Yossi Dahan [BizTalk]

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Notes on BizTalk 2009

earlier this week Microsoft announced the release of the beta version of BizTalk 2009.

I’m sure detailed posts of various bits will follow soon, but for now I thought I’d list a few points I’ve picked up (in no particular order)-

BizTalk projects are now “first class citizens” of Visual Studio [2008]; in practice it seems they are really “special” c# projects.

This means quite a lot really, to start with, for the most part they look and feel like c# projects (in the beta build the icon for the project is even the c# icon), but this extends to the property pages, existence of assemblyinfo.cs and the project file structure (which is now pretty much standard msbuild file)

It also means that you could add any c# type to a BizTalk project although in the current build you can’t add a new class using the menu, you are always redirected to the template selector which only shows BizTalk types, so –even if I pick the Add new class option

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I get the following dialog -

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Not sure when this will be fixed, but the workaround is simply (yet annoying) – create the type elsewhere and use the “Add Existing Item” option.

This will allow you, for example, to include any helper classes you use from your orchestration with the process itself.

Another point to notice is that this is only true for C# types. you cannot add VB code files to a BizTalk project.

 

Also – as the project is now a standard msbuild project integration with TFS is tighter.

interesting to see in the installation process the following entry -

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Basically installing this on a computer that has msbuild allows you to build BizTalk projects without having BizTalk or VisualStudio installed; using a build server for BizTalk is so much easier now!

 

The build process is completely incremental – each BizTalk artifact is a c# class, and so when building a project only those classes that have changed will be built, which should shorten the time it takes to build a BizTalk project.

Another fantastic addition is more “HAT” features in the admin console, but as Randal already blogged about this one in details I’ll point you there

 

Upgrading seems to be a breeze and both 2006 and 2006 R2 are supported. this can be done by opening any existing BizTalk project in VS 2009 and the migration wizard will pick it up and migrate it for you. as expected.

you can open a solution with multiple projects and they will all be upgraded and you can use devenv /upgrade with both projects and solutions to do that from script?

 

BizTalk 2009 supports debugging maps – this is done by selecting the “Debug Map” from any BTM file context menu -

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This would use the test input instance and test output instance properties, and would basically open the XSL generated for this map and break at the root template

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Worth noting that currently this does not support maps with multiple inputs or ones using extension objects.

 

I’m sure there’s a lot more to discover, but I have a 4 day old baby at home – so back to those nappies for me I’m afraid.

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