Charles Young

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May 2004 Entries

In case you've missed it, Scott Woodgate has published a new reporting tool on his blog site. The BizTalk Server 2004 Configuration Management Report Generator offers both console and Windows.Forms interfaces, and an optional facility to exploit the SQL Server Report Services. It provides three report types for orchestrations, schemas and hosts. Each report type allows you to drill down to relevant configuration information, such as bindings between orchestration ports and messaging ports, or which ......

This utility dumps BizTalk-generated C# source code to an output folder of your choice. BizTalk server 2004 compiles assemblies containing orchestrations, schemas, pipelines, maps, etc., by first generating transitory C# source code. This utility allows you to save copies of that source code for post-compilation inspection. The source code can be used to gain a deeper understanding of BizTalk Server 2004, or as a tool to troubleshoot and debug deeper problems in BizTalk-generated code.

The orchestration designer is a useful tool for more abstract design purposes, but you might also consider ODBA (the Orchestration Designer for Business Analysts). Here are some views and experiences from the BizTalk coalface.

[UPDATE] This post relates to Biztalk Server 2004. Later versions of Biztalk Server now support a clearly defined administrative concept of an 'application' which is independant of hosts. This is a major change in later versions of BizTalk Server. The Standard edition of BizTalk Server 2004 is restricted to "10 internal applications with up to 20 external trading partners". A colleague just asked what the definition of an 'application' is? I believe the answer is as follows. An 'application' in BizTalk ......

"One Orchestration to rule them all, One Subscription to find them,One Port to bring them all and in the engine bind them" Have a nice weekend! ......

A useful introduction to the concepts of messaging in BizTalk 2004 from Christof Claessens.

The Mono project is at Beta 1

The finer points of message handling in Biztalk Server 2004 are not always well understood. This article attempts to shed some light on how messages are handled with Orchestrations, and the more confusing aspects of message initialisation.