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BizTalk Interview Questions and Answers

1. Define BizTalk?

Biz Talk 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. Biz Talk 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.
Adapters:
Information interchange with external systems
Pipeline, dis-assembler and sub-components:
Normalizing the schema’s (wire message in its native format) of the internal messages using XML as the common language.
Message-box:
Internal XML messages are published here and then are further consumed by Subscribers:
Subscribers (Send Port and Orchestration components):
Subscribe to internal messages per metadata or message context properties.
Biz-talk Orchestration Engine:
Processing the internal messages, re-publishing them to Message-box to be consumed by other subscribers.
Send Port:
Consumes the internal XML messages, converts them to a wire messages through the associated pipeline and sub-component Assembler.
Adapter:
Conveys the wire message to the target system.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Tell me how to transfer files without using Orchestration?

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


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.

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.

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?

The latest version of BizTalk is BizTalk Server 2009 and IDE to develop application is Visual Studio 2008 SP1.

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?

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.

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.


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.

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