Orchestration Debugger crashes with error “Object reference not set to an instance of an object” for one particular Orchestration

I recently came across a strange issue while using BizTalk orchestration debugger.

When I tried to open the orchestration debugger for one specific orchestration, it opened up a message box with error message “Object reference not set to an instance of an object”.
I was more curious why this happened to only this orchestration and not to any other orchestration on the same server. I verified that the orchestration is working fine in runtime
i.e., the message are flowing from this orchestration as expected. But when I tried
to debug this orchestration it gave -this error message.

I took some traces and analyzed and found the stack traces as below 
Object reference not set to an instance of an object. in:  
at Microsoft.BizTalk.Tracking.XsymSymbolsProvider.UpdateHashTableRecursive(ShapeInfo shapeInfo)  
at Microsoft.BizTalk.Tracking.XsymSymbolsProvider..ctor(StringSymbols, Boolean BuildHashTable)  
at Microsoft.BizTalk.Tracking.DebugCtrl.ReadSources()  
at Microsoft.BizTalk.Tracking.DebugCtrl.initControl(String sSqlSrv, String sSqlDb,String sMgmtSrv, String sMgmtDb, String sSvcInstID, String sSeq, StringForceLive)

After digging further into it, I found that this particular error message came when there are special characters present in the odx file.

When I took the orchestration odx file and opened it in notepad or xml editor, I saw these( and ) junk characters in the odx file. I deleted these junk characters from the file, rebuilt and
deployed the Application. After this change, now I was able to open this  orchestration’s instance in the orchestration  debugger without any errors.

Happy Biztalking!!

Written by
Shashidharan Krishnan

Reviewed by
Shailesh agre

Microsoft India GTSC

Comments (2)

  1. Akshay Shaha says:

    Thanks for this info…Very helpful 🙂

  2. Vishnu says:

    Thanks a lot for your post. It helped me today. I was also facing same issue.

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