One of things you might need to do occasionally is to run pipelines from code which is not running in a web context (i.e. the code is not part of a web site or web service). This could be a console app, a WinForm app or even a Windows service. The reason this is a non-trivial task is firstly because this is not a core scenario targeted by the Commerce Server platform and secondly because when you run a web app, a lot of the work required to run pipelines is done behind the scenes when the various Commerce related sections are parsed in the web.config at app startup time. The good news though is that it is possible to run pipelines in a console (or WinForm or Windows service etc. etc. you get the idea) app, thus making it easier for you to test your components or target a niche scenario important for your business.
I have attached a fully functional VS 2005 solution that illustrates how you can run pipelines in a non-web environment. Hopefully this sample should help you get started – though please keep in mind that this is purely for illustrating the core scenario of configuring and running pipelines in a console app and is not meant to showcase the design. Also please keep in mind that the use of attached code samples are subject to the terms specified here. Hope you find the sample code useful.
On a related note, there’s been a lot happening on the CS 2007 front. In case you haven’t heard, we have decided to give away our Developer Edition for FREE – that’s right – zero cost to you to get started with developing a full-fledged Enterprise level eCommerce site on the Commerce Server platform. We also announced the General Availability (GA) of Commerce Server 2007 to the all partners and customers and on the documentation front, launched the TechNet site for Commerce Server and have also made the CS 2007 Migration Guide available as separate download, which should help you learn all about migrating from earlier versions of Commerce Server to CS 2007.
Also, we have some web casts available on-demand on the TechNet site which also contains an article by Jeff Lynch on Integrating Commerce Server Orders with BizTalk Adapters. Kudos Jeff!