Thursday, September 29, 2005

Scalable Vector Graphs

I've been searching a long time how to draw a diagonal line with just standard Web features (HTML, CSS, DIV, etc). Most of the time I end up at Scalable Vector Graph (SVG). However there has not been a wide spread support for this technology on the client side. Microsoft is betting it's money on it's 'own' standard Avalon.

The W3C has one little note, that diagonal layout might be done without SVG, but the follow up link to these details is broken.

Today to my pleasant surprise, I stumbled on the information that Mozila has native support for SVG! This is opening a big door to get .SVG files to the clients desktop. Here is a view of a rule network dependency graph. Probably of more interest is the automatic detected rule contradiction. This rule anomaly was detected by the Policy Verificator that supports rendering SVG files.

For those stuck with Internet Explorer: you can view .SVG files with the Adobe plugin.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

BizTalk Rules engine scalibility

When exploring different rule base vendors, you probably encounter references to the RETE algorithm by Charles Forgy. This algorithm has proven itself to scale well for very large ruleset.
In all my years of experience, I've never encountered a client with more than 500 rules in a single rule policy. The reason is not any scalability issues on inference engines. The reason is simple. It is difficult for a business expert to
  • manage a very large rule policy
  • maintain a very large rule policy
  • verify and validate a large rule policy

As with any complexity, the divide and conquer strategy works very well. Split the large policy into smaller parts.
But for those who like to push the limits and see how well the BizTalk inference engine scales, you might like to read the article Microsoft'’s Rule Engine Scalability Results - A comparison with Jess and Drools, by Charles Young.

BizTalk Throughput and Capacity Tester

In the category essential tools for the BizTalk consultant; here we have the Throughput and Capacity Tester made by Larry Beck. What else can we ask for?

Update: The new release has been renamed to BTSPerfTester 1.0

The BizTalk Performance Tester (the Tester) is an application intended to assist architects and developers quantify the performance characteristics of their BizTalk solutions. The application meets this objective by performing stress tests against the target solution and monitoring the application performance.