Combining BizTalk Software Factory and BizTalk Deployment Framework

Recently I have finished a preliminary version of an adaptation of the BizTalk Software Factory guidance automation package, owned by Jean-Paul Smit and Dick Dijkstra (BSF), where I have extended the functionality of the BizTalk Software Factory with support for Scott Colestock’s BizTalk Deployment Framework (BDF). The latest changeset (17321) of the BSF source contains these changes, so you can testdrive it yourself!

The main advantage of using BSF and BDF in conjunction is that you should be able to produce a full BizTalk compilable and deployable solution within minutes using a few mouseclicks (ok, and some keyboard entries), leaving a situation where you have a repeatable development and deployment process from day 1, whilst maintaining strict naming conventions. After generating the solution, you will still be able to enjoy the full functionality of the BDF.

During the wizard pages of the BSF, you will be prompted to enter some BDF specific settings:

Wizard Page Options

PreProcess Bindings: If unchecked, you will get a regular bindings file that will not be processed by ElementTunnel.exe or XmlPreProcess.exe. If checked, you will get a bindingsMaster file, that will be processed by the two mentioned exe’s.

Add VDirList: If unchecked, you will not get a VDirList file (so you won’t be exposing webservices). If checked, you will get a VDirList file, that you will have to edit manually to contain your vdir mappings.

Company Name: The company name that is used in the generation of the Windows Installer (msi).

Copy DeployTools, Copy WiXSetup: If unchecked, no files will be copied. If checked, BSF will copy the BDF DeployTools and WiXSetup directories into your solution root folder. To keep things simple, the files in these directories will not be added to your solution.

The BDF offers many many more settings to play with, but I decided to keep things simple and limit the configurable settings to those that would alter the solution structure or the files within the solution.

The BSF will generate the following solution artifacts:

BizTalk Solution, created with BSF

So after preparing your environment for BDF, you should be able to deploy your (completely empty) solution to BizTalk via the generated msi! (To do this: select the *.WiXSetup.build file in solution explorer, then in VS2005 Tools execute “NAnt Current Target”).

To prepare your environment, you basically only have to run MakeExternalTools_VS2005.vbs and make sure all paths in this .vbs file are correct (see BizTalkSoftwareFactory\BDF\Info), but refer to the BDF docs for complete documentation.

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About Bram Veldhoen

I'm an independant senior software development consultant, working mostly in the area of integration using Microsoft BizTalk Server, Windows Communication Foundation and .NET.
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