A lot of people get confused when they hear the word Artifact when they are with Biz Talk Server, This time I am writing this article for the Artifacts present in the BizTalk Server 2010. Artifacts are the objects that are used within the Biz talk server and all these objects are referred as Artifacts. Here are some of the common used Artifacts in BTS which any user came across while working with the BTS. These artifacts are used in various section or location of the BTS like Biz Talk Server Administration Console, Biz Talk Server Administration Explorer and inside Orchestration View.
(Fig: Typical Biz Talk server processing)
A Biz talk server is the tool for a message based connection between various applications within an organization. This is comprises of 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.
2. Message Box
A Message box is the Core part of the messaging system in BTS. This is Responsible for communication and routing of the messages to and from the BizTalk Server. It is Comprises of a messages data base and an agent for sending the messages from or to the system. Genrally SQL data base is uses for the storing of message.
A BizTalk Host object is a Logical entity that represents a logical set of one or more runtime processes in which you can deploy services, pipelines, and other artifacts. The Host object also represents a collection of runtime instances (one or more) where the deployed items physically run.
To communicate with various kinds of protocols BTS uses a system that is called Adapter. BizTalk uses a variety of adapters for communications with different protocols, message formats, and specific software products. Some commonly used adapters are EDI, File, HTTP, FTP, SFTP, SMTP, POP3, SOAP, SQL, MSMQ, Microsoft SharePoint Server.
5. Receive handlers
Adapter handler is an instance of a host where we can run the code for communication.
An adapter handler is responsible for executing the adapter code and contains properties for a specific instance of an adapter. A receive handler is an adapter that is used to execute the code for receiving messages.
6. Send handlers
A Send handler is an adapter that is used to execute the code for sending the messages from BTS.
Assemblies are the basic building blocks of .NET Framework applications. These are fundamental unit of deployment, version control, reuse, activation scoping, and security permissions. An assembly is a collection of types and resources that are built to work together and form a logical unit of functionality. In order to use them in BTS they must be registered in GAC (Global Assembly cache).
This is the most important part of a BTS. An Orchestration is a graphical representation of a Business logic flow with various set of predefined shapes of BTS. BizTalk orchestration is a flexible and powerful capability that provides various services and tools to enable you to design, automate, and manage business processes. An orchestration can represent the complete business logic which we do in traditional procedural programming language. This is similar to the shapes and code we use to do in the Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF).
Set of rules are defined for each user in the BTS. These Rules are commonly referred as Roles in BTS for example a BTS Administration, Developer Roles etc.
A BTS port is an object that is used to send messages from BTS to other system and from other system to BTS. Without using Ports we cannot communicate with systems.
11. Send Port
A send port is a BizTalk port that is responsible for sending the messages from BTS system to another system.
12. Receive Port
A Receive port is a BizTalk port that is responsible for getting or Receiving / reading the messages from any system to BTS.
13. Port Type
A Port type is the communication pattern, a set of operations (requests or responses), and the message types which is used in BTS for performing any operation. The pattern used in port type can be either one-way or request-response (two-way), and all operations defined on that port type must use the same pattern.
14. Multi part message Type
A message which in turns the combination of multiple messages is referred as a multi part message type. These parts are defined by XML Schema Definition (XSD) language schemas or .NET classes. You can define your own multi-part message types.
A Map is an XML file that defines the relations between the records and fields in one Schema to another. This is a one to one relationship where we can map the incoming value to the outgoing value. A map contains an Extensible Style sheet Language (XSL) which is used by BizTalk Server to perform the transformation described in the map.
16. Entry Points
Entry point is the location in an Orchestration from where the execution of the orchestration gets start. Normally it starts with receiving a message from external message and then the execution is start. So it is generally a Receive message shape in orchestration.
A Pipeline is a the set of code or command that defines and links one or more processing stages, or different unit to communicate with, and running them in prescribed order to complete a specific task. Pipelines divide processing into stages and bridge the gap between components for stages.
Schema is the normal XML file schema which defines the Records, Fields element and Attribute of an element. This is used to specify the structure of the message as well. All the things inside a BTS is represented in XML only. A schema can contain multiple subschemas.
A resource is any File, assembly or a script which is the part of the application and is deployed with the application.
A Policy is the set of rules written by the administrator to control the logic of the orchestration. This is the set of Business rules which are controlled using the version numbers.
Hope you have got the basic information about these artifacts of Biz talk server and like this article. I have taken the help of MSDN as well as Biz talk server official website to provide more information on these various artifacts, Please refer MSDN if you required any other detailed information about the same. I will come up with some more articles on the BizTalk server soon.
Please do share your valuable comments on this.
Anil Kumar Pandey
Microsoft MVP, Microsoft MCC,DNS MVM