BizTalk Server 2010 Beta Released!

Update 2 (24th May 2010): The beta is back, download it now at the link below.

Update: Well, it was there about four hours ago, but the link no longer works…. I’m pleased to say that it isn’t just me who got all excited. I’ll update this post if the link becomes active again. In the meantime, I did manage to download a copy, so will post my experiences here.

Looks like the beta of BizTalk Server 2010 was released today – three words: Windows 7 Support!

Hat-tip: Nick M.

Further MS-DTC Issues – Check the Startup Order of Clustered Services

We’ve just encountered an obscure MSDTC/SQL Server issue that I thought would be beneficial to the wide-community.

Following a failover of our (Windows Server 2008) cluster, we started to encounter unexpected errors when BizTalk attempted to perform any tasks that required a distributed transaction, even though everything appeared to be running correctly: MS-DTC was running and we could DTCPing the BizTalk Server from the SQL Server (and vice-a-versa), so no issues with DTC; SQL Server was also running as we could connect to the instance via Management Studio and BizTalk could read the Management Database etc., yet DTC operations still failed with the following error:

Enlist operation failed: 0x8004d01c(XACT_E_CONNECTION_DOWN). SQL Server could not register with Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MS DTC) as a resource manager for this transaction. The transaction may have been stopped by the client or the resource manager.
A severe error occurred on the current command.  The results, if any, should be discarded. (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 8510)

It turns out that when clustered services are brought online, they must be started in a specific order, with the DTC service being started before SQL Server. If they are not brought online in this order, SQL Server fails to register itself and DTC transactions cannot be initiated, even though both the DTC and SQL service’s are running and everything looks correct.

Thanks to this forum post for providing us with the much needed pointer:

Team Explorer 2010 ‘narks’ Enterprise Single Sign-On

Update 20th July 2010: There is now a Hotfix from Microsoft that resolves this issue, see; thanks for the pointer Daniel.

If you’re developing BizTalk projects and using TFS 2010, you’ll probably need to install Team Explorer 2010 to leverage some of the new functionality not accessible through the Visual Studio 2008 TFS hooks. Team Explorer 2010 is a stripped down version of the Visual Studio 2010 environment used solely to access Team Foundation Server services.

Be aware that if you do install Team Explorer 2010, you’ll nark your Enterprise Single Sign-On installation, meaning you can’t make any changes to BizTalk – when ESSO attempts to start, you’ll probably receive the following error in the Application Event Log:

Could not create SSOSQL. To fix the problem, reinstall SSO or try 'regasm SSOSQL.dll' from a Visual Studio command prompt.
Error Code: 0x80131700
To correct the missing SSOSQL assembly, simply run the following command in a Visual Studio command prompt as suggested:
regasm "C:Program FilesCommon FilesEnterprise Single Sign-OnSSOSQL.dll"
ESSO should now start as expected.