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What purpose does Visual Studio serve?
Development for BizTalk Server is done through Visual Studio (depends on BizTalk version). Visual Studio has templates for BizTalk artifacts like orchestration, pipelines, schemas and maps, so a BizTalk solution can be created (design time) and deployed to the BizTalk runtime. Besides artifacts .NET development can be done in creating pipeline components, custom functoids, custom adapters, and .NET helper classes to aid in orchestrations. As a BizTalk professional Visual Studio is your friend and required to build BizTalk solutions.
What is strong name key?
A strong name ensures that each assembly name is unique. Each assembly in your BizTalk project requires a strong name in order to deploy successfully.
How is strong name key generated?
At the command prompt, from the folder where you want to store the key file, type the following command, and then press ENTER: sn /k file_name .snk. In Visual Studio Solution Explorer, right-click the project and then click Properties. Click the Signing tab and choose Browse in the Choose a strong name key file drop down box.
Difference between Build and Rebuild?
Build means compile and link only the source files that have changed since the last build, while Rebuild means compile and link all source files regardless of whether they changed or not.
What are the actions in order to deploy from Visual Studio?
Sign the project with strong name key Give the name to the Application
What is EDI?
Electronic data interchange (EDI) is a document standard which when implemented acts as common interface between two or more computer applications in terms of understanding the document transmitted. It is commonly used by big companies for e-commerce purposes, such as sending orders to warehouses or tracking their order.
What are the things which make EDI solutions differ from standard XML solutions?
EDI solutions are on the same line as XML solutions but involved more complexities in schema, maps etc. Also few more things are to be done like setting up and configuring the trading partners (business profiles, parties, agreements etc.).
How to create the EDI schema?
BizTalk already ships with the standard EDI schemas. To use it we need to extract the schemas using the MicrosoftEdiXSDTemplates.exe file, located in the root of the XSD_Schema\EDI folder.
What is the default character set supported by EDI pipeline?
UTF-8 is the default Character set supported and it is used for run-time validation and applies only to EDI X12.
How does BizTalk resolves Agreement?
BizTalk requires the qualifier and identifier fields for sender and receiver in order to perform agreement resolution. It will match the values of ISA5, ISA6, ISA7, and ISA8 in the interchange header with those in the properties of an agreement.
What is BAM and whats the benefits of using it?
Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) is used to monitor business milestones and key metrics in near real-time throughout a process in BizTalk. Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) is a module in BizTalk that captures business data and process milestones to allows business decision makers to gain insight of their in-flight processes. Using BI tools to derive up-to-date metrics and key performance indicators from the BAM databases, users can forecast process trends and monitor processes in real-time. BAM also provides a mechanism to alert users to situations that require their intervention to prevent undesirable outcome or to encourage a beneficial result.
Is it possible to integrate BAM installed on server1 and BizTalk installed on server2?
Yes its possible with a condition that BAM server has to be part of the BizTalk group.
What is the difference between TrackingProfile DB and DTADB?
Both are same and terminology is used interchangeably.
What is an Activity and an Alert?
BAM Activities identify the milestones and tracking data an individual is interested in tracking. Milestones are the steps in an activity that are measured in time, and tracking data are the key data points in a process you are interested in tracking (such as a customer ID or name)
What is ContinuationID?
Continuation is the ability to contribute to a single BAM activity from different applications by using two different unique identifiers as the ActivityID. For example, in one part of a business process, a customer’s PO number might be used to track an activity. In another part of the process, an internal order fulfillment number might be used to track the same activity. You could enable continuation and relate the PO number and the order fulfillment number, so that both parts of the process could add information to the same activity.
What jobs do you need to configure when you install BizTalk?
The Backup BizTalk job (location of Full and Log backups). The DTA Purge and Archive job (at least the location where you want to Archive Tracking data. After you have configured the jobs, don't forget to enable them
What are thresholds?
From a BizTalk perspective, these are numeric values, which can be configured on your Hosts and host instances, and lead to Throttling situations once they are crossed.
Why do you have automatic throttling states and what can it be used for?
To warn the BizTalk Administrator that BizTalk is under stress or something abnormal is happening to the environment, these may only affect certain hosts or all hosts in the environment depending on the throttling state
What does a “high available environment” mean?
BizTalk can be configured in that it uses a Failover- or Load Balanced cluster. By doing so, BizTalk uses several physical or virtual machines to spread the workload. In case one of the machines goes down, BizTalk is still able to process workload on the other machine(s).
What is NLB?
This stands for Network Load Balancing. It's one of the possibilities to make IIS high available on machines where BizTalk is installed. BizTalk itself however has its own load balacing.
What is an Adapter?
An adapter is a software component (COM or .NET-based) that enables you to easily send messages out of or receive messages in BizTalk Server with a delivery mechanism that conforms to a commonly recognized standard, such as SMTP, POP3, FTP, or Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ). As Microsoft BizTalk Server has evolved, the need for adapters that quickly enable connectivity with commonly used applications and technologies has increased. BizTalk Includes over 25 multi-platform adapters that simplify the integration with Line of Business (LOB) Applications (such as Siebel, SAP, JD Edwards, Oracle, and Dynamics CRM), database (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, DB2) and other technologies (Tibco, Java EE).
What is required for a developer to create a custom adapter?
A developer can receive requirements for building a custom adapter in case there are no out-of the box or commercial available to fulfill certain functionality. This can be done by using the Microsoft Windows Communication Foundation Line of Business Adapter SDK.
What is the purpose of Adapter?
Adapters are the components that enable the BizTalk to interface with the external communications protocol. They mediate between the protocol and the messaging pipeline in use.
Does an adapter write to content of the message?
No. The adapter only writes data in the context of the message which is further interrogated by another component of BizTalk.
What are the native adapters in BizTalk?
"Native" or "integrated" adapters in BizTalk are: FILE, FTP, HTTP, MQSeries, MSMQ, POP3, SMTP, SOAP, Windows Sharepoint Services, and the seven WCF adapters (WCF-WSHttp, WCF-BasicHttp, WCF-NetTcp, WCF-NetMsmq, WCF-NetNamedPipe, WCF-Custom, and WCF-CustomIsolated)
What is MessageBox?
MessageBox is a SQL server database along with messaging agent.
What is the purpose of MessageBox?
•Store all messages and context received. •Stores all subscriptions. •Stores all Host Queues.
What happens to the messages coming into MessageBox?
•Checking the subscription table is the First thing when messages come in MessageBox and a copy of the message is sent to the subscriber.
How does MessageBox treats messages without subscriber?
The message is suspended when there are no subscribers found for it.
How many receive locations can a single receive port have?
Receive port can have any number of receive location.
What effect does creating a new Host have on the Database?
When the new host is created it results in a new entry in the Host table in the Management database and also a new Host queue in the MessageBox.
The MessageBox database holds all the messages that are processed, what about messaging Objects?
Messaging objects viz. Receive Ports, Receive Locations, Send ports, etc. are stored in the Management Database.
Is there any change in the database when the filter is added to Send port or when Activate property of Receive shape is set to true?
Yes. An entry is added in subscription table.
What databases are part of every solution?
BizTalk Server Management database, MessageBox databases, Tracking database, and SSO database are four database which are used by BizTalk server runtime operations. It is the component that encapsulates and abstracts the database component and is the interface used by BizTalk Server to interact with the MessageBox. The Message Agent is a Component Object Model (COM) component that provides interfaces for publishing messages, subscribing to messages, retrieving messages, and so on. This interface is the only mechanism used by other BizTalk Server components, including the adapter framework and orchestrations, to interact with the MessageBox.
Which service looks after known issues in the database?
Monitor BizTalk Server, this job scans the BizTalkMgmtDb, BizTalkMsgBoxDb and BizTalkDTADb database for any known issues, including orphaned instances.
What are maps?
Maps are graphical representations of XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation) documents that allow us to perform, in a simple and visual manner, transformations between XML messages. A map file basically is the XML file that defines the correspondence between the records and fields in one schema and the records and fields in another schema. You create a map when you want to transform or translate data that you receive or send from one schema to another.
Can we have map without any links on it?
Yes. But to do so custom XSLT is to be provided to the map.
How do we provide/include custom XSLT in the map?
Click on the map grid and in properties tab specify the location where custom XSLT is stored against the property "Custom XSLT path".
Is it possible to have a global variable in a map?
Yes. Choosing inline code allows us to declare global variables outside the method declaration. These are accessible throughout the map from within all inline code scripting functoids.
What are the places map can be used?
Receive Port, Orchestration, Send Port
What is a Business Rules Engine?
A run-time inference engine that can link highly readable, declarative, semantically rich rules to any business objects (.NET components), XML documents, or database tables. It can evaluate rules against facts and initiate actions based on the results of that evaluation.
What is the tool that I need to use to create Business Rules?
You need to use the Business Rules Composer. This is a graphical tool used for authoring, versioning, and deploying policies and vocabularies.
What is a Business Rule Language?
It is a rule markup language in XML format for declarative rule definitions.
How can I execute a Business Rule in my orchestration?
Using the Call Rules Shape.
What is used to create new vocabulary definition?
The Vocabulary Definition Wizard is used to create vocabulary definitions.
What is functoid?
The term functoids refers to predefined functions within the BizTalk Mapper tool set. Functoids support a number of useful translations and transformations.
What is required for a developer to create a custom functoid?
Basically you need to Create a new class library project using the .NET language of your choice and create a class derived from Microsoft.BizTalk. BaseFunctoids. However the easiest way is to use the BizTalk MapperExtensions Functoid Wizard.
Why would a developer create a custom functoid ?
Below scenarios can tempt developer to create custom functoid: When there is no out of box functoids which can be used to complete the logic. When the number of functoids used to implement the logic goes on increasing and becomes difficult to follow and manage.
What is the difference between Value Mapping and Value Mapping Flattening functoid?
Value Mapping: When both the source and the destination schemas define parallel repeating structures between which the relevant data is mapped. Value Mapping (Flattening): When the source schema defines a repeating structure and the destination schema defines a flat structure, such that different instances of the repeating structure in the source schema are intended to be mapped into the unique elements in the flat structure in the destination schema.
How can you build an if-then-else construction with functoids?
To build if-then-else it will need any of the Logical functoid (depending upon the requirements, e.g., if value is to be matched then Equal Functoid) and a Value mapping functoid. The combination (Logical Functoid and Value Mapping Functoid) will repeat, firstly to implement IF condition and secondly to implement ELSE condition.
What is a helper class?
A .net helper class with the context of BizTalk is a class (library) that can support an orchestration with extra functionality. It can enhance an orchestration in tracing, error handling, caching, and serialization/deserialization.
Where can the helper class be used?
.NET (helper) classes can be used inside an orchestration.
A helper class which is not marked serializable , can it be used in Orchestration?
Yes, it can used in orchestration but in an atomic scope only.
Why is it required that helper class/.net assembly to be marked serializable?
When creating an assembly that will be used by BizTalk, it is appropriate to mark all classes as serializable. Since BizTalk is stateless and makes use of persistence points, which details are stored in BizTalk SQL Server databases by serializing all the data. Therefore non-serializable Classes or Types cannot be used directly in Orchestrations.
What does property "copy local" indicates?
"Copy Local" property indicates whether the assembly referenced should be copied into the local bin directory when a project is built.
How are messages created in an orchestration?
You construct a message any time that you introduce a message into your orchestration, either by receiving it or by assigning values to a message variable. There are several ways to create a new instance of a message in an orchestration.
Where is information about promoted properties stored?
The information about the promoted properties is extracted and stored in the bts_DocumentSpec table in the Management database.
What is message metadata?
The message metadata is called Context Properties and on receiving the message, both the adapter and the pipeline will add information to the context.
Can we use message metadata in Orchestration?
How does Orchestration subscribes to messages?
In Orchestration, the first Receive shape is responsible for creating a subscription. Following two properties are involved in it, Message : This tells what message this Orchestration is subscribing to Activate : This tells to consume the message when found in a MessageBox
Why do we need a custom pipeline when we have default pipelines?
BizTalk Server provides a few out of the box pipeline components. For instance the S/MIME components for encrypting or decrypting messages. In case you need to do some pre or post processing on a message and the functionality is not offered through the provided pipeline components you will need to built your own custom pipeline component. The pipeline component(s) can then be used within a custom pipeline.
What is the maximum message size supported by XML send an XML receive pipeline?
This depends on infrastructure specifications (CPU, Memory, Disk) and on specific (possible) bottlenecks in your Microsoft BizTalk Server system. While BizTalk Server imposes no restriction on message size, practical limits and dependencies might require you to minimize the size of your messages because large messages require more processing resources.
What is the minimum number of components allowed in pipeline stage?
Minimum is zero components, example PassThru pipeline.
What is the maximum number of components allowed in pipeline stage?
All stages in the pipeline can take maximum of 255 components, except the assemble stage that has a maximum of one.
Does Flat file assembler pipeline component validates the incoming XML message?
What is the purpose of a document schema?
The schema is basically a contract of your message and defines it. The XML Schema definition (XSD) language defines the structure of an XML instance message, and this is the intended purpose of XSD, such schemas use XSD in a straightforward way. A schema is a term borrowed from the database world to describe the structure of data in relational tables. In the context of XML, a schema describes a model for a whole class of documents.
What is the purpose of a property schema?
Property schema is a special type of schema, not created to describe messages. Instead it describes context properties. It consists of only child node under a root node.
What is the purpose of an 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.
What is the purpose of a 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.
What is the target namespace for schema?
Target Namespace is to schema what a namespace is to .Net Object and root node as a class name.
Visual Studio Interview Questions & Answers
BizTalk EDI Interview Questions & Answers
Business Activity Monitoring
BizTalk Admin Interview Questions
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Business Rule Engine Interview Questions
Functoid - BizTalk Interview Questions
Helper Class - BizTalk Interview Questions
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Pipeline - BizTalk Interview Questions
Schema - BizTalk Interview Questions