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Processing and Translating Messages – How the BizTalk Microsoft Server Moves Requests Between Different Applications

After a message is received by a a BizTalk adapter, it goes through two other steps in the receive port before being sent to a message box for orchestration. Likewise, a processed orchestration is sent through two steps in the send port before the adapter sends it to the other application.

The applications that support business processes communicate by exchanging various types of documents like purchase orders, invoices and more…in order for the Microsoft BizTalk server to implement these processes, it must know how to correctly deal with messages that contain whatever characteristics the business process requires.

When a message is received by a receive adapter, it is sent to a receive pipeline to be processed

Many applications still do not read XML documents; the format BizTalk Microsoft works with – therefore, a way needs to be provided to convert the original format to and from XML.

Other services like authenticating message senders may also be required…to handle all this, pipelines are constructed in some number of stages by a BizTalk developer, each of which contains one or more components – each component handles a particular part of processing a message.

BizTalk Microsoft Server 2006 provides standard pipeline components for common applications. If one is not available, the BizTalk developer can easily create one – BizTalk 2006 also provides a simple receive/send pair that handles messages already in XML format.

Once a document is converted to XML, a BizTalk developer has to define what a XML representation looks like – that is, specify what schema should be used

A BizTalk developer defines a schema using the XML Schema Definition (XSD) language – a complex, yet powerful way to describe a XML document’s structure and the types it can contain…BizTalk 2006 provides a tool called the BizTalk Editor that allows a developer to create schema by using graphical hierarchy to define elements.

Once messages are in a known XML schema, it’s possible to map between them – developers create maps to transfer information between different messages and documents. Each map represents a correlation between two XML schemas that define a relationship between elements in each schema.

Maps are used in many ways – take for instance an incoming purchase order has basic information like name, address, phone, etc. that needs to be transferred to an outgoing invoice. A BizTalk developer can create a map to do this without the request having to go through orchestration. More complex maps might originate within an orchestration in BizTalk.

A graphical tool called the BizTalk Mapper allows a developer to easily specify how information in one message should be mapped to another message. More complex transformations are possible using functoids – or pieces of executable code that arbitrarily define complex mappings between XML schemas.

Being able to define a document’s XML schema along with a mechanism to map information across documents with different schemas is essential…BizTalk Editor and BizTalk Mapper helps address these two problems.

Bookmark and check back soon with the information technology knowledge center for further information on all the components of BizTalk Microsoft that work together to maximize efficiency in an organization.



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