Post by Amit Bansa » Wed, 21 Jun 2006 04:11:14

1. Why do we need a flat file schema when we have xml schema? is becuase
some legacy applications will send the output in flat files?
2. is there any good document giving a technical over view of biztlak, how
it works, step by step, explaining all the tools involved?


Post by MV » Wed, 21 Jun 2006 04:38:38


Flat File schemas are required for biztalk to be able to receive (and parse)
and generate flat file messages. A lot of legacy (and not so legacy)
applications and networks require flat file messages, and that's BizTalk way
of supporting those.

There are several good whitepapers here:

Also, check out the documentation for BizTalk 2006 [1]. Event if you're
using 2004, much of it will apply and it is has a lot of very good
information (particularly the architecture section).


Tomas Restrepo



Post by Amit Bansa » Wed, 21 Jun 2006 15:31:22

Hi, Thanks for your mail.

1. I am new to Biztalk and currently trying to work on Biztalk 2004. I
understand that Biztlak allows us to integrate different applications so
that they can communicate.

2. For eg, a Purchase from a .NET application can be inserted as a SAles
order in a java application. Is this right?

3. The first step is that I have to creat XML schemas for both ends and map
them. What is the next step? IF you can just give me steps, i will be able
to explore.

4. I understand that we then have to working on messaging and
orchestrations. But application integration can be achieved using web
services also.

5. For eg, a web service can take records from one application db and insert
into another application db. WHy then we need biztalk?

6. Do we have to modify applications at both ends so that they send the
output in xml format whihc can be read? by biztalk. How does biztalk
communicate with applications to so that integration can happen?

Please guide



Post by MV » Wed, 21 Jun 2006 20:33:28


True, although there is certainly more to biztalk than just that.

I'd word it differently: I'd say biztalk can allow you to automate the
purchase order process by integrating the different (and disparate)
applications that collaborate on the process. What you say might be one
example of how BizTalk might accomplish this, but certainly is not the only

Actually, I'd say the first step is to define your goals and architecture.
But yes, certainly once you're ready to implement the solution, creating
your schemas would be the first step. After that, you'll probably want to
create your maps, orchestrations and define your messaging infrastructure.
Again, check the documentation and whitepapers I mentioned, they have good
information on the topic.

They are not mutually exclusive. WebServices are just another transport
protocol to carry messages (at least as far as BizTalk is concerned).
Because of this, biztalk can expose its orchestrations as webservices (so
that other applications can send messages to biztalk using WS) or consume
webservices from its orchestrations (so that it can send messages to other
applications using WS).

Perhaps you do not. It certainly depends on what your future prospect is.
That said, a single webservice doesn't give you:
- Process automation: BizTalk can help you automate the entire process, not
just insert records from one DB into another.
- Tracking: BizTalk can allow you to track all purchase orders flowing
through the system, which might be interesting fo auditing or regulatory
- Queuing: BizTalk can queue messages if the destination application is
unavailable, and retry the send periodically until the application comes
back up, which can make your life easier and improve your reliability
- Process Instrumentation: With BAM (Business Activity Monitoring), you can
declaratively instrument your business process and have biztalk
automatically extract and aggregate business-level information about your
process, like how many purchase orders you handle per day, what the average
cost of orders were, and so on (biztalk can even build OLAP cubes for you
and fill them so that you can view aggregate data).

And much more.

Whether modifications are required to the applications, it depends on the
applications. For many commercial applications, either built-in or
third-party adapters can be used, or you can develop your own custom biztalk
adapters using .NET. An adapter is the mechanism through which BizTalk and
applications communicate. For example, the built-in adapters include HTTP,
SOAP, MSMQ, MQSeries, FILE, FTP and so on. But there are also application
adapters like SAP, Siebel, and so on.

Tomas Restrepo



Post by Amit Bansa » Wed, 21 Jun 2006 22:20:58

i Tomas,

Things are getting clear to me. Thanks for your help. I have just worked
till schemas. I will now work with messaging and orchestrations and help my
self improve my knowledge. Your mail is helpful. I will get back to you
again in case of queries :)


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Post by Amit Bansa » Mon, 26 Jun 2006 01:38:37

i Thomas,

1. I worked till orchestrations. But did not come accross adapters anywhere
? When I created receive locations and send ports, i used transport type as
"file". I that an adapter type?? there were other options like soap, sql,

2. The difference between distinguish fileds and property fields are not
very clear. Is it that property fields are only available for message
routing but distinguish fields are available for orchestartions also? So why
do we use distinguish fields at all ?? not very clear??

3. what is mime/smime. how do we detect the whether the incoming message is
of whihc type, mime/ or smime? this seems to be a very basic question of
mine :)

4. Are pipeline and orchestrations mandatory? there can be a simple solution
without them also but unlikely in real life enviornment. am i right??

Looking forward to hear from you?


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Post by MV » Mon, 26 Jun 2006 04:42:52

Hi Amit,

Yes, those are adapter types.

Close. Distinguished fields are only used to make accessing data in messages
from orchestrations easier using the <message>.Field syntax. Property
Fields, on the other side, allow you to write data to the message context
(either data coming directly from a field in the message's body, or
arbitrary data like the adapter properties do).

MIME/SMIME is an encoding/encription mechanism typically used in dealing
with EMail encription (though not necessarily so). You'll only need to use
it if you know you're getting MIME/SMIME encoded messages or need to send
them to someone else.

As to how you know, well, someone tells you :)

Certainly there are messaging only scenarios, but most of them do use
pipelines (they are necessary for many purposes), even if it's only the
built in ones like XMLReceive or XMLTransmit.

Tomas Restrepo


Post by ClearConce » Mon, 26 Jun 2006 22:37:01

Hi Tomas,

Thanks for your reply. i am learning from ms course 2157. the reason i got
confused on adapters was because, in receive location and send ports, we
have to choose "transport type" whihc essentially means that we are using
built in adapters. Well, the UI could have used a label like "Adapter"
instead of "transport type" :), if I am not wrong. Is there any
good article, resources, ppts, videos whihc I can use. I am actually a
trainer and need to train a batch on Biztalk and hence now spending full
time on it. Thanks for you help again.



Post by ClearConce » Mon, 26 Jun 2006 23:11:49

i Tomas,

I am trying to install Biztlak 2004 on WIndows 2003 server whihc is not a
domain controllor

1. According to the installation guide, I need not create any user accounts
or groups if Biztalk is going to be installed with all pre requsities on a
single computer. I understand this but another document says that I have to
create the following a/cs before installation: ESSO, BAMQueryWSuser,
BSAAppPool., etc... Will these a/cs be automatically added or I need to
create them manually?

2. Installing Biztlak on multiple computer means that I need to create user
a/cs manually on each computer??

3. If Biztlak is in computer A and SQL Server is in Computer B, is it
necessary that Biztlk has to be imstalled on the SQL computer also? DO i
need to create user a/cs in SQL computer also?
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