BizTalk RFID Training - Syd Australia: Feb 2008


BizTalk RFID Workshop – End-to-End

This aim of this 2 day hands-on course is to take the student from the “nuts and bolts” of BizTalk RFID to enriching and utilizing BizTalk RFID information streams as part of Business Intelligence. The course also teaches the students how to integrate with external systems, create and call Business Rules, as well as put in place proactive monitoring around the end-to-end solution.

As part of the ‘student pack’ for this course, each student is provided with a real (non virtual) BizTalk RFID compatible RFID Reader that will be used throughout the course, which the student can take home at course completion.

The course will teach students how:

· Develop and implement low level BizTalk RFID Interfaces in implementing their own BizTalk RFID Providers and Process Components.

· Develop and incorporate Business Rules to help drive the BizTalk RFID process.

· Active solution Monitoring using Operations Manager 2007 and the BizTalk R2 Management Pack.

· Create and call an exposed WCF Service synchronously.

· Integrate with a BizTalk 2006 R2 environment.

· Enable End-To-End Business Activity Monitoring.

The course is aimed for developers and solution architects

Module 1 – Introduction to BizTalk RFID

This module introduces Microsoft BizTalk RFID and typical solutions it provides to common business problems. The module also looks at the BizTalk RFID architecture and discovers how BizTalk RFID operates under the hood.

Specifically this module covers:

  • Introduction to RFID and innovative industry solutions
  • BizTalk RFID architecture
  • Topology – How BizTalk RFID services operate
  • LAB: Design and discussion lab that highlights the key factors in determining small, medium and high Microsoft BizTalk RFID Services topologies (paper based - class discussion).

Module 2 - Installing BizTalk RFID

This module describes the types of installations supported, and guides us through installing BizTalk RFID for the first time. There is also a walk-through of the RFID Services Manager, which highlights the difference between physical and logical devices.


  • BizTalk RFID components (e.g. RFID Server, RFID databases, RFID Manager)
  • Planning security
  • Types of installations and pre-requisites
  • Troubleshooting and repairing an installation
  • LAB: Installing and identifying the default settings of Microsoft BizTalk RFID

Module3 - Examining Physical Devices

This module will explore the various types of RFID devices available. We will install your very own RFID device and get it up and running on your machine.

  • Types of devices
  • Installing physical devices
  • Developing against device API’s
  • LAB: Installing, configuring and testing your RFID Device. Also some sample code on complex read/write of tags using device’s native API – this will serve to highlight later the ease of writing tags through the DSPI layer.

Module 4 – BizTalk RFID Device Providers Explained

This module will look at the device provider’s role in the BizTalk RFID stack. We will look briefly at the DSPI and examine how it provides a unified way for our business applications to manage, configure, and communicate with various physical RFID devices. The module will show sample code using BizTalk RFID object model.

  • The role of device providers
  • Types of device providers
  • Device Service Provider Interface (DSPI)
  • Registering device providers
  • Testing and monitoring device providers
  • LAB: installing, configuring and testing the Device Provider for your RFID Reader. Reading and writing your first Tag using the BizTalk RFID Object model outside an RFID process. Examining the Read Tag Event structure.
    Lab extension: Building your first DSPI provider class within Visual Studio
    (we will look into creating a provider that wraps a file system folder and exposes it as a ‘Provider’. Drop a file into the folder and this will simulate a Tag Read etc.)

Module 5 - Building RFID Processes

In BizTalk RFID we manage logical groups of components in RFID processes. In this module we will examine the types of components that make up an RFID process, understand the difference between logical and physical devices, and see how we use bindings to connect them. We will learn what an event pipeline is and take a look at the various out-of-the-box components that ship with BizTalk RFID.

Specifically this module covers:

  • Components of a BizTalk RFID Process
  • OOTB Components
  • Binding BizTalk RFID Processes
  • Starting a BizTalk RFID Process
  • Deploying RFID Processes
  • LAB: Creating, testing and logging your first RFID Process. Capturing the Read Tag Event. Writing to a DB table using the OOTB Sql Sink component.
    Lab Extension: Create a SQL Reporting Services report to report on Tag event data in sqlsink db and display the enriched data

Module 6 – Creating Custom RFID Event Handlers

This module will focus on the event processing pipeline, as we learn when and how to create our own event handler components to filter, enrich, and process tag event data.

We will examine the following topics: 

  • Asynchronous Event Processing - terminating, continuing components
  • Filtering, Enriching, and Terminating event data
  • Error Handling
  • Deployment and registration
  • LAB: Creating a simple custom component to enrich tag event data using a DB Lookup while adding custom properties to the tag Event data. The enriched data will be made available for downstream consumers. This lab highlights the importance of keeping the TagEvent data structure within these processes.

Module 7 - The Role of Business Rules

The Business Rules Engine allows for externalising key decision process points. This allows RFID processes to be more flexible and highly repeatable. In this module we will examine the OOTB rule engine policy executor component as well as looking at how we can call business rules from our custom event handlers.
The focus points are: 

  • Benefits of the Business Rules Engine (BRE)
  • Why BRE is crucial for any RFID Process
  • The RuleEnginePolicyExecutor component
  • Calling business rules policy from custom event handlers
  • LAB: extending your RFID Process to incorporate Business Rules.
    Create a Business Rules. Use Rules to process business logic and output the results back to a DB Table. The results are posted to the SQL Sink database for further consumption.

Module 8 - Publishing and Consuming WCF Services in RFID

Enabling BizTalk RFID processes to consume WCF Services provides enormous value to upstream process consumers, such as Microsoft BizTalk Server. Integration and instrumentation of BizTalk RFID throughout the Enterprise provides rich, meaningful information ideally delivered to the user’s desktop, thus abstracting the actual process to another information stream within the Enterprise. This module will discuss consuming and publishing BizTalk RFID processes with WCF Services, essentially allowing for the ease of integration. Both Synchronous and Asynchronous message patterns will be examined.
We will cover the following:

  • Consuming WCF Services - calling a WCF Service synchronously
  • Topology options for reliable interfacing to BizTalk RFID
  • Performance considerations
  • LAB: Calling an existing WCF Service from within a RFID Process synchronously. Create a WinForm Application that hosts a WCF Service that is called synchronously. Here the operator deals with the scenario and the results are returned back to the RFID process in question. The user can see the results in the UI. Publishing a local WCF Service allowing for optimized consumption with integration partners, e.g. security considerations.

Module 9 - Consuming and BAM enabling End-To-End RFID processes in Microsoft BizTalk Server

This module will walk through the ease of integrating BizTalk RFID with Microsoft BizTalk Server and will integrate the BizTalk RFID processes with BizTalk Server allowing for the Orchestrating of BizTalk RFID processes within the larger Business Process and the Enterprise.

  • A BizTalk Server’s perspective of BizTalk RFID
  • Reliability, interoperability and performance considerations.
  • Using WCF BAM Interceptor and custom BAM APIs from the BizTalk RFID environment.
  • LAB: Building a simple BizTalk BizTalk Server Orchestration that processes published BizTalk RFID Tag Event data. This lab illustrates the basic framework required to integrate BizTalk Server. Using BizTalk Server 2006 R2 BAM WCF Interceptors and BAM API from within RFID, system components will report back BAM eventing information for further analysis.

Module 10 - Effective Monitoring + Performance Consideration for Microsoft BizTalk RFID Deployments

This module will discuss effective BizTalk RFID System and Process monitoring within different scenarios to actively monitor for better health from a Microsoft Operations Manager 2007 environment. The module also focuses on steps to take for proactive monitoring, rather than reactive. The student will also learn how to configure and setup this environment to ensure effect health monitoring of their BizTalk RFID Environment.

Specifically this module covers:

  • Determining the health of BizTalk RFID through Operations Manager 2007, Alerts and key performance monitor counters.
  • Packaging and deploying existing BizTalk RFID Processes - a closer look at RfidClientConsole.exe
  • Performance considerations within BizTalk RFID Services and its processes.
  • LAB: Package and deploy your existing RFID Process, examine performance monitor counters and highlight key performance factors within RFID Services.

Module 11 - BizTalk RFID Tips and Tricks

This module will cover key tips and tricks when implementing BizTalk RFID, with respect to maximising performance, optimising the BizTalk Rules Engine for performance, deployment and tweaking the IIS hosted BizTalk RFID Processes.

Specifically this module covers:

  • IIS 6.0 considerations for BizTalk RFID - post install suggested tweaks.
  • Getting the most out of your BizTalk Rules engine - determine rule set and fact cache policy durations.
  • Best practices when packaging up your BizTalk RFID Processes and deciding whether to GAC or not additional BizTalk RFID artifacts.
  • LAB: Create a new IIS Web Site to specifically host BizTalk RFID Processes. Setting the IIS Web Application Pool . Configuring the BizTalk RFID Server to use non-default IIS web site as well as adjusting some of the BizTalk RFID settings.