Useful Help Resources: CS2009 Forums and Commerce Support Blog

Today marks the launch of the Commerce Server 2009 Forums on MSDN. Now you have a place to discuss all things CS2009…at http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/commserver2009/threads/. Add it to your bookmarks and we hope to see you there!

Separately, please welcome Charles Teague and the Commerce Support team to the world of blogging. When you call Microsoft for help on Commerce Server, you are in Charles’ and his colleagues extraordinarily capable hands. Charles’ personal blog can be found at: http://blogs.msdn.com/charles/. The Commerce Support Team blog is at http://blogs.msdn.com/CommerceSupport/.

Hope these help!

Announcement: Commerce Server 2009 Release Candidate Available & SQL2008 App-Compat Update

Today has been a busy day in the world of Commerce Server. First, the Release Candidate of Commerce Server 2009 is now available. It’s **almost** here!

Get the bits at:

This distribution is intended to be a seamless in-place, side-by-side update for Commerce Server 2007 customers. Hence, it does need CS2007 Enterprise or Standard as a prerequisite. This release does include a Go-Live license.

The final release will be available soon. Stay tuned for further details! In the meantime, enjoy the RC – but, as always, be sure to check out the README and Installation guide first.

In other news, we have also updated our application compatibility information regarding using Commerce Server 2007 or 2009 with SQL Server 2008 with respect to the Data Warehouse/Analytics feature. This information only applies to Data Warehouse/Analytics Users. If you have CS2007 SP2 or CS2009 and **are not** using the DW/A feature, NO special configuration or instructions are required. I have updated my original blog posting – check it out at http://blogs.msdn.com/rdonovan/archive/2008/11/16/cs2007-sp2-now-supports-sql-server-2008.aspx

Hope this helps! 

Saying Goodbye is Hard (or Not)


V8 Vantage #15
Originally uploaded by rdonovan

Moving to the Northeast and Ottawa has been quite an adjustment from an automotive pursuit. In Seattle you are spoiled with weather that permits driving any car that can withstand rain all year long – on salt free roads. And parking is plentiful. So is the ability to get exotic cars serviced.

Ottawa is filled with snow and salt. This means an all-wheel-drive vehicle that can withstand salt. And anything else has to stay in the garage for half the year. Parking is not plentiful – spaces are small. Most people take the bus/train (except when there is a strike – sigh). And getting an exotic serviced – you will be driving to Montreal or Toronto.

This has caused a reset of my automotive hobby. My daily driver, a Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE, fits right in. But for a “fun” car – neither of the Bentley’s are a fit – both size-wise or service-wise. So with reluctance I parted with my 2005 Continental GT and my 2000 Arnage R. The Continental is not a car I will miss – it is an excellent automobile but it lacks the kind of quirky character I desire in a British car. The Arnage is everything I ever wanted in a British saloon. I will miss it dearly. But, the Arnage of my desire is not this example – but actually one of the Series II cars made between 2005-2009, preferably a special series such as the Blue Train, Diamond, Concours, or Final Series. And it certainly does not fit an Ottawa lifestyle.

So with fondness I bid these wonderful machines farewell – and welcome a brand new Aston Martin V8 Vantage. I never thought I would ever own a new Aston Martin. But, year-end specials made that an extremely attractive option – and less expensive than most pre-owned examples. This car also happens to be fully loaded – in my favorite color scheme (identical to 007’s). (In other words, if I commissioned a new example – it would be identical to this car.) It is not a winter-driver, but can at least be serviced in Ottawa. My DB7 Vantage was my favorite of the sports cars I owned. My only criticisms were size/weight and lack of luxury amenities. The V8 Vantage addresses both of these in spades – being significantly smaller, lighter, and gadget-laden. It also has the ironic benefits of great mileage and cargo capacity – qualities not associated with tiny sports coupes.

It shall be fun to be driving like Bond again! 😀

Wiring Up Dynamics CRM & Commerce Server

Someone sent me an e-mail over the weekend asking about how to wire up Commerce Server and Dynamics. Fortunately, there is any easy answer – BizTalk Server! The BizTalk team has published an adapter for Dynamics 4.0, released on October 6, 2008. It is available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=abd3bb9e-a59a-4eb6-8de8-fb25b77926d7&displaylang=en. Using this and the BizTalk Adapters in Commerce Server, it is possible to get CRM and Commerce Server talking without actually writing code. I highly recommend checking it out! Hope this helps.