Development comments edit

When I first started writing Learning NServiceBus, I was targeting Version 4.0 which, at that time, was still several months away from release. Writing about something that’s still very much in flux is definitely a challenge, and to some extent I was definitely learning as I went.

What really struck me during the writing process was how much easier people learning NServiceBus 4.0 were going to have it than I did when I learned NServiceBus 2.0. The developers at Particular Software (a name change from NServiceBus Ltd – a lot of people seem to think they were bought and this is not the case) are really obsessive about making a powerful framework as easy to use as possible, and I salute them for that.

I remember creating endpoints by hand. Create a new Class Library project. Reference the NServiceBus DLLs and NServiceBus.Host.exe. Build so that the EXE is copied to the bin directory. Go to Project Properties. Set the debugger to run the Host. Create an EndpointConfig class. Add an App.config. Enter a bunch of required XML configuration. OK that’s a lie. As I was once quoted during a live coding demo, “Don’t worry I have been doing this for years. You never write this yourself; you always copy it from somewhere else.” Not exactly a glowing recommendation right?

Then you start debugging and hope you didn’t screw anything up.

NServiceBus 3.x and 4.x changed all that. Now you just reference a the NServiceBus.Host NuGet package and it sets all that stuff up for you. And if you need some bit of config, you can run a helpful PowerShell cmdlet from the Package Manager Console to generate it for you along with XML comments describing what every knob and lever does.

NServiceBus 4.x is a fantastic platform to build distributed systems, but as of the release of NServiceBus 4.0 in July 2013, the big thing still missing was the ability to effectively debug a messaging system (let’s face it, gargantuan log files don’t count) and monitor a distributed system in production to make sure everything isn’t running off the rails.

Well that’s all about to change.

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Development comments edit

As readers of this blog already know, NServiceBus offers a great framework for building distributed systems with publish/subscribe, automatic retries, long-running business processes, high performance, and scalability. It offers a fully pluggable transport mechanism so that it can be run over MSMQ, RabbitMQ, Windows Azure, or even use SQL Server as its queuing infrastructure. No matter which transport you choose, NServiceBus enables you to build a highly reliable system with minimal effort.

But who wants that?

Honestly the developers at Particular have gone a little bit overboard with how easy they have made it to build these robust distributed systems. This is why it’s such good news that, thanks to me, there is finally an NServiceBus transport available that supports RFC 1149: IP Datagrams over Avian Carriers.

That’s right, MSMQ, RabbitMQ, and all those existing transports? Their major failing is they’re all too reliable. There’s just no challenge in creating a system on such a reliable transport. You do that, and your system may be laden with undesirable side effects like running smoothly, and never losing data. As a result, you might get to head home from work on time and be forced to spend time with your family who loves you. You might never get phone calls waking you up in the middle of the night to deal with some sort of crisis. Can you imagine?

And worst of all, without the system crashing down every Monday, Tuesday, and every other Thursday, your boss may start to realize he doesn’t need someone as skilled as you to run it anymore, and may replace you with a couple college interns.

So what you need is a much less reliable transport, and that transport is NServiceBus.Rfc1149. You’re welcome.

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Development, Announcements comments edit

I will also be giving my Modeling Tricks My Relational Database Never Taught Me talk at the first ever RavenDB conference in Raleigh, North Carolina on April 8. Click on the conference banner below for details.

RavenConf 2014

Development, Announcements comments edit

This week I will be speaking at the Twin Cities .NET User Group:

Modeling Tricks My Relational Database Never Taught Me Date: Thursday, April 6, 5:30 PM Location: ILM Professional Services, 5221 Viking Drive, Edina, MN 55435

In this session we will explore several modeling scenarios from my own experience that can easily be achieved using RavenDB, but difficult (if not nearly impossible) to build using a classic relational database. The focus will be on helping those accustomed to SQL Server or other relational databases learn good document modeling skills by example, with a summary of document modeling guidelines at the end.

As always, my employer ILM Professional Services will be providing the pizza at the meeting.

TCDNUG has recently switched to using to register for these events, but apparently Meetup has become the victim of a very sophisticated DDoS attack and is temporarily unavailable. Seriously, who does that?

So if you are unable to actually register, please come anyway. We would love to see you there!

Development comments edit

My publisher has allowed me to reprint my favorite part of my book, Learning NServiceBus, here on my blog. It is the introduction to Chapter 3, Preparing for Failure.

Why is it my favorite? Chapter 3 is the chapter that deals with how to be ready for the inevitable errors that will befall a system due to the fallacies of distributed computing, stupid user tricks, and plain outright buggy code. This is the part of NServiceBus that really grabbed me in the beginning and has never let go.

Plus, and I can’t stress this point enough, this is the part of the book about Batman.

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Development comments edit

Last night my blog passed the 100,000 all-time views mark, which feels like a pretty cool (if ultimately fairly meaningless) accomplishment. The lucky 100,000th visitor will receive…….absolutely nothing of course, mostly because I have no way to figure out who they were. But that person and the 99,999 that came before have my thanks and appreciation at the very least.

I started this blog in 2010 thinking that I would blog about software development and beer. I quickly learned that although I love craft beer, I had absolutely no ability to describe a beer’s flavor and aroma in any sort of meaningful terms. As far as I was concerned, it was either tasty or not tasty. So the blog became 100% software development and my beer hobby became solely about drinking and enjoying, and later brewing as well. (I currently have a Honey Bee Ale in the fermenter that will be ready to enjoy just before Christmas.)

What I can say is that this blog has done a tremendous amount to advance my career, so if you are a junior developer thinking about starting a blog, don’t think about it, just do it. You will become a better writer, and learn things better through the process of explaining them to others. Then one day, it may help land you a great job or opportunity that may not have been available to you otherwise.

OK that’s it, I promised myself this post would not become a long-winded “why blogging is awesome” post.

So thank you to everyone for sharing in this arbitrary milestone with me. I hope that if you have found yourself here you have found something worthwhile. If not, leave me a comment and maybe I can do something about it!

Development comments edit

While of course buying my book is a great way to get started with NServiceBus, absolutely nothing beats formal in-person training. There is no substitute from learning directly from someone who has been there before, who can provide both the info you need and the background behind it, with the ability to ask questions specific to your use case.

This is why I am so excited to be offering the formal 4-day NServiceBus training course. The course will be held on December 9-12 at ILM’s offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is the official course with the official curriculum originally developed by Udi Dahan himself, but updated for all of the new features in NServiceBus V4.

Click here for all the details for the course, and to register to attend.

If you have any questions about the course, please contact me through the training site contact form or through the comments on this post and I’ll answer any question I can.

I’m looking forward to meeting some talented developers and hopefully throwing back a tasty beverage or two as well!

We’re also planning to hold more training courses on other topics soon, so be sure to watch my Twitter feed for updates.

Development comments edit
If you really want to take control of your ASP.NET routes to create a RESTful or at least RESTish URL naming scheme, first you need to let go of default MVC convention-based routes (Controller/Action/{id}) and use something like AttributeRouting. (AR is now half-baked into MVC 5, unfortunately without some of the more useful things AttributeRouting has to offer, like the ~/routes.axd route debugging handler.) In any case, once you use either method of getting attribute routes, you’re now faced with how to integrate that data in your controllers. The first step is to put a RoutePrefix attribute on your controllers, but then to get that data out, you have to scrape the data out of the RouteData manually within your action method, or override OnActionExecuting to do the same except drop the values in an instance variable.

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