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First Look at Windows Application Server (Dublin)

Dublin is the code name for the new Windows Application Server components. At the core, Dublin is designed to be a hosting environment for Windows Workflow and Windows Communication Foundation based applications. It integrates into IIS and provides eight new features out of the box.

If you have worked with BizTalk Server 2006 in the past, as we walk through the next few screen shots keep saying to yourself…. “this is not BizTalk this is a new Application”. The likeness to BizTalk 2006 will make adoption by fellow BizTalkers straight forward.

Setup and server configuration of Dublin is done though the Windows Application Server Configuration tool. This is seen below.

Drilling down into a specific section on the left (such as Runtime) will show the specific configuration for that item. The look and feel of this configuration is just like it is inside BizTalk Server 2006.

Once setup and configured, Dublin is currently managed though IIS. The picture below shows these eight new features. These are added under the WCF/WF Services section.

We will take a closer look at each new feature.

Application Export – This is used to export an Application. You get a nice simple interface as seen below.

Application Import – This is used to import an Application. You have the ability to configure parameters during import as seen below.

Database Configuration – This is used to configure the default Persistence and Monitoring database for this instance of Dublin.

Diagnostics – This is used to set up Tracing and Message Logging.

Persisted Instances – Clicking the Persisted Instances icon launches the window below. This is an organized view of the count and status of workflows for a given application. All the items listed are links that can be clicked on to drill down into a specific section. This view is just like the BizTalk Server Admin tool.

Services – Based on the selected scope, this will show you the Services inside the Virtual Directory.

From the Services Pane you can drill down into more detail by right-clicking and selecting Persisted Instance from the context menu (this can also be done from within Persisted Instances view above). You have the ability to Suspend, Terminate, Abort, or view Tracking Data about specific instances as seen below.

Selecting View Tracking Data will view available tracking data for this workflow, as seen below. Double clicking on a specific tracking record will give more details on that specific item.

Tracking Configuration – Tracking configuration lists the available profiles that can be applied to an application. Out of the box are three profiles, Basic, Verbose WCF, and Verbose Workflow. In the picture below, BestPetServiceTracking is a custom tracking profile used to track user specific values.

Tracking Profiles – Custom tracking is just a few clicks away inside Dublin. Once a custom tracking profile is created, it can be uploaded and made available to use for tracking. Inside the labs, Microsoft provided a Tracking Profile Editor (just like the one in BizTalk) that can easily create custom tracking profiles based on a workflow.

I hope this gives you a quick overview of Dublin, Microsoft’s new Application Server. For anyone that has worked with BizTalk in the past, working with Dublin will come naturally. Enjoy.