 'central nervous system', capable of handling millions of messages per second, with only minimal latency.

Last, but not least was the fact that Richard is very impressed with the work Microsoft is doing every day, driving Azure services further every day. He also had - by far - the best slidedeck!

HIS2016 announcements

Paul Larsen, Group PM Manager for the Host Integration Server (HIS) in Microsoft and Steve Melan, Integration MVP had some news regarding the upcoming release for HIS 2016.

What was already announced for HIS 2016 was the platform alignment for both Windows Server and IBM platforms, an improved installation experience and improvements regarding message and data integration among others.

Today, they surprised everyone with the announcement that HIS 2016 will contain brand new clients for MQ, DB2 and Informix, written in .NET, by Microsoft. According to their demo, you can expect a huge performance increase. Most likely because the new client does not use COM InterOp. Also, it offers better tracking and tracing.
Next to that, BizTalk Server CTP2 will contain new adapters for MQ, Informix and DB2 and also include better integration into the Visual Studio IDE!

Azure Service Fabric

Next up was our colleague and CTO Sam Vanhoutte.
Speaking from our own experience in the field, he gave the crowd some insights on when to use which part of the Azure Service Fabric ecosystem.

Microsoft has been using Service Fabric for a long time inside their data centers, and decided to make it more user friendly, so customers could use it for their own purposes. Applications moved from a monolithic approach, in which an application was a single 'package', with a deployment to each machine, to a µ-services-approach.
Splitting up functionality of a larger application in simpler µ-services allows much better reuse and 'pluggability' of these µ-services and also allows to scale really fast, faster deployments and better utilisation of Virtual Machines.

There are several ways of working with Azure Service Fabric, for which Sam provided us with a few tips when to use stateless or stateful services / actors. Towards the end of the session, Sam gave a few scenarios in which he used the various aspects of Azure Service Fabric in the field like the Codit IoT Field Gateway.

Integration Superheroes

Next up was Michael Stephenson, giving us a talk on how he sees the evolution from a specialized integration team - like most companies work today - to an approach where each team has at least one integration specialist (aka superhero). A necessary change as companies nowadays are not quite happy with how it works. 

BizTalk Server

The last 3 sessions of the day were focused on BizTalk Server. I have a feeling a lot of people in the room were anticipating these sessions and had some pretty high expectations.

Johan Hedberg brought us a real refreshing session about a typical project lifecycle, but instead of using Team Foundation Server (TFS), he showed us what was possible with Git. Especially noteworthy was the more relaxed branching strategy of Git in comparison to TFS and the tooling around it. Usage of Stash (now called Bitbucket Server) for Git flow management with Jenkins as a deployment automation management tool was really a great way to show off the capabilities around Git and also the Elastic Stack.

Sandro Perreira continued on the session from last years BizTalk Summit with another set of tips and tricks regarding BizTalk migrations.
The last session was Nino Crudele who, in his known, humours style, brought us some insights on how delicate a BizTalk assessment can be.


Also a big congratulations to Axon Olympus, which is part of Codit International. They managed to bring home the 'BizTalk360 Partner of the Year' award for the second time in a row! Well done!

Thank you for reading.

Brecht, Robert, Joachim, Michel and Pieter