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BizTalk BAM: Data is nullWednesday 29th April 2015
I've encountered an issue where the BizTalk BAM Portal was not showing deployed views "Views or Activities may be missing because one or more database(s) could not be contacted."; and when trying to list accounts with "bm get-accounts" for a deployed view I was receiving the error "Data is Null. This method or property cannot be called on Null values.".

It won't take you long to find the cause of this error with a bit of searching is to do with the accounts setup on the database in SQL. It's often caused by an account being deleted from AD (or at the SQL login level) and not on the database, effectively orphaning the user.

It can also happen, it seems, if there is not a logon associated with the dbo account at the database level. This is slightly less obvious as dbo isn't something you logon to, and something DBAs have a habit (for good reason) of not associating with logons. Unfortunately this is a requirement for BAM to work.

To link a dbo account you have to use the sp_changedbowner proc, in it's simplest form you can do "sp_changedbowner 'sa'" to link it to a SQL account (which can be disabled). This should clear your Data is null error.

2015 general electionSaturday 25th April 2015
I once registered a domain for a web-site where I could put all the party policies and people could get a clear view of which party they want to align with.

As with most domains I register, I never got round to do anything about it. A few general elections later, there are several other web-sites doing the same thing. Still, whilst I no longer have the domain, I did finally get round to doing something vaguely like it.

It's based on an article off the BBC web-site, which looks a month out-of-date, but I can't imagine that things have changed fundamentally in that time.

Clearing down snapshot directoriesMonday 20th April 2015
Snapper is included with openSUSE and manages snapshots of your file system. When you setup a BTRFS directory to snapshot it'll create a .snapshots subvolume, inside are numbered directories which in turn have a snapshot subvolume with the actual snapshot.

If for whatever reason you need to wipe out your snapshot directory and cannot use the snapper tool - e.g. if you've copied the snapshots from another disk or something, then you need to clear it manually. You can't "rm -rf" as the snapshot directories are sub-volumes, and you can't just delete the .snapshots subvolume as it contains data. Argh.

Still, this is a quick and easy way of doing it - to be run from your .snapshots directory:
find . -max-depth 1 -type d | xargs -i btrfs subvolume delete '{}/snapshot'

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