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BizTalk Server 2004—A Brief Introduction

Figure 1 shows the architecture of BizTalk Server 2004. As shown, its primary purpose is to handle the message interaction among different applications.

The components of BizTalk Server 2004 include the following:

  • Adapter: Provides the communication mechanisms for acquiring messages (for example, FTP adapter, SOAP adapter, and so on).
  • Pipeline: Processes the messages. Some of the tasks it performs include converting the messages to/from XML, decrypting/encrypting, and so on. Note that the BizTalk engine always expects XML format, which means that messages in other formats need to be converted to XML when they come in (and possibly converted to the required format from XML when they go out).
  • MessageBox: All messages are delivered into the MessageBox, which is a SQL Server database.
  • Orchestration: The graphical manifestation of the business process. A developer or analyst graphically organizes a defined group of shapes to express the conditions, loops, and other behavior of the business process. Custom code components (possibly written in C# or some other programming language) can be used inside the orchestration if necessary.

BizTalk Server 2004 tools include the following:

  • Schema Editor: Helps you build an XML schema describing your message.
  • Mapper: Can be used to write transformations or maps to transform a message to another format.
  • Pipeline Designer: Can be used to define the processing that needs to happen inside a pipeline.
  • Orchestration Designer: Helps to describe the message-processing architecture.
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