Monday, July 30, 2012
Howard is married and has two grown sons, and two granddaughters. He resides in Libertyville, IL which is a far Northern Suburb of Chicago.
Howard has no formal education in IT. He majored in Architectural Design and had studied Theatrical Light Design at the Goodman School of Drama. He never completed his degree.
Howard has not always worked in IT. He spent many years doing Marketing and Engineering Sales in the commercial flooring industry. Working with computers was a hobby. Because of this he was also the IT guy for the company. Howard taught myself a little assembly programming, and took a few courses in C++:
“I was a “good” hacker. After a few years I decided it was time for a career change. My first job was the Web Development Manager for an Educational Foundation. Along the way I picked up my first Microsoft certification.”
Howard worked with ASP and VB Distributed for several years until .NET came along. He was introduced to BizTalk around the time when “Soap on a Rope” was first introduced by Microsoft. He didn’t get a chance to use it until BizTalk 2002 came about. Most of his career has been doing contract work. He has been able to utilize almost all of BizTalk’s capabilities, in many industries. Skipping all the ups and downs that happened in-between (which could take up about twenty pages); let’s jump to the present day:
“I am currently a BizTalk Architect specializing in providing guidance and training for companies implementing BizTalk. I recently established my own consulting company, The Edidin Group, Inc, with the hope that I could provide my services directly to companies. I am certified in BizTalk 2010 and Win95. If anyone needs any help with Win95, I’m available.”
What influenced Howard to specialize in BizTalk was that he could apply his Architectural Design training. He liked the ability to design and develop using visual tools. Howard is still amazed how quickly he can design and develop BizTalk Applications and see the results almost immediately. His opinion on BizTalk:
“Over the years I have had the opportunity to utilize BizTalk with almost every supported technology. In my opinion, it is the only product on the Microsoft Stack that relates to how all businesses function. I am a proponent of the use Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) for designing and documenting BizTalk solutions. I published an article on my blog and the TechNet Wiki about its use.”
And about learning to work with BizTalk:
“Over the years I have learned quite a bit about BizTalk. I have also learned to do things by the book. Sometimes, I had to rewrite sections of the book because I discovered a better way to solve a problem!”
Howard has also a view on my blog that focuses on BizTalk and Azure:
“What I like about your blog is originality. There are so many blogs that just repeat what someone else has already published. This sets your blog apart from the others. You provide original content and great tutorials. I have tried to pattern my blog after yours.”
On his own blog he states:
“Several of the articles on my blog can be considered controversial. I started the “BizTalk Bad Practices List”, which was renamed “Anti-Patterns”. I also posted it to the TechNet Wiki, with the hope that the rest of the BizTalk community would share their experiences. We added a section, External Anti-Patterns & Bad Practices, in which a contributor can link back to the source or their blog.What makes this list so valuable is that it is a list of mistakes. Hopefully, someone will benefit from one of these mistakes.”
Being a “Hacker”, Howard spends most of my spare time on the computer. Although he provides formal training sessions to clients, he has learn by doing, not from the classroom. In order to keep up with technology, he downloads samples of source code and “play with it”. Howard discovered a long time ago that BizTalk is not obfuscated. He was able to use Reflector and learned much about how BizTalk works. This has provided him with a lot of information, especially about the WCF LOB SQL Adapter. Using the source as a guideline, he has been able to start working on a Sybase Adapter. Once it is ready, he plans on sharing posting it on CodePlex.
Lately, Howard spends most of my spare time writing. He has published several articles to the TechNet Wiki and BizTalkAdminsBlogging.com, and my own blog, BizTalkIn. Finally he is also co-authoring a series of BizTalk books and is a Technical Reviewer for a SOA book.
Howard has never been the athletic type. Years ago he practiced Aikido. Nowadays he settles for walking. Being originally from north side of Chicago, he is a Cubs fan.
Howard is a very busy and passionate BizTalk professional and I would like to thank him for his time and contributions to the community.
Monday, July 09, 2012
The official blog of TechNet Wiki contains multiple posts on what drives the community collaborating on the TechNet Wiki. This blog is maintained by Wiki Ninja’s. This is a group of authors who celebrate and evangelize the community and social-authoring excellence that is known as TechNet Wiki.There are several categories the Wiki Ninja’s are writing posts for:
- Monday - Interview with a Wiki Ninja
- Tuesday - TNWiki Article Spotlight
- Wednesday - Wiki Life
- Thursday - Community Wins
- Friday - International Update
- Saturday - Top Contributors of the Week
- Weekend Surprise
Every day there is a new post depending on day of the week. This blog site offers a great access point to explore what is being contributed on the TechNet Wiki and what drives the TechNet Wiki Ninja’s.
Since the end of last year I have written a couple of blog posts in a few categories. Below you will find a list of my blog posts:
- Wiki-Ninjas on Technology: BizTalk Server
- Wiki-Ninjas on Technology: Windows Azure- and Server AppFabric
- Wiki-Ninja’s on Technology: SQL Azure
- Featured Wiki Article:BizTalk Server 2010 Throttling
- Interview with a BizTalk MVP Wiki Ninja!!! - Sandro Pereira
- TechNet Wiki: BizTalk Server Administration
- TechNet Wiki: BizTalk Server Development
- TechNet Wiki: BizTalk Server Deployment
- Interview with a BizTalk Advisor Wiki Ninja!!! - Tord G. Nordahl
- TNWiki Article Spotlight - BizTalk Virtual Mapper VS Custom-XSLT
- TechNet Wiki: Microsoft Integration Stack
- Wiki-Ninjas on Technology: Windows Azure Service Bus EAI & EDI
- Future TechNet Wiki articles: Windows Azure, Windows 8, Office 15 and Visual Studio 2012
- TNWiki Article Spotlight - BizTalk: List of Errors and Warnings, Causes and Solutions
- Wiki-Ninjas on Technology: BizTalk Server Part 2 Update
- Steef-Jan Wiggers
Thursday, July 05, 2012
Lex lives in Leidschendam, close to The Hague with his wife Odette and children (9 year old daughter Denise and almost 7 year old son Casper).He is currently stationed at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he works in the role of BizTalk Administrator and Architect. On the combination of roles Lex says:
“This might sound like a strange combination, but to me it makes perfect sense! A BizTalk Admin needs to be pretty good skilled to be able to do his job. That combined with BizTalk developing experience, you have a lot of the technical skills needed to be an architect!”
Lex has worked in the IT since 1985 and in the early years had functions like Helpdesk employee, Systems Administrator, Application Engineer, Developer and Functional Designer. Integration of information systems has always intrigued him and his first (serious) integration solution was, in the mid-nineties, between an IBM mainframe and WordPerfect 5.1, enabling secretaries to retrieve patient information from the IBM mainframe and merge this with letters for family doctors.
8 Years ago, when Lex started to work for his current employer Ordina, he could choose with which Microsoft technology he liked to work. Because of his interested in BizTalk since its betas (2000), he chose for that product, a choice he has never regretted since that day.
Lex on the beginning of his career:
“In my early days in IT, when Internet was not as widely available as it is now, I already wanted to share my experience and be innovative. To challenge myself to further develop myself and just because it is fun, I shared my experience with my direct colleagues.”
“When I started with BizTalk, I worked as closely as possible with my more experienced colleagues like Randal van Splunteren (who's now a MVP) and Isaac Ferreira. They left Ordina in 2006 and I inherited the BIA-blog they had initiated. So since that time, I am blogging my experiences there. At that time I also tried answering questions on BizTalkGurus. It is also since that time that I know Steef-Jan and other people from who many are still active in the BizTalk Community.”
More recently Lex started writing blog posts on BizTalkAdminsBlogging, which is initiated by Jeroen Hendriks (Axon Olympus). On this blog around 10 authors blog about topics which target BizTalk Admins. This blog, other blogs and the many events with presentations on administrative topics, makes sure that the BizTalk Admins are heard. This is important, because with the specific experience they have. You need to have them involved during the design, development and deployment preparation phase of a BizTalk project. The goal is off course to create better BizTalk solutions all together!
Even more recent Lex has started a website called BizTalk Events. With this website he wants to make BizTalk related events, mainly from BizTalk and Connected Systems User Groups, around the globe more visible by showing them in a calendar. Afterwards and when available, he provides links to downloadable content (slide decks/demos) from the events and/or (links to) reviews of the events. This way Lex hopes to give the events a bit more attention resulting in more wide-spread knowledge of BizTalk!
Lex comments on his site:
“To me the BizTalk Events site has shown very clear that the rumor that BizTalk is dead, is far from the truth! During the period May until September 2012 there are now 18 around the world events registered on BizTalk Events! Let's say that there is an average of 30 attendants per event. That would be mean that around 540 attendants around the globe learning a lot about different aspects of BizTalk !”
Lex has a strong opinion on BizTalk Server:
“Since its early releases BizTalk is evolved to a mature product with support for many protocols and Lines of Business. Also the Developer experience and the out-of-the-box capabilities for Administrators have been improved amazingly, since those early releases. The most intriguing capability from BizTalk however, actually the reason of its existence, is that it enables organizations to connect their internal systems and/or external parties through BizTalk, which leads to better streamlined business processes, resulting in more efficient organizations, achieving their goals and serving their customers. From day 1 this is my motivation to work with BizTalk and why I like to work with BizTalk so much! I simply can't get enough of seeing these 1000's of messages work their way through BizTalk, supporting the business process, the organization and the customer!”
Lex is a busy bee, however in his spare time he likes play field hockey, doing a lot of stuff on his computer, stargazing, having a whisky (preferable single malt), drink wine (Gutturnio is my latest favorite) and having dinner with great food, wine and company. He also enjoys the rare moments that he and his wife have, when the kids don't sleep at home. They love to have a nice dinner for two and grab a movie.
Finally Lex would like to thank all the readers of his blog posts, people that follow the events on BizTalkEvents and jis followers on Twitter! And to Steef-Jan:
“It is unbelievable how much valuable content you have generated! You have been and still are a great example to me!”
One final statement from Lex:
"Using the immense content generated by the BizTalk Community for your own good is smart, but sharing your own experience through participation in the BizTalk Community is even better!"
Thanks Lex for your time and contributions for the BizTalk community. I enjoyed working together with you at Ordina and some of the events that were organized for BizTalk Server.
Sunday, July 01, 2012
Today I have received an e-mail from Microsoft with exciting news that I’ve been re-awarded the MVP title.
For me this is the third time to receive this award. The second year in the program has been an tremendous experience, which gave me the opportunity to do great things and meet inspiring and very skilled people. I have written and published a book, reviewed to other books, written dozen or so TechNet Wiki articles, answer many questions on the forum, build a couple of samples for the MSDN Gallery and had quite a few speaking engagements.
I would like to thank:
- My MVP leads William Jansen and Jacqueline de Jong.
- BizTalk Product Team, Ed Price, Suzanna Moran, Haris Majeed, Allesandro Teglia, Paolo Salvatori, Clemens Vasters and all other Microsoft employees involved.
- People at my former employer Ordina Netherlands: Bert van de Belt and Marco Rutters in particular for all their support.
- Current Employer motion10: Daan Scheer, Gijs in ‘t Veld, Wilfred Noppers, Iris Blom, Joël Schenk, Bob de Jong, Sander Nefs, Tomasso Groenendijk, and all my other colleagues.
- Fellow BizTalk MVP's: Randal van Splunteren, Saravana Kumar, Richard Seroter, Kent Weare, Mikael Håkansson, Johan Hedberg, Stephen W. Thomas, Alan Smith, Oliver Hauth, Nino Crudele, Jeffrey Juday, Jon Fancey, Scott Seely, Ruth Resende, Dan Rosanova, Abdul Rafay, Ben Cline, Bill Chesnut, Leonid Ganeline, Rohit Sharma, Micheal Stephenson and Sandro Pereira, who I got learn better and supported and helped me out in this program.
- BizTalk community: Tord G. Nordahl, Mikael Sand, Lex Hegt, Naushad Alam, Howard S. Edidin, Randy Aldrich, Rene Brauwers, DPS Bali, Rajesh Kolla, Jean-Paul Smit, Sriram Chidambaram Narayanan, Dean Robertson, Colin Meade,João Pedro Martines, Martin Abbott, Marie Högkvist and many others that make BizTalk community strong!
- Finally my wife Lian and children Stan, Ellis and Cato for their support.
I’m looking forward to another great year in the program.