Michael Stephenson

keeping your feet on premise while your heads in the cloud
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March 2008 Entries

Article about Maps in BizTalk

I just happened to come across this article which is a series of posts about mapping in BizTalk.

http://www.bizbert.com/bizbert/2008/02/07/Understanding+The+BizTalk+Mapper+Part+1+Introduction.aspx

I havent read all of it, but the introduction looks good so im going to read on

Posted On Sunday, March 30, 2008 2:43 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Testing Series - Testing Custom .net Components
This post aims to provide some general guidance on testing for .net components which will be used within a BizTalk project. In terms of .net components I am mainly talking about the following: .net helper classes used by orchestrations .net classes used within Maps I have done seperate posts in this series (or am planning) which covers the following types of .net component which has more specific testing requirements: Custom Pipeline Components Custom Adapters Some recommendations to help you with ......

Posted On Sunday, March 30, 2008 12:20 AM | Comments (2) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Testing Series - Testing Orchestrations
Continuing the series on testing in BizTalk projects this article is about testing orchestrations. From projects I have seen or through speaking to other developers I have come across the following techniques for testing orchestrations: 1. Testing by debugging them in HAT Im amazed how many times this comes up when I have interviewed people. Ok first thing Debugging != Testing. Secondly the problem here is the "tests" are manual and there for not easily repeatable and prone to error. 2. Manual Testing ......

Posted On Sunday, March 30, 2008 12:18 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Testing Series - Testing Pipelines
Continuing the series of articles on testing in BizTalk, this time I am going to talk about our approach to testing pipelines. The traditional way to testing pipelines was to use the pipeline.exe tool in the BizTalk SDK. This allows you to use various ways to call this command line tool to execute your pipeline. The key points of this tool are as follows: It is a command line tool so is a bit fiddly to call from a C# test but can be done by using the Process object It takes input and output documents ......

Posted On Sunday, March 30, 2008 12:16 AM | Comments (2) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Testing Series - Testing Pipeline Components
The next in my series on BizTalk testing will cover testing pipeline components. I will begin this post by discussing some of the traditional ways I have seen pipeline components tested, then continue to 2 more recent techniques which I believe to offer significant advantages. To begin with the traditional techniques are: Traditional Approach 1 - Testing as part of a larger process In this technique the Pipeline component is developed and then deployed along with a BizTalk solution. Tests are then ......

Posted On Sunday, March 30, 2008 12:14 AM | Comments (4) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Testing Series - Testing Maps
Overview Continuing the series of posts about testing for BizTalk, this post will discuss our approach to testing Maps. Again like with schema the normal approach used for testing maps is to use the Visual Studio menu to test the map with different instances against the map. In my opinion this approach has some limitations: 1. It needs to be done manually and can not easily be automated 2. The output from the map is normally only validated by the developers eye 3. Changes to the map may not be regression ......

Posted On Sunday, March 30, 2008 12:14 AM | Comments (12) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Testing Series - Testing Schema
Overview In my series of posts about how to improve the quality of BizTalk solutions you deliver I will begin by discussing how we normally test schemas on BizTalk projects I've worked on. Most people seem to simply use the validate instance function within Visual Studio as the main way to test a schema. And although this can do the job I believe the approach has the following limitations: 1. There is a known issue when validate instance sometimes thinks a message is valid when it isnt, see the following ......

Posted On Sunday, March 30, 2008 12:13 AM | Comments (3) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

BizTalk Testing Series - Introduction
I have decided to do a series of blog posts around the approach to testing I normally try to encourage on BizTalk projects where I am involved. My aim is to do some posts based around the following: 1. Development Testing This will cover the following: - Techniques to unit test various artifacts within a BizTalk solution including Schema, Maps, Custom Components (adapters, pipeline components) - Functional testing with BizUnit - Approaches to stub out external systems 2. Integration Testing This ......

Posted On Sunday, March 30, 2008 12:12 AM | Comments (3) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

MsTest Code Coverage with BizTalk Projects
Problem If you want to use the standard code coverage that comes with Visual Studio Team Developer to analyse any C# code within your BizTalk solution you will normally come across the problem that when you open the code coverage page within the test run config file the dialog closes itself. This is a bit of a pain in the butt!! Work Around If you want to amend the code coverage page you can do this by temporarily unloading your BizTalk projects within the Solution Explorer. When all of the BizTalk ......

Posted On Friday, March 28, 2008 8:03 PM | Comments (2) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Anti Pattern: Dumming down your BizTalk installation
Ive seen/heard of this scenario far too many times over the last couple of years i've decided to write it up as an anti-pattern like I did with some posts early last year. Name: Dumming down your BizTalk installation Description: This pattern is simple to explain. An organisation begins a project using BizTalk and focuses on their core requirements to deliver orchestrations or messaging components to deliver their required functionality. When they come to setting up their BizTalk environment (dev, ......

Posted On Saturday, March 22, 2008 3:48 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Admin Console Processing Server Column
Ive never noticed this column before, and am surprised it isnt in the default view, but if you run the standard running instances query in the BizTalk Administration Console it lists the running instances currently within your BizTalk Group. If you want to know which server within your group an instance is currently executing on then you can add additional columns to this query, one of which tells you the server which is currently being used by each instance. See diagram below: What would be nice ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 18, 2008 10:03 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

Tool for reviewing Scripting Functoid use in maps
The other day I asked one of the guys on our team to review some of the BizTalk maps in a migrated BizTalk project. I wanted him to take a look through some complicated maps and identify any inline scripting functoids which we may want to refactor. My issue with the use of some inline scripting functoids is that often they pose a risk because developers sometimes put quite complex logic in them and then do not sufficiently test the map. My preferred approach in such situations is to call an external ......

Posted On Sunday, March 2, 2008 6:44 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ BizTalk ]

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