This tutorial gives you an overview and talks about the fundamentals of BizTalk Server.
The business environment is getting complicated day by day with diverse automated systems, platforms, and applications, due to growing complexity in the market demands. Thus, to improve business efficiency and performance, Microsoft has introduced the BizTalk server which perfectly integrates the different systems and applications for automating the business processes.
The server seamlessly aligns the enterprise systems and diverse data to simplify business processes, analyze data, and improve business efficiency. Microsoft BizTalk server is an Inter-Organizational Middleware System that allows the business organizations to automate the business processes by using the customized adapters which allow having an effective communication between the different systems and application that are being used within the business organizations.
Along with process automation, BizTalk server also offers Business-To-Business communication, Activity Monitoring, and Message Broker services. The BizTalk server supports around 25 multiplatform adapters and stealth communication infrastructure which allow the business enterprises to realize the connectivity inside and outside their operations. BizTalk server is just like Business Process Management Solution where the Biz stands for the Business.
The advantages of BizTalk Server are mentioned below:
BizTalk Architecture has 4 main components:
Each valid message is executed from at least two of the components of BizTalk Architecture.
Receive Port: Receive the message
Receive port is used to receive the message from the partner. BizTalk supports the different adapters that can be used for communication. The communication is done through the adapters like HTTP, SQL, FTP and many more. Advanced LOB adapters can also be used for communication like WCF-SAP, WCP-SAP.
Receive Port acts as a message publisher.
The three sub-components supported are:
Receive adapter: Here, the user needs to specify the adapter that the user wants to use to communicate. According to the chosen adapter, the configuration of the required properties is done.
Receive pipeline: After receiving the message from receive adapter, receive pipeline execute the message. There can be four different stages of disease pipeline and every stage consists of 0 to 225 components, except the disassemble stage which as only one component.
Different stages of receive pipeline are:
Message box: Message Box is also known as the Heart of BizTalk Architecture. Message Box has two main components – SQL Databases and Messaging Agents.
SQL databases are used to store the persistent Stage of messages, routing, etc.
Messaging Agent is used for the purpose of message routing ( message subscription, publishing, retrieval).
Receive port’s published messages are sent to the message box and then it checks for the message subscribers. Two types of the possible subscriber are – Orchestration and Send Port.
Orchestration refers to the graphical representation of business logic which means a user can graphically represent the message flow through orchestration. This component is options and even most of the time not required. This component is effective to represent the complex logic. Orchestration can act as a message subscriber and publisher.
The lifecycle of a Message - First of all, Receive Location in the Receive Port receives a message and then processes it. After the processing, receive location publishes the message to MessageBox Database which is the major routing mechanism of BizTalk server.
MessageBox performs active subscription evaluation and routes the message to send ports and orchestrations having the matching subscription.
Orchestration may perform the message processing and then publish it to the send port via MessageBox from where the message is sent to its final destination.
Orchestration handles the process of sending and receiving the messages via Message Box. Also, with the help of orchestration, a new message can be created. Messages are received by using the routing process and subscription.
At the time when the subscription is filled for orchestration, a new instance is initiated and the message is conveyed. And if it is instance subscription, the instance rehydration is done (if required) and then the message is conveyed. When the messages are conveyed through Orchestration, they are displayed on the Message Box in a similar way the message reaching the receive location including all the necessary properties and put in the database for the routing purpose.
Though, the orchestration is actually a logical representation for the entire business process. In BizTalk, Orchestration Toolbox has included different shapes which can be used for designing the Orchestration flow for completing the process.
BizTalk Ports are necessary for effective communication between the components of the BizTalk server. There are two ports:
Receive Port is a collection of more than one receive locations which outline the specific entrance point into the BizTalk server. A receive location configures the particular endpoint to receive messages. The location includes all the information about configuration for receive adapter and the pipeline.
Adapter handles the communication part of receiving the message. For example, SOAP Adapter and File Adapter; both receive messages from distinct sources. Messages are prepared by the receive pipeline to publish it in the MessageBox. A pipeline is a sequence of components which are executed one by one, each component handles a specific message processing such as encryption/decryption, validation, and parsing.
Send Port is an integration of Send Adapter and Send Pipeline. Send Port is actually the location where the BizTalk server sends the message or from where the server receives the message. Send Port Group is the collection of different send ports which the BizTalk server is used for sending the messages to multiple locations in just single configuration. When the message is shared on the send port group, it is shared with all send ports present in the group.
The send pipeline helps in preparing the message which is shared by the BizTalk server for broadcast to the other services. Send Adapter is basically used to send the message by using particular protocols such as FTP or SOAP.
Pipelines are an important component of BizTalk Server that helps in implementing the pipes and filters in an integrated format. While sending or receiving the message, sometimes, it is required to perform some transformation on that message for preparing it to enter or exit the BizTalk server. Pipelines are attached to the components through which message is going to pass, send ports and the receive location. After that, the data format is checked to analyze whether it needs any changes are required or not. Pipelines help to define the transformations that are necessary to be performed on the message being sent or received.
There are two types of Pipelines: Send Pipelines and Receive Pipelines
BizTalk Send Pipeline process the documents before sending it to the final location. Send pipeline process a single message and produces a single message to send.
Send Pipelines has three stages:
Receive Pipeline transforms the message which is going to be published to the MessageBox Database. Receive Pipelines receive the message, transform it and then disassemble the raw data into single or multiple messages. After that, the messages are individually proceeded by the BizTalk server.
The Customized Pipeline Components are described below:
BizTalk Host is the logical container which represents more than one BizTalk Server runtime instances. Hosts is basically a virtual process boundary which offers security and administrative context to run the BizTalk Application instances. After defining the BizTalk Host, you can also create its instances.
The host is a logical representation of windows' process which executes the Artifacts of BizTalk Server like receive ports and send ports.
Host instance is the physical representation of server’s hosts.
A host can be an isolated host or process host. Process Host is owned and handled by the BizTalk server. An isolated host is the code of BizTalk server which is running in the process controlled by the third party. A perfect example of Isolated host can be Information Services which manage the receive functionality and SOAP adapters and HTTP.
Hosts are defined for a group of BizTalk Server which is a collection of more than one BizTalk server that shares MessageBoxes, Configuration, Ports, etc.
An isolated host should run under some other process such as Information Service whereas, the In-Process Host an individual BizTalk service. If we talk about In-Process then it does not exists within the BizTalk Environment. Thus, Biztalk Administration Tools are unable to examine the hosts status ( stopped, starting or, started).
Insolated Hosts and In-Process Hosts are also different from each other in terms of security. In-Process Hosts run within the account that lies in Windows group of In-Process Hosts so, unable to manage the MessageBox security context.
Isolated Hosts are beneficial when servicing already available and going to receiving the messages either from some transport protocol like HTTP or by properties means. Thus, it is able to run only a single instance of End Point Manager. It is also responsible to receive messages from the transport protocol and then send the message through MessageBox via the EPMrun only.
A schema describes XML document structure and its content constraints. It also describes the structure of every message that it process and refer the description of the structure of messages as schema. Structure messages are an integral part of any application but it has a certain limitation. Structure message can be of any size, big or small and targets a big range of data store and back-end systems. Systems responsible for creating and managing the structured messages make use of different types of format such as flat files and XML.
BizTalk Editor is used for the simplification of the process used to define the message schema and validate whether the message is following particular schema or not. BizTalk Editor also performs the following tasks:
To create a schema for Structured XML Messages follows the below-mentioned steps:
After generation of schemas, you must validate message conformance to a specific Schema.
BizTalk Server shares the Utility ribbon with commands related to the surface mapper. The Ribbon provides the information about source schema, toggle button for source and the destination schema, toggle button for displaying and hiding the links out-of-scope, toggle switch to turn on and off auto scrolling and the search text box.
This view displays the main editing window of visual studio with grid view and destination schema tree view. The view shares the schema which provides information about the instance messages which are the mapping source. The link that provides the mapping details that leads from the source schema tree view to grid view and after that to the destination schema tree view.
This view displays the main editing window of visual studio with grid view and destination schema tree view. The view shares the schema which provides information about the instance messages which are the mapping source. The link that provides the mapping details that leads into the destination schema tree view from grid view and source schema tree view.
This view shares the main editing window of visual studio with source schema tree view present on the left side and the destination schema tree view present on the right side. Grid view has a major role in maps definition, contain the functoids and links which controls the transformation of source instance message to instance message which then transforms to destination schema.
Grid view incorporates different layers referred to as grid pages that allow users to manage the complex map in the form of logical subdivision of mappings.
This view displays the functiods available to use in BizTalk Maps. This view is also used as a drag and drop function’s scope in the grid page. Functiods displayed in Toolbox are organized as per their categories.
This view is used along with its dialog box to analyze and set the link and functoids properties which the user creates for defining the maps.
When a user selects a link or functiod from grid view or select map from the SolutionExplorerwinow; corresponding properties of schema node, functiod, link or, map displays in the Properties window by using the standard conventions of visual studio.
For example - properties can be grouped together in different categories and, displayed in an alphabetic manner.
These views are used for analyzing the outcomes of compiling, validating and testing of BizTalk maps. These views can also be used to compile the source code and build other types of project. Along with this, a user can also communicate with the different dialog boxes. Users usually open the dialog box to edit the complex properties.
So, these are the different parts of Biztalk Mapper which you can use to perform the different functions.
Message routing is the process to transmit the message from one place to the other. In the BizTalk Server, message routing is done by using the artifacts like receive port, send port and orchestration.
There are two types of Message routing.
Context is a collection of metadata or properties created by Biztalk Adapter. The context is attached to the message throughout the message lifecycle. When the context message properties are used for the routing, the process is referred to as the context-based routing. In this process, the routing is performed on the properties read from the context.
Content-based routing is to audit the messages and route them to the right destination or channel according to the message content. Content-based routing is appropriate to use if you want to avoid the routing mistake and route your message to the correct channel.
Implementation of BizTalk server can be very helpful to remove the complexity of business environment that comprises of different processes and applications. This server is very helpful to manage the effective communication between the different applications and assure the proper functioning of all business modules.
Microsoft BizTalk Server allows the user to connect the different software and then graphically create and modify the logic which is used by that software. With BizTalk information workers to run the process and interact with the trading partners and execute the various business-oriented tasks.
The architecture mentioned above is displaying the different components of BizTalk along with their functioning. A life cycle of the message is also discussed along with the process to send and receive the message. In the end, the message routing process is discussed for explaining the routing mechanism of messages.
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