Welcome to our Monday interview with a Wiki Ninja!

Today's the interview will be with Tomasso Groenendijk. I personally met Tomasso this year during the BizTalk Integration Summit in London and he is a strong BizTalk community member that in the last few months have contributed with several articles on ESB toolkit and thus filling a gap in the existent list of articles in TechNet Wiki about BizTalk Server.

Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? What are your specialty technologies?

My name is Tomasso Groenendijk. I'm 42 years old and live in the Netherlands in Rotterdam. I'm a BizTalk consultant and in the IT since 1998. I've actually always developed software. (With my hands in the mud so to speak) I've worked with a lot of applications and technologies in all those years, such as Visual Basic, ASP, ASP.NET, C#, BizTalk, SQL Server and a bit of Azure. I even been an Oracle developer for a few years. The last 6 years I’m a BizTalk consultant at Motion10 and I integrate and manage automated business processes. The last few years I try to learn as much as I can about and work with Azure. In my spare time I write on my blog, I create BizTalk code samples on MSDN and write TechNet Wiki articles. I am also active on the BizTalk forums when I have time. In addition, I try to exercise. I bike (Unfortunately, too few) and go to the gym.

What do you do with TechNet Wiki, and how does that fit into the rest of your job?

I write articles about BizTalk and the ESB Toolkit and more and more I also edit articles from other community members. I focus mainly on BizTalk and Azure articles because these also have to do with my profession. For instance I improve typos, adjust the formatting and HTML because the HTML can sometimes contain errors like blank header elements which also causes errors in the Table of Contents.

What is it about TechNet Wiki that interests you?

To be honest, I was initially a little skeptical. Steef-Jan Wiggers told me that it was really hot and happening but still I've waited some time before I started to use it. Now I'm doing a lot on the Wikis and I became a real true believer! What I find particularly interesting about it is that when someone writes an article, it is picked up by the community and everyone actively contributes so that the articles really get better. When I create a blog post on my own blog I edit it maybe a few times, but that's it. TechNet Wiki Articles are continuously adjusted so that they are always up to date!

What are your favorite articles you’ve contributed?

Recently I created a Wiki article with a video on TechNet Wiki about testing BizTalk maps with my MapTester tool. I really enjoyed doing it, but it was quite difficult because the story line must be logical, the text must be correct and you should not say too much ehh! I was not content with the first result so I've have written a story line and have practiced several times, It took me a lot of time but I now am satisfied!

A long time ago, I read a blog post about a financial ESB with pictures of graphs about how many itineraries there are running and for example which Itinerary Services are running. I really wanted to create similar charts but after a while I forgot about it but after the session about BAM from Dan Rosanova on the BizTalk Summit in London I thought back to that blog post and decided I’m now really going to create a sample with similar charts because you have out of the box BAM in ESB Toolkit but there are no views ​​or reports available. After creating the code sample, I also have written a Wiki about it, and it’s the combination that makes it very complete. I am also very proud that I won the TechNet Guru Award for this article.

I really like to create software that is also really used by people (BizTalk applications run somewhere in the background), but if you want to develop a really good application, it takes a lot of time. That's why I like to create little tools because these cost a lot less time to create. The nicest tools are the MapTester tool and a tool to test Business Rules in the ESB Toolkit. I also made ​​a Wiki where I explain how to use Business Rules in the ESB Toolkit and how the tool can help you to test them.

Out of the Box you always needed a Receive Port to link an Itinerary to a message. But what if the message was already in the MessageBox? I really wanted to solve this problem and after some (a lot of) time with Reflector as my best friend, I have developed some code so you can also do this in an Orchestration and of course I have also written a Wiki about it!

On what articles have you collaborated with other community members on #TNWiki? What was that experience like?

I have not really collaborated yet with other community members but I have edited a lot of articles from other members. I especially like to edit articles from people who are relatively new to the TechNet Wiki to let them see how you can improve an article with a few minor adjustments!

Who has impressed you in the Wiki community, and why?

I really like the articles from Steef-Jan Wiggers and Sandro Pereira. They have written a lot of articles so that the Wikis about BizTalk are now very complete. In addition, Steef-Jan also wrote a lot about BizTalk Services while it’s still a relatively new technology. You now already can read much about this technology and get you quickly up to speed!

What are your favorite Wiki articles (top 5)?

There are so many good articles that make it difficult to choose.
I often look at the lists of BizTalk Resources, BizTalk Services Resources and ESB Toolkit Resources. Very useful overviews so I put them on 1, 2 and 3.

  1. BizTalk Server Resources on the TechNet Wiki
  2. Windows Azure BizTalk Services Resources on the TechNet Wiki
  3. BizTalk Server: ESB Survival Guide

I really like the BizTalk Services articles from Steef-Jan Wiggers. Pulling Messages from a Service Bus Queue with Windows Azure BizTalk Services is an example of article that is very informative and instructive although it’s about a fairly new technology.

I have been working for a long time with BizTalk but Sandro Pereira still amazes me with articles about BizTalk Maps. Using the Muenchian Method inside BizTalk Maps is also another example of some advanced mapping!

Do you have any tips for new Wiki contributors?

First read the articles about how to create a Wiki, which templates are there and what are the Known Issues. For example if you want to add a code sample in your wiki, you should not use Internet Explorer because it breaks the formatting. I didn’t knew it at first either, but it's good to see that there is already much written about it.

Some Final words you want to say

I really like to write articles, read articles from other members and edit them to make the Wikis better. Because editing articles really makes the articles even better and gives them more value. Anyone can do it, you too! And also do not forget to read the Wiki Ninjas Blog!

Thanks Tomasso for the interview and your contributions for the BizTalk community.

- BizTalk Wiki Ninja Sandro Pereira (Blog, Wiki, Twitter, Profile)