EDI Tutorial 1 Video :: BizTalk Server 2010 :: Before You Begin

The video is available at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/biztalk/gg153503.

This is the first video out of the five-video BizTalk Server Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) tutorial presentation. This video presents a simple EDI scenario to explain how BizTalk Server 2010 supports exchanging EDI messages and the process of developing a BizTalk Server EDI solution. The remaining four videos of this series will build upon the scenario described in this tutorial.

I am pasting the transcript of the video here to increase the search hits.


This is the first video out of the five-video BizTalk Server Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) tutorial presentation. In this presentation we’ll use a simple EDI scenario to explain how BizTalk Server 2010 supports exchanging EDI messages and the process of developing a BizTalk Server EDI solution.

One of the core value propositions of BizTalk Server is to empower users to enable business-to-business or B2B communication with their trading partners. To fulfill such business needs enterprises need to model, store, and manage information about their partners, their businesses, and the rules of engagement such as which message encoding protocol to use (e.g. X12 or EDIFACT), which transport protocol to use (e.g. AS2), etc. BizTalk Server includes native B2B support by enabling users to exchange business data using EDI and AS2 protocols. While the business messages are processed by the underlying BizTalk Server engine, the Trading Partner Management (or TPM) feature in BizTalk Server enables users to easily model and configure their business in a BizTalk Server environment.

With BizTalk Server 2010, TPM is remodeled to enable users to better reflect the business entities and relationships in a B2B scenario. The new TPM model includes entities like:

  • Partners (to reflect trading partner organizations),
  • Business profiles (to reflect the divisions within a trading partner organization),
  • Protocol settings (that define what kind of messaging protocol are supported by the business divisions), and
  • Trading partner agreements (for the agreement between two partners to send and receive business data).

For more information on the new TPM feature, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=189331.

In this tutorial, we take a simple scenario where the “Procurement System” division of Fabrikam sends an X12 Purchase Order (850) message to the “Order System” division of Contoso. In return, Order System sends an acknowledgement message (997) back to Procurement System. The scenario uses BizTalk Server to process the messages to comply with the EDI messaging standards. To simplify the presentation, the two trading partners use files to exchange messages, that is, both trading partners drop messages to file folders.

  • The process starts with Procurement System dropping a purchase order message to a file folder.
  • A BizTalk Server receive location, configured with the File adapter and an EDI pipeline, polls the file regularly from the file folder. Once a message is received, the BizTalk Server messaging engine pushes the message through a pipeline. Because the request message is in an EDI format, the EDIReceive pipeline is used. The EDIReceive pipeline does the following:
  • Validates the purchase order EDI message against its schema.
  • Because BizTalk Server is XML-centric, converts the message to a well-formed XML file. It then saves the message to the MessageBox database.
  • Generates an acknowledgement message in XML format and saves it to the MessageBox database.
  • The Messaging Engine pushes the purchase order message in the MessageBox database, now in an XML format, to the send port that subscribes to receive all messages from the BizTalk Server receive location. The send port uses a custom send pipeline to convert the XML message into an EDI message expected by OrderSystem.
  • Similarly, the Messaging Engine pushes the acknowledgement message to the send port that subscribes to receive the acknowledgement. Because the acknowledgement message is also an EDI message, the send port uses the EDISend pipeline.
  • Both trading partners, Fabrikam and Contoso, pick the messages from the designated file folders.

The instructions for this tutorial are published on MSDN at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=191315.

The files required for the EDI tutorial are installed on your computer at <installation drive>:\Program Files\Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010\SDK\EDI Interface Developer Tutorial when you install and configure the “BizTalk Server EDI/AS2 Runtime” feature.

  • EDI Inbound Processing.sln is the solution file for the BizTalk Server EDI solution. This solution file contains all the schemas, maps, and pipeline required for this solution.
  • SamplePO.txt is a sample purchase order message that complies to the purchase order message schema.
  • Inbound4010850_to_OrderFile.btm is the map that converts the purchase order message from Procurement System into a format expected by Order System. Because Order System’s internal application expects the purchase order messages in a specific format, BizTalk Server uses this map to transform the message.
  • OrderFile.xsd is the schema for the purchase order message expected by Order System.
  • SendOrderFilePipeline.btp is the send pipeline that processes the message before it is sent to Order System
  • X12_00401_850.xsd is the schema for the purchase order message sent by Procurement System.
  • ScenarioA folder contains the individual folders where the request messages are dropped and response messages are received.

Prepare for the Tutorials

Before you can start creating your BizTalk Server EDI solution, you must complete the following procedures.

  • Deploy the BizTalk Server solution
  • Add a reference to the BizTalk EDI application.

Deploy the BizTalk Server Solution

In this video, you already saw the list of EDI tutorial solution and files that are shipped with BizTalk Server 2010. In this step, we will deploy the EDI tutorial solution so that the “artifacts” required for the EDI messaging in the scenario described in this tutorial, namely schemas, maps, and pipelines are available to the BizTalk Server engine.

There are several methods for deploying BizTalk Server solutions. In this presentation, we use the Visual Studio deployment method. When you deploy a project or solution from Visual Studio, the assemblies are automatically built and deployed into the specified application. As part of this process, the assembly along with the artifacts are imported into the BizTalk Management database and associated in the database with the specified application.

To deploy the application by using Visual Studio, you need to log on to Windows as a member of the BizTalk Server Administrators group, and then run Visual Studio as administrator. Otherwise you’re going to get an “Access is denied” error.

I have logged on to Windows as “btslabs”. “btslabs” is a member of the BizTalk Server Administrators group.

Run Visual Studio as Administrator … open the EDI Inbound Processing solution. As explained previously in the video, this solution contains all the required artifacts for the BizTalk Server EDI application we wish to create.

The deployment process requires that the assembly be strongly signed. We need to specify a strong name key file. The tutorial files package provides a strong name key file. If you want to create your own, you can run the sn command from the Visual Studio command prompt.

Specify the strong name key file.

Name the application EDISolution. A BizTalk application is a feature of BizTalk Server that makes it quicker and easier to deploy, manage, and troubleshoot BizTalk Server business solutions. A BizTalk application is a logical grouping of artifacts used in a BizTalk Server business solution. We can specify an application name for a project. The deployment process will automatically create a new application that has the specified name, if it doesn’t exist.

Now we can deploy the project. Make sure to check the output window to verify that the deployment is successful.

After deploying the projects, we can use the BizTalk Server Administration Console to see the application and the artifacts.

Run the BizTalk Server Administration Console…Browse to BizTalk applications… The EDISolution application was created when we deployed the two projects… The Resources folder lists the assemblies that we deployed… There should be one assembly, two schemas, one pipeline, and one map.

Add Reference to the BizTalk EDI Application

While going through the scenario for the tutorial we saw that we need the EDIReceive and EDISend pipelines to process incoming and outgoing EDI messages. These pipelines, and all the other EDI-specific artifacts are available in the BizTalk EDI application. To use these artifacts in your application, you must add a reference to the BizTalk EDI Application from your EDISolution application. The BizTalk EDI Application is created by default when you configure BizTalk Server EDI/AS2 Runtime feature as part of the BizTalk Server configuration.

In the BizTalk Server Administration console.. for the EDISolution application, add a reference to the BizTalk EDI Application.

This concludes the first video of the BizTalk Server 2010 EDI tutorial. In the next video, we’re going to show you how to use BizTalk Server Administration console to create the trading partners and business profiles. Thank you for watching.


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