Yossi Dahan [BizTalk]

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Unexpected EOF error

If you wanted another example where good error handling in code could save some time, here's one -

Last week I was making some changes to a small process I've had for ages; the process was all working when I wanted to extract a small bit of information from the message and decided to use the XLANG/s xpath method to do so.

I planned to get the actual xpath string from a helper class (I always do, to help with maintenance), so I've create a variable for it, but as a temporary step I've put the xpath as the initialising value for the variable.

When trying to build the project I've received an error in the error list  - "Unexpected EOF".  not very useful.

This could have taken me ages to figure out, but luckily I knew the only thing I changed was adding that variable, so I changed the initialising value to TEST and tried to build; this time the error was much more meaningful -

"identifier 'TEST' does not exist in '<process name>'; are you missing an assembly reference?"

as well as -          

"cannot find symbol 'TEST'

Just out of curiosity I tried again with the value of TEST THREE WORDS, this time it looked like

"identifier 'TEST' does not exist in '<process name>'; are you missing an assembly reference?"

and

"cannot find symbol 'TEST'

as well as

unexpected identifier: 'THREE'

and

expected ';'          

So what do I make out of it -

To start with I should stop forgetting that the values for string variables should be provided in quotes

That having a single quote in a variable value results in the rather cryptic "Unexpected EOF" error

That BizTalk could have done slightly more to validate values of variables at design/compile time and save us developers precious time :-)

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