BizTalk Server Interview Questions and Answers

BizTalk Server Interview Questions and Answers

Last updated on 05th Oct 2020, Blog, Interview Question

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Want to explore Biztalk server jobs? Searching for the interview preparation ways with question and answers? Here’s a way. Many companies are hiring for Bigtalk server professionals with skills in Biz Talk architecture schemas, maps, Functoids, message box db etc. Microsoft BizTalk Server is an Inter-Organizational Middleware System which makes companies to automate business processes, with the use of adapters to communicate with different software systems used in an enterprise. Having experience in different Functoids and creating custom Pipeline with understanding of full development life cycle may helpful. Biztalk server professionals should have minimum experience with C#, ASP.Net, Web Services, XML, XSLT, XSD, BizTalk adapters will be helpful to win job search. Following Biztalk Server job interview questions and answers may helpful in your job interview preparation.

1)Define Biztalk?


  • BizTalk is a Business Process Management server from Microsoft. It is a message based integration tool. Biz Talk enables large enterprises to automate and integrate the business processes.
  • This process is done by using adapters those are tailored for communicating among various software systems in an enterprise. It provides functions like Business Process Modeling, Business-to-Business communication, Message broker, EAI, Process automation.
  • BizTalk enables enterprises for integrating and managing business processes by exchanging various documents such as PO (Purchase Order), Invoices within and across boundaries of enterprises. MS Visual Studio supports development for Biz Talk server.

2)Components Of Biztalk Server Architecture?


Receive Port:

  • Listens for messages.


  • Information interchange with external systems

3) Tell Me How To Transfer Files Without Using Orchestration?


  • By using content based routing, files can be transferred.
  • By creating receive port and send port. If send port is configuring, provide the condition as BTS.
  • Receiveportname= <receive_portname created>

4)What Is Direct Binding In Biztalk Server?


Sending messages from one orchestration to another is done by using Direct Binding technique. It is also being used for sending messages directly into the message box. It is used in publish and subscribe system in BizTalk for sending messages among orchestrations.

5) What Is Distinguished Field In Biztalk Server?


A pipe line is used to write Distinguished Fields in the message context when a message is received on a port. Dis-assembler pipeline component such as XML and flat file disassemble does the job of writing the message context by the pipeline. In addition to it, custom pipeline component could also be performing it.. NET Interview Questions

6) What Is Biztalk Business Process Configuration?


  • Information worker can set parameters for an orchestration that implements a business process, which a business analyst may not be able to create.
  • Developer creating an orchestration can define parameters for an orchestration to enable information workers configure it. An information worker sets those parameters using the TPM service by specifying their values in the partner’s agreement

7) What Is Trading Partner Management In Biztalk?


Information workers Manage trading partner relationships within organizations. Business Activity Services include a Trading Partner Management (TPM) component to allow them do those. TPM database stores information about trading relationships. Information workers can create and modify agreements with trading partners who use BizTalk Server.

8) Explain The Difference Between Biztalk Server And Web Services?


  • BizTalk is a product while Web Services are a standard.
  • BizTalk Server is a Microsoft product whereas Web Services have been developed by many organizations including Microsoft, IBM, etc.
  • BizTalk Server application has been built to enable the internal business processes of organizations, operate with ease. Web Services are small applications published using UDDI to enable all the people find them.
  • Web services are that they are platform neutral. BizTalk can leverage Web services.

9)Explain The Difference Between Routing And Content Routing?


  • Message routing is a method of passing through BizTalk without being processed.
  • Content routing is a method of passing of the message which is based on certain field value of the schema.

10) Define Content-based Routing?


Content-based routing provides flexibility for users who want to route messages based on envelope properties or on receive port configuration properties. Routing can be performed based on information contained in the envelope of the document or even configuration information from the receive location.

A BizTalk Server business process involves receiving, processing, and sending messages. Some messages do not require intensive processing in an orchestration. They can benefit from a simpler and more efficient solution called Content-based routing.

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11)  Define The Biztalk Server Convoy And Correlation Sets?


  • BizTalk server detects the potential for certain race conditions, which are ensured that all correlated messages are received by the same orchestration instance. The potentiality of these race conditions is detected by BizTalk server.
  • These messages are treated as a ‘convoy’. A convoy set is a group of correlation sets. All such subsequent messages which match the general subscription are evaluated against the convoy set, and the matched convoys are routed to an existing port.

12)  How Rules Engine Is Provided In Biztalk Server?


Rules engine is provided as component of a business rules management system, which provides the abilities such as define, register, classify and manage all rules, verifies consistency of rules definitions, defining relationships among rules and relates them to IT applications which are effected by one or more rules.

13) List The Persistence Points?


Following is the list of events (Persistence Points) that call the persistence operation:

  • Orchestration Instance is suspended or finished
  • System shutdowns in a controlled manner
  • Engine determines it wants to dehydrate
  • Atomic or long running transactional scope ends
  • At debugging breakpoints
  • Execution of other orchestrations through the Start Orchestration shape
  • At the Send shape (but not atomic)

14) Described Persistence Points?


  • The process of saving your running orchestration state at certain point is called persistence.
  • Orchestration engine persist a running instance which is based on the design of orchestration.
  • There are few events or stages, which triggers the persistence operation called persistence points.

15)  Define Biztalk Server Rules Engine?


A rules engine is a software system, which is used for executing one or more business rules in a dynamic production environment. The rules might be from legal regulation, company policies or any other resources.

16) What Is Promoted Property In Biztalk Server?


The promotion of Prompted Fields/Properties is done in the message context by a pipeline called receive pipeline at the time when a message is received on a port. This task is performed by dis-assembler pipeline component (XML or a flat file dis-assembler). In addition to it, custom pipeline component could also be performing it.

17)Described The Purpose Of Bam In Biztalk Server?


  • Purpose of deriving up-to-date metrics and key performance indicators from the BAM databases, Business Integration tools are used.
  • The forecasting of process trends by uses and monitoring processes in real time scenarios is done by using BI tools. Users get alerts for situations which need their intervention for preventing undesirable outcome for encouraging beneficial results, a mechanism is provided by BAM.

18) What Is Bam In Biztalk Server?


Business data and process milestones are captured by Business Activity Monitoring(BAM), which is a module in BizTalk . Business decisions makers are allowed by BAM for gaining insight for their in-flight process.

19) How To Use The Message Types?


  •  Right-click Messages in the Orchestration View tab to create a new message, you have four choices for the Message Type property.
  •  Expand Multi-part Message Types and then choose Create New Multi-part Message Type.
  •  Name your multi-part message type then expand it so you can see its Message-part_1 member (Biz-talk suggested name)
  •  Set the Message Body Part property to True so that it acts just like a regular message.

20)How To Change The Message Type?


  • Before jumping in to do as the error message suggests, let’s think for a moment about what that entails.
  • Inspect every Receive and Send shape to determine if it uses a Message variable that’s associated with the schema you want to change.
  • Its not a good practice to create a single orchestration with so many Receive/Send shapes.
  • Delete Port connections, once you find all the Receive/Send shapes.
  • Change the Message variable so that the Message Type property is set to the new schema and then re-associate the Message variable with each Receive/Send shape.
  • Find all the Port Types that are associated with the Ports you disconnected from Receive/Send shapes and reset their Operation’s Message Type properties.
  • Use a Multi-Part Message Type to wrap the underlying schema. It’s flexible and saves time in the long run.

21)  What Is Message Type (i.e. Bts.messagetype) In Biztalk Server?


Messages in BizTalk are data, and each message must be of a selected message type. E-mail, Documents, Info-path forms, large binary files, SQL records, flat files, and anything XML can be processed as messages. BizTalk is all about messages and message-oriented programming. The most common message type in Biz-talk is a schema.

22) What Biztalk Enables For Companies?


BizTalk enables companies to integrate and manage business processes by exchanging business documents between business applications within or across organizational boundaries.

23)  On What Biztalk Server 2000 Is Based?


BizTalk Server 2000 is based on the BizTalk Framework. It provides the infrastructure and tools to enable B2B eCommerce and process integration.

24)  What Biztalk Provides?


BizTalk provides costs savings when used in internal IT projects and can be used in externally focused solutions too.

25) Does Biztalk Framework Is An Open Framework?


The BizTalk Framework is an open framework for B2B exchange, It is implemented across all major platforms and most major B2B products.

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26) What Is Biztalk Framework?


The BizTalk Framework is a set of guidelines for driving the consistent adoption of XML to enable e-Commerce and application integration. It is initiated by Microsoft and supported by a wide range of organizations.

27) What Is The Difference Between A “message Assignment” Shape And An “expression” Shape?


  • A “Message Assignment” shape is used to create a new message and assign values to it.
  • A Expression shape is used to assign values to variables and also write ‘if’ conditions.

28) What Is The Latest Version Of Biztalk Server?


Top New Features:

BizTalk Server 2009 introduces enhancements and new featured in four main areas:

Updated Platform Support:

  • Support for Visual Studio 2008 SP1
  • Support for .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
  • Support for Windows Server 2008
  • Virtualization support with Hyper-V
  • Support for SQL Server 2008

Developer & Team Productivity:

  • New Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) experience – with Support for TFS – integrated source control, bug tracking, unit testing, MSBuild automation
  • Enhanced Developer Productivity with Visual Studio project system updates & Map Debugging

SOA and Web Services:

  • ESB Guidance 2.0
  • New UDDI v3 Web Services Registry
  • New and enhanced LOB adapters (Oracle eBusiness Suite, SQL Server)
  • Enhanced host systems integration (WebSphere MQ, CICS, IMS)
  • Enhanced BAM support

Business to Business Integration:

  • New Mobile RFID Platform
  • New RFID device management and industry standards support
  • Enhanced Support for EDI and AS2 Protocols and Drummond certification
  • Updated SWIFT Support and SWIFTReady Financial EAI Gold certification

29)What Is The Difference Between Distinguished Field And Promoted Property?


Promoted properties can be accessed in Orchestrations, ports, pipelines, schemas.They Use server resources.

Distingished fields are light weight and can be accessed only in Orchestrations.

30)  What Is Correlation In Context Of Biztalk Server?


  • An Orchestration can have more than one instance running simultaneously. Even though each of those multiple instances perform the same action, it does it on different data contained within a message.
  • Correlation is a process of associating an incoming message with the appropriate instance of an orchestration.
  • For Example: If your orchestration issues a purchase order, receives an invoice, and sends a payment, the developer must make certain that the invoice message is received by the orchestration instance which corresponds to the orchestration that sent the Purchase Order.
  • Without correlation, it would be possible to send out an invoice for thousands of items even though the purchase order is for one. And each correlation is based on a set of properties known as correlation types.

31) What Is The Difference Between A Document Schema And A Property Schema?


  • A document schema is used to define a message. It is a definition on an Xml message with optional extensions for flat files, EDI file, etc that enable the parsers to convert the native format into Xml.
  • A property schema is used to define message context properties. These can be of type MessageDataPropertyBase (the property value is promoted or demoted from/to the message itself) or MessageContextPropertyBase(property value only exists within the message context and can be set by adapters, pipelines or within orchestrations).
  • If you wish to promote a field from a message into the message context then you need to define a document schema and property schema. In the document schema you promote the required field using the property schema to define the property type that will be used in the message context.

32)  List Out Some Artifacts Of Biztalk Server?


  • HAT
  • BAM
  • Adapter
  • Pipeline
  • Orchestrations
  • Role Links
  • Send Ports and Send Port Groups
  • Receive Ports
  • Receive Locations
  • Policies
  • Schemas
  • Maps
  • Resources
  • BAS Artifacts (Business Activity Services)

33) What Is Biztalk Orchestrations Dehydration And Rehydration?



  • When an orchestration has been idle for a while, the orchestration engine will save the state information of the instance and free up memory resources.


  • When a message is received, or else when a timeout has expired, the orchestration engine can be automatically triggered to rehydrate the instance – it is at this point that the orchestration engine loads the saved instance of the orchestration into memory, restores the state, and runs its from the point it left off.

34) What Is The Default Mapping For Auto Mapping?


The default mapping for Auto Mapping is is mapping by structure. This can be changed to by node name in the map properties.

35) What Is Messagetype In Biztalk Server?


BizTalk sets a message context property called BTS.MessageType. This is a concatenation of the document namespace and Root Node Name in other words Message Type is a BizTalk System property that is promoted inside a Pipeline. It is made up of Document Name Space and Root Node Name.

36)  What Is Biztalk Server?


  • Biztalk is a messaging based integration tool. It consists of several tools like Business Processes (Orchestrations), Business Activity Monitoring (BAM), HAT (Health and Activity Tracking), Rules Engines, BizTalk Server Administrative Console etc.
  • BizTalk Server 2006 R2 builds upon the Business Process Management and SOA/ESB capabilities and address core challenges found in key vertical industries such as manufacturing and retail. Native capabilities of BTS R2 include support for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and AS2 ,Windows Workflow Foundation, WCF as well as RFID.
  • BizTalk server 2006 R2 application can be created using Visual Studio 2005 provided BizTalk Server SDK is installed into the system. A standard BizTalk Server application consists of Schema, Mapping, and Orchestrations.
  • The heart of the BizTalk Server application is schema that is used to define the message format of source and destination data.
  • BizTalk Server has capability to talk with any kind of legacy system as it only understand the plain text data (in the form of xml), in order to talk with different systems it has several inbuilt adapter like SQL Adapter, MSMQ Adapter, SMTP Adapter, File Adapter, SOAP Adapter etc 

37)What is the difference between a Distinguished field and a Promoted Property?


  • Distinguished fields are light weight and can only be used inside an Orchestration.
  • Promoted Properties are defined inside a property schema, are tracking in SQL, can be tracked in HAT, and can be used for content based routing.

38)What is Property Promotion and why is it required?


  • Biztalk provides you with a really smart routing feature that allows the engine to decide where to send which message. For example, If you receive a message with the EmployeePaySlip schema, and it has the approved flag to true, it should be redirected to the Finance system Orchestration for making the payments and to the HR system Orchestration for keeping the records. This built in intelligence for the Biztalk engine allows it to route the messages simply based on some content within the messages.
  • To achieve this, the Biztalk engine obviously needs to understand the fields based on which the routing decisions can be taken. To simplify and optimize this working, Biztalk has introduced the notion of “promoted properties”. The Biztalk engine can get easy access to the promoted properties without knowing the entire message and hence it can save loads of time and complexity when dealing with routing. To route a message, the Biztalk engine simply reads its promoted properties and does not care about other contents in the message.

39)Can an envelope schema consist of more than one schema type?


  • Yes. XML envelopes serve two purposes within XML instance messages sent and received by Microsoft BizTalk Server:
  • XML envelopes can contain data that supplements the data within the XMLdocuments. This data can be promoted into the message context by the XML disassembler to provide easier access from a variety of BizTalk Server components. For outbound XML instance messages, the XML assembler can demote values from the message context into an envelope for inclusion in the instance message transmission.
  • XML envelopes can be used to combine multiple XML documents into a single, valid XML instance message. Without an envelope to wrap multiple documents within a single root tag, an XML instance message containing multiple documentswould not qualify as well-formed XML.

40)What is the difference between static, dynamic and direct binding?


  • Static binding specifies port address,
  • Dynamic gives address of the port at runtime,
  • Direct binding sends messages to messagebox.

41)What is atomic Transaction?


  • It follows full ACID properties Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation and Durability. If you require full ACID properties on the data—for example, when the data must be isolated from other transactions—you must use atomic transactions exclusively.
  • When an atomic transaction fails, all states are reset as if the orchestration instance never entered the scope.

42)What is long running transaction?


Long running transaction support CD properties of ACID. It is not practical to lock transaction for a long time. This transaction can run indefinitely and can be dehydrated also.

43)Does BizTalk support synchronous communication?


BizTalk Server architecture is asynchronous for scalability reasons. However, the architecture of the BizTalk Messaging Engine enables exposing a synchronous message exchange pattern on top of these asynchronous exchanges. To do this, the engine handles the complex task of correlating the request and response messages across a scaled-out architecture by linking together a number of asynchronous message exchanges to expose a synchronous interface.

44)What is meant by Virtual Directory? Why do we use?


The publishing wizard publishes service at IIS (isolated host) in the virtual directory (the directory at which schema reference is given and config file for this). this is also called as service end where we receive messages.

45)What is correlation?


  • An Orchestration can have more than one instance running simultaneously. Even though each of those multiple instances perform the same action, it does it on different data contained within a message. Correlation is a process of associating an incoming message with the appropriate instance of an orchestration.
  • For Example: If your orchestration issues a purchase order, receives an invoice, and sends a payment, the developer must make certain that the invoice message is received by the orchestration instance which corresponds to the orchestration that sent the Purchase Order. Without correlation, it would be possible to send out an invoice for thousands of items even though the purchase order is for one.
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46)What is Dehydration?


When an orchestration has been idle for a while, the orchestration engine will save the state information of the instance and free up memory resources.

47)What is Rehydration?


When a message is received, or else when a timeout has expired, the orchestration engine can be automatically triggered to rehydrate the instance – it is at this point that the orchestration engine loads the saved instance of the orchestration into memory, restores the state, and runs its from the point it left off.

48)What are the execution modes in a pipeline Stage?


  • A stage in a pipeline has an execution mode of either “All” or “First Match”, which controls the components that get executed if more than one component is added to a stage.
  • For stages with a mode of “All”, each component is called to process the message in the order in which they are configured in the stage.
  • For stages with a mode of “First Match”, each component is polled to indicate that it is the right component until a match is found, at which point the component that matches is executed, while the remaining components do not get executed.

49)Which Interfaces do you need to implement in a disassembling custom pipeline component?


  • A disassembling pipeline component receives one message on input and produces zero or more messages on output. Disassembling components are used to split interchanges of messages into individual documents. Disassembler components must implement the following interfaces:
  • Ibase Component.
  • Idisassembler Component.
  • IComponentUI.
  • IPersistPropertyBag.

50)What is a link in a Map?


A link specifies the basic function of copying data from an element or attribute in an input instance message to an element or attribute in an output instance. You create links between records and fields in the source and destination schemas at design time. This drives the creation, at run time, of an output instance message conforming to the destination schema from an input instance message conforming to the source schema.

51)How to route binary data?


To route binary data you can use pass-through pipelines on the receive location and send port. BizTalk will route (copy) the data from the source (receive location) to the destination (send port). If you want to route the binary data based on some information in the binary data then you write a custom Disassembler to promote the properties you need from the incoming message to route the binary data.

52)How do you call a Non-Serializable .Net helper class inside an Expression Shape?


Add a reference to that class.

  • Make sure your Orchestration is Long Running transactional.
  • Add an Atomic scope.
  • Create an Orchestration variable of that class inside the scope.
  • Create an instance on that object inside the scope.
  • Call the method.
  • Bonus: Mention the class must be strongly signed and in the GAC.

53)How do you achieve First-In-First-Out message processing of messages received from multiple sources using an Orchestration?


  • Use a Sequential Convoy to process the messages in the order they are received into the Message Box.
  • Make sure Ordered Delivery is set to True inside the Orchestration Receive Port.

54)When working with Schemas, Maps, Pipelines, and Orchestrations, how should the projects be structured?


  • Schemas and Maps in its own project
  • Or Schemas and Maps together in its own project
  • Orchestrations in its own project
  • Pipelines in it own project

55)What are Persistence Points and what causes them?


  • Persistence is when the state of a running Orchestration is stored into SQL.
  • It is good enough to know various shape and actions cause persistence. More specifically, it occurs: end of a transactional scope, at a send shape, at a start Orchestration shape, during dehydration, if the system shuts down expectedly or unexpectedly, or the business process suspends or ends.

56)What group does a user need to belong to in order to submit messages to the message box?


The user needs to be a member of the hot group or isolated host group (assuming a default installation).

57)What user rights do you need to perform most actions in HAT?


BizTalk Server Administrator

When installing Biztalk in a multi-server configuration with a remote SQL and Analysis

58)Services, what SQL components do you need on the Biztalk Server?


SQL Analysis Services Client Tools

59)Can a flat file message be processed without a pipeline?


A Pipeline’s job is to convert any external format into XML, be it a flat file or EDI or anything else.

60)Can multiple messages be processed or batched without an envelope schema?


It is possible to process multiple messages, without an envelope.

61)What is property promotion, why is it required?


When a property is Promoted, it is exposed to the orchestration/send port filters etc.

62)In which scenarios, would use a “promoted property” vs “distinguished fields”?


The rule here is, if you dont want the schema element to appear in send port filters/debugging information then make it a distinguished field.

63)What are un-typed messages, how does one create them?


A message created in BizTalk Orchestration is bound to a schema, this is a typed message. In un-typed messages, the message is bound to System.Xml.XmlDocument instead of a schema.

64)How does one enable subscriptions in BizTalk?


A filter on the Send Port is the first step to enable subscriptions in BizTalk.

65)What is the difference between a delay shape vs a listen shape?


A ‘Delay’ is very much like a sleep on the current thread. A ‘Listen’ shape is used to wait for an incoming resource, with a timeout period.

66)When you use Call Orchestration shape vs Start Orchestration shape?


A Call Orchestration returns the control back to the caller. A Start Ochestration shape starts the orchestration in a non-deterministic way.

67)Does BizTalk Orchestrations support recursion?


An Orchestration does NOT support recursion.

68)What is the purpose of the property “Activate” in a Receive shape?


It is used to invoke a new instance of an Orchestration.

69)Can an orchestration Start without an Activatable receive?


A Nested Orchestration can be started without an Activatable receive

70)Is it necessary for all .NET components being called from an Orchestration be Serializable?


Yes, it is necessary. There are cases where a .NET component need not be Serializable.

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71)When do we need set the property “Synchronized” = true for a scope?


This needs to be set, when a variable is shared across the branches of a parallel shape.

72)How does one enable Correlations in BizTalk?


First create a Correlation type and then create an instance of it.

73)In an Orchestration design, Orchestration “A” calls another Orchestration “B”, and vice versa. Is it possible to implement this design?


It is NOT possible, since it forms a cyclic dependency.

74) What is BizTalk?


  • BizTalk is a middleware that sits in the middle of any two software who wish to communicate with each other and agree on some specified communication pattern. It uses SQL Server as back end database.
  • “Microsoft BizTalk Server is an Inter-Organizational Middleware System (IOMS) that enables companies to automate business processes, through the use of adapters which are tailored to communicate with different software systems used in an enterprise. Created by Microsoft, it provides enterprise application integration, business process automation, business-to-business communication, message broker and business activity monitoring.”

75) What is BizTalk Server Architecture and Life Cycle of Message?


In this simplified view, a message is received through a receive location defined in a given receive port. This message is processed by the receive location and then published to the MessageBox database, the main persistence and routing mechanism for BizTalk Server. The MessageBox evaluates active subscriptions and routes the message to those orchestrations and send ports with matching subscriptions. Orchestrations may process the message and publish messages through the MessageBox to a send port where it is pushed out to its final destination.

76) What is a BizTalk Application?


A BizTalk application is a logical grouping of the items, called “artifacts”, used in a BizTalk Server business solution. Artifacts include the following:

  • Schemas
  • Maps
  • Pipeline
  • Adapters
  • Orchestrations
  • Policies
  • Receive Locations
  • Send Ports
  • Certificate
  • Com Component and scripting

77) What is Hosts and Host Instances?


  • A host is a logical representation of a Microsoft Windows process that executes BizTalk Server artifacts such as send ports and orchestrations. A host instance is the physical representation of a host on a specific server.
  • A host can be either an in-process host, which means it is owned and managed by BizTalk Server, or an isolated host, which means that the BizTalk Server code is running in a process that is not controlled by BizTalk Server. A good example of an isolated host is Internet Information Services (IIS), which hosts the receive functionality of the HTTP and SOAP adapters.
  • Hosts are defined for an entire BizTalk Server group; a collection of BizTalk Servers that share configuration, MessageBoxes, ports, and so on.

78)What is a Message Type (i.e. BTS.MessageType) and how is it used in BizTalk?


Message Type is a BizTalk System property that is promoted inside a Pipeline. It is made up of Document Name Space # Root Node Name.

79) What are different types of BizTalk Schemas?


  • XML schema: An XML schema defines the structure of a class of XML instance messages. Because this type of schema uses XML Schema definition (XSD) language to define the structure of an XML instance message, and this is the intended purpose of XSD, such schemas use XSD in a straightforward way.
  • Flat file schema: A flat file schema defines the structure of a class of instance messages that use a flat file format, either delimited or positional or some combination thereof. Because the native semantic capabilities of XSD do not accommodate all of the requirements for defining the structure of flat file instance messages—such as the various types of delimiters that might be used for different records and fields within the flat file—BizTalk Server uses the annotation capabilities of XSD to store this extra information within an XSD schema. BizTalk Server defines a rich set of specific annotation tags that can be used to store all of the required additional information.
  • Envelope schema: An envelope schema is a special type of XML schema. Envelope schemas are used to define the structure of XML envelopes, which are used to wrap one or more XML business documents into a single XML instance message. When you define an XML schema to be an envelope schema, a couple of additional property settings are required, depending on such factors as whether there is more than one root record defined in the envelope schema
  • Property schema: A property schema is used with one of the two mechanisms that exist within BizTalk Server for what is known as property promotion. Property promotion is the process of copying specific values from deep within an instance message to the message context. From the message context, these values are more easily accessed by various BizTalk Server components. These components use the values to perform actions such as message routing. Promoted property values can also be copied in the other direction, from the more easily accessible message context back into the depths of the instance message, just before the instance message is sent to its destination. A property schema is a simple version of a BizTalk schema that plays a role in the process of copying promoted properties back and forth between the instance message and the message context.

80) Is it possible to create a custom data type and use it in a schema?


Yes, it’s possible to create custom data types and it can be used across the schema.

81) Can schema have two nodes with the same name and different datatypes?


Yes, as long as they are not in the same scope.

82)Can schema have multiple root nodes?


Yes, a schema (XSD) can have multiple root nodes. In case you have a schema with multiple root nodes you will end up with multiple message types declared in BizTalk, one for every root node. So when you want to create a message you will need to specify exactly which message type you are going to use.

83) Is it possible to include and import in a single schema?


Yes, it is possible, both are the ways to utilize already existing schema. The only condition is the schema which is included should have same Target Namespace or no namespace.

84) What is Receive Ports and Receive Locations?


  • A receive port is a collection of one or more receive locations that define specific entry points into BizTalk Server. A receive location is the configuration of a single endpoint (URL) to receive messages. The location contains configuration information for both a receive adapter and a receive pipeline. The adapter is responsible for the transport and communications part of receiving a message.
  • Examples include the File adapter and SOAP adapter, each of which receives messages from different types of sources. The receive pipeline is responsible for preparing the message for publishing into the MessageBox. A pipeline is a series of components that are executed in sequence, each providing specific processing to a message such as decryption/encryption, parsing, or validation.

85)What is Send Ports and Send Port Groups?


A send port is the combination of a send pipeline and a send adapter. A send port group is a collection of send ports and works much like an e-mail distribution list. A message sent to a send port group will be sent to all send ports in that group. The send pipeline is used to prepare a message coming from BizTalk Server for transmission to another service. The send adapter is responsible for actually sending the message using a specific protocol such as SOAP, or FTP. 

86) What is Orchestrations?


Orchestrations can subscribe to (receive) and publish (send) messages through the MessageBox. In addition, orchestrations can construct new messages. Messages are received using the subscription and routing mechanism already discussed. When subscriptions are filled for orchestrations, a new instance is activated and the message is delivered, or in the case of instance subscriptions, the instance is rehydrated if necessary and the message is then delivered. When messages are sent from an orchestration, they are published to the MessageBox in the same manner as a message arriving at a receive location with the appropriate properties is inserted into the database for use in routing.

87) What is BizTalk MessageBox Database?


The heart of the publish/subscribe engine in BizTalk Server is the MessageBox database. The MessageBox is made up of two components: one or more Microsoft SQL Server databases and the Message Agent. The SQL Server database provides the persistence store for many things including messages, message properties, subscriptions, orchestration states, tracking data, and host queues for routing.

88) What are Difference between an Isolated host and an In-Process host?


  • The difference between an Isolated host and an In-Process is that an Isolated host must run under another process, in most cases IIS, and an In-Process host is a complete BizTalk service alone. Additionally, since In-Process hosts exist outside of the BizTalk environment, the BizTalk Administration Tools are not able to determine the status of these hosts (stopped, started or starting).
  • Security is also fundamentally different in an Isolated host versus an In-Process host. In-Process hosts must run under an account that is within the In-Process host’s Windows group, and do not maintain security context within the Messagebox. Isolated hosts are useful when a service already exists that will be receiving messages either by some proprietary means or by some other transport protocol such as HTTP. In this case, the Isolated host only runs one instance of the End Point Manager, and is responsible for receiving messages from its transport protocol and sending them to the Messagebox through the EPM.

89) What is BizTalk Pipeline?


BizTalk is a message-based system receiving and sending data inside messages. Sometimes the incoming and outgoing messages must be processed to fit to external formats. Pipelines, attached to send ports and receive locations, are the components through which the messages pass; then the data format is recognized and can be validated or changed if necessary; as well as the metadata is extracted and added to the message context.

90) What is Receive Pipeline and their stages?


  • A receive pipeline operates on a message after it is received by the receive adapter. The receive pipeline takes the initial message, performs some transformations, and disassembles the raw data into zero, one, or multiple messages. These individual messages can then be processed by BizTalk Server.

Receive pipelines have four stages:

  • Decode: It can be used to prepare the message for the Disassemble stage for example decrypting, uncompressing and decoding a message.
  • Disassemble: It can be used to produce multiple messages based on the input message by de-batching the incoming message into smaller messages. It can also recognize the format of incoming messages and then process it as well as promoting properties into the message context. For example, incoming messages formatted as XML are processed by the XML Disassembler or incoming messages formatted as CSV flat file will be parsed and prepared as individual XML units.
  • Validate:  It’s mainly used to validate the disassembled messages. For example, verifying the XML Schema of the message to be of a certain type using the XML Validator component.
  • Party resolution: It’s used to determine the party that BizTalk receive the message from. This can be achieved by mapping the sender’s digital certificate or sender’s security identifier.

91)What is Send Pipeline and their stages?


  • A send pipeline is responsible for processing documents before sending them to their final destinations. The send pipeline takes one message and produces one message to send.

Send pipelines have three stages:

  • Pre-assemble: It prepares the message for the outbound process.
  • Assemble: It’s responsible for combining multiple messages into one large message with the format that will be sent over the wire (Aggregating multiples messages in a batch). In this step, we can change XML format of a message into a flat file, or possible adding envelopment to the XML message. In this stage, you can also demote the properties (those properties promoted in the Disassemble stage of the Receive pipeline and used for the routing of the message) from the context message.
  • Encode: It’s responsible for writing the outgoing message in a fashion way in order to be understood by the target system. It involves encoding, compression, encrypting, and signing the message.

92)What is Custom Pipeline stages?


  • IBaseComponent: It Defines properties that provide basic information about the component.
  • IPersistPropertyBag: It Works with IPropertyBag and IErrorlog to define an individual property-based persistence mechanism.
  • IComponentUI: It Defines methods that enable pipeline components to be used within the Pipeline Designer environment.
  • IComponent: It is responsible for providing any execution functionality.

93) What are different types of binding modes in BizTalk Server?


BizTalk offers four binding models, each with different characteristics. Each model is really a set of higher level abstractions of the basic BizTalk subscription mechanisms. One of these models is called ‘Direct Binding’. The term ‘direct binding’ is used to suggest that the techniques involved are all about binding one orchestration port directly to another. In fact, this is just one possibility when using this model. I find the term confusing, myself, as other binding models are used to ‘directly’ bind orchestration ports to messaging Send ports. Binding models are really differentiated by the following characteristics:

  • Support for external binding configuration
  • Use of static and dynamic messaging Send ports. NB., Receive ports do not support a dynamic model.
  • Auto-generation of configured messaging ports at deployment time.

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