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BizTalk Microsoft Orchestration – What Does One Look Like?

As explained in the article “Defining Business Processes – How a BizTalk Orchestration Makes Defining Process Logic Easy” orchestrations create business processes graphically, using different symbols and shapes.

Basically, an orchestration receives a message from a send adapter and a decision is made based on the message’s content – one of two courses of action is then taken.

Actions are defined by a BizTalk developer by connecting various “shapes” using the Orchestration Designer utility included with BizTalk Microsoft. These shapes include:

Receive shape – allows the orchestration to receive a message

Send shape – allows the orchestration to send a message

Port shape – connected to a receive or send shape, this shape defines how messages are transmitted - different types of port shapes define the types of messages it can receive

Decide shape – represents an if-then-else statement which allows an orchestration to perform different tasks. An Expression Editor included with the Orchestration Designer allows a BizTalk developer to specify conditions

Loop shape – allows for an action to be performed repeatedly provided some condition is true

Transform shape – allows the transfer of information from one document to another

Parallel Actions shape – allows BizTalk developer to specify multiple operations be performed in parallel to one another and not in sequence

Scope shape – allows the grouping of operations into transactions and the defining of exception handlers for error processing

Message Assignment shape – allows BizTalk developer to assign values to orchestration variables

A BizTalk developer or BizTalk consultant organizes these shapes into an orchestration – see an example below that uses a few of the shapes detailed above. With this simple example a message is received, a decision made based on the content of that message and one of two paths is executed as a result of that decision.

In real life, BizTalk orchestrations are much more complex than this but you can get a pretty good idea of what one looks like here…in light of this inherit complexity, the BizTalk Orchestration Designer provides the ability to zoom in and out.

Bookmark and check back with the IT knowledge center at soon for more articles on the BizTalk orchestration process and the Business Rule Engine, a tool that makes it easier to define and change business rules for a significant subset of processes.


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