BizTalk NoS Ultimate: Features Overview (Part IV)

BizTalk NoS Ultimate: Features Overview (Part IV)

In the last blog post, we analyzed the daily BizTalk Developer’s improved tasks which are provided by BizTalk NoS Ultimate; Build Project, Deploy assembly, and Fast register/unregister in GAC. Today, we will continue to analyze the list of available features present in this Visual Studio extension, focusing on the developing features that will improve your productivity significantly.

Locate It

How many times do you open your old or new project and several files are opened in the Visual Studio MDI window, and you want a simple way to locate a file in your project’s structure? For example:

  • You are working in a transformation and you need to:
    • locate the map file to specify a TestMap Input Instance
    • locate a specific schema in the Solution Explorer in order to change the structure of the Schema
  • You have used another BizTalk NoS Ultimate features to open the map, pipeline, or schema and now you need to find it on the solution explorer

If you don’t know exactly where it is, you need to check the full path of the map or the schema and then manually navigate in the solution explorer to the file that you want.

BTSG NoS Addin Where is my file

Finally, you will have an easy way to accomplish this! This will save us much time in the developing process, for me this is basic stuff and this is a timesaver feature!

Note: Even if you don’t have the Solution Explorer Window opened, this feature will find the file that you are looking for and will automatically open (or give the proper focus to) the Solution Explorer window.

You can access these features by:

  • On the Visual Studio MDI window, right-click in tab with the name of the file and select Locate it! option
  • BTSG NoS Addin Locate it

As you can see in the picture below, the result is that the project will be expanded and the desired file will be selected:

Again, this is very useful for a BizTalk Developer because he needs to locate the file to test or generate schema instances or test, validate or debug maps or other artifacts.

Test Pipeline

There are many ways to test BizTalk pipelines, for example:

  • Using the Biztalk Pipeline Framework to create unit testing
  • Using the Pipeline.exe tool
  • By deploying them and testing in execution time (BizTalk Administration Console) with real messages

But to be honest, there isn’t a proper build-in support feature in Visual Studio to test our custom pipelines.

Once again, BizTalk NoS Ultimate will provide that for you. This feature will allow us to easily test our custom pipelines, directly from Visual Studio, by simply right clicking on the pipeline, expand BizTalk NoS Testing, and select the Test Pipeline option:

  • First, you need to go to the Properties window of the pipeline and set the BizTalk NoS Input Instance Filename property, with an instance of the message that you want to try against the pipeline
  • It will show you the result of the pipeline test directly in VS IE

Test Pipeline Component

As the previous, one testing or debugging a custom pipeline component can be a challenge and most of the time you will need to test them in runtime. If you want to debug them then you will need to attach the pipeline component code to the BizTalk process in Visual Studio.

Once again, there isn’t a proper build-in feature in Visual Studio to test and debug our custom pipeline components. Now with NoS, you will be able to debug your pipeline component without having to deploy and run them in runtime. Now, from Visual Studio, you will be able to attach this test execution to an external process without caring about BizTalk environment by:

  • Right-click on the pipeline that contains the custom pipeline component that you want to try, expand BizTalk NoS Testing, and select the Test Pipeline Component option:
    • This will automatically attach Visual Studio to a process called BTSG.TestPipeline.exe process (the title will also contain the name of our pipeline)
  • Make sure that the instance of a message is correct and make sure that you have set breakpoints in your custom pipeline component, and then click Run Test
  • You should be able to start debugging your custom pipeline component code.

I hope you are enjoying these features and stay tuned because this extension has more! Feel free to try this amazing extension for BizTalk Server here: Download BizTalk NoS Ultimate for BizTalk Server 2020.

The post BizTalk NoS Ultimate: Features Overview (Part IV) appeared first on BizTalk360.

BizTalk NoS Ultimate: Features Overview (Part III)

BizTalk NoS Ultimate: Features Overview (Part III)

In the last blog post, we analyzed the report capabilities of BizTalk NoS UltimateReflector and Refactor. Today, we will continue to analyze the list of available features present in this Visual Studio extension, focusing on the daily BizTalk Developer’s improved tasks.

These are, what I call, simple tasks that will improve the BizTalk developer experience which will reduce the development and deployment time in new or existent BizTalk projects.

Build Project

You are probably thinking, why do I need another Build option? The reason is simple: sometimes we have a huge solution with several projects inside, and in these situations trying to build one simple project with the out-of-the-box Visual Studio option can be a challenge. It will take a huge amount of time trying to build the project because of all of the dependencies.

The option in NoS will build the desired project without any interaction with the Visual Studio design environment, making this operation faster than the native build operation in Visual Studio.

You can access these features by:

  • Right-click on your project name, expand BizTalk NoS and select the Build project option

Fast Register/Unregister in GAC

How many times have you desired to have a simple easy and quick way to install a DLL, and (why not) also uninstall, in the Global Assembly Cache (GAC), and why not directly from your favourite developer tool: Visual Studio? Instead, we need to install DLL’s using the Gacutil.exe tool, and don’t get me wrong, it is an excellent tool, but it is not practical in the day-by-day work!

Finally, now you have this option! 

You can access these features by:

  • Select your project name, expand BizTalk NoS and select the Register in GAC or Unregister from GAC option

Note: This works with all DLL’s, it doesn’t have to be a BizTalk DLL, you can easily register a C# Helper Class used by BizTalk Projects into the GAC with this functionality.

Deploy Assembly

Again you are probably thinking, why do I need another Deploy option? And the reasons are exactly the same as the Build project option which we described earlier.

This operation will deploy a single BizTalk assembly directly from the Visual Studio without trying to deploy also all of its BizTalk Server project dependencies.

You can access these features by:

  • Select your project name, expand BizTalk NoS and select the Deploy assembly option

The equivalent we have to this feature is the add/update resources from the BizTalk Server administration console.

What’s the purpose of this feature? In some situations, you just simply don’t want to use the Visual Studio out-of-the-box functionality, as it will deploy all the dependencies and other stuff which will take a huge amount of time. What we want sometimes is only to deploy one specific assembly easily and fast.

This option will allow you to make this directly from Visual Studio, making this operation faster than the native deploy operation on Visual Studio.

I hope you are enjoying these features and stay tuned because this extension has more! Feel free to try this amazing extension for BizTalk Server here: Download BizTalk NoS Ultimate for BizTalk Server 2020.

The post BizTalk NoS Ultimate: Features Overview (Part III) appeared first on BizTalk360.

BizTalk NoS Ultimate: Features Overview (Part II)

BizTalk NoS Ultimate: Features Overview (Part II)

In the last blog post, we analysed two of the basic features of BizTalk NoS UltimateExpand solution and Wild Card Search. Today, we will continue to analyze the list of available features present in this Visual Studio extension, focusing on the report capabilities of BizTalk NoS Ultimate.

Reflector

This feature will create a report with a lot of useful information about your entire solution or for a particular project for analysis. It will provide some statistics and metrics, for example:

    • Solution metrics – number of projects, artifacts, orchestrations, transformation, schemas, and pipelines
    • Artifact metrics – Information about the  average Kilo bytes used by the artifact in memory or some metrics to understand the complexity of the artifact (orchestration, map and so on)

But, also information about:

      • Which artifact is using this artifact or what is this artifact doing (very useful with orchestrations)
      • Show all the information like:
        • Artifact dependencies
        • Which port(s) is/are using this orchestration or schema or map?
        • How many shapes exist in the orchestration or how many Transactions (Atomic, Long-Running) exist, Compensation, or Error handling?
        • How many Construct messages or even how many transformations?
        • How many Functoids or links exist inside a transformation?
      • And so on
BTSG NoS Addin BizTalk Solution Report

This is basically an interactive report or documentation of your solution. Interactive, because you can interact with the report and it will automatically open the artifact while you are reading it. You can open the directory, maps, orchestrations, schemas, and so on directly from the report.

BTSG NoS Addin BizTalk Solution Report

The reflector can be used at all levels of your solution, from a simple artifact, a single project or just to produce a full report of your entire solution. The last means that you will have a report of all of the artifacts in the solution).

This also can be used to produce good documentation of your BizTalk Projects.

You can access this feature by:

  • Right-click on your solution/project or artifact name, expand BizTalk NoS and select the Reflector option

Refactor

Similar to the Reflector feature, however, the Refactory will create a more simple report with a circular reference (internal and external) with other artifacts that can be very useful to understand the refactory strategy to use.

Another difference is that this report can only be made at the artifact level (orchestrations, pipelines, maps, and schemas). It isn’t available at the solution or project level.

You can accomplish this by access this feature by:

  • Right-click on your artifact (Orchestration, map, schema…), expand the BizTalk NoS Reporting and select the Refactor option

This feature will provide some statistics and information about:

  • Which artifact(s) is/are using this artifact
  • Which artifact(s) is/are consumed by this resource
  • Some general information like complexity, persistence points and error handling (in orchestrations), and so on.
BTSG NoS Addin Refactory result

I hope you are enjoying these features and stay tuned because this extension has more! Feel free to try this amazing extension for BizTalk Server here: Download BizTalk NoS Ultimate for BizTalk Server 2020.

The post BizTalk NoS Ultimate: Features Overview (Part II) appeared first on BizTalk360.

What is BizTalk NoS Ultimate Purpose and What Features are Available?

What is BizTalk NoS Ultimate Purpose and What Features are Available?

What is BizTalk NoS Ultimate Purpose?

The purpose of the BizTalk NoS Ultimate Visual Studio (VS) extension (or Visual Studio Add-in in previous versions) is to help all BizTalk Developer, why not, all BizTalk Administrator too in a lot of different situations, by improving the developer experience and why not reduce the development time in new or existent BizTalk projects.

This extension will extend the existing Visual Studio functionalities associated with BizTalk Server projects by providing several new or improved functionalities like:

  • Quick search inside artifacts
  • Fast DLL register/unregister in GAC
  • Find critical, internal or external dependencies
  • JackHammering, which will compare your VS artifact with the artifact deployed in the BizTalk environment
    • With this feature, you can also extract the artifact (Orchestration, map, schema and so on) from BizTalk environment and put it in the VS solution
  • Test your pipeline in VS simply

And, many more functionalities that will be useful in our day by day work and a time saver in a lot of situations.

BizTalk NoS Ultimate is available for the following BizTalk Server versions:

  • BizTalk Server 2020 – Visual Studio 2019
  • BizTalk Server 2016 – Visual Studio 2015
  • BizTalk Server 2013 R2 – Visual Studio 2013
  • BizTalk Server 2013 – Visual Studio 2012

How to Get Started with the BizTalk NoS Ultimate?

After installing the extension, the first thing you need to do is to request a license (free). To do that you need to:

  • Open a BizTalk Server solution on Visual Studio
  • On the Solution Explorer window menu, select the BizTalk NoS Settings option
    • This will open a BizTalk NoS Ultimate window

  • On the BizTalk NoS Ultimate window, select the License tab and then click on the Request a trial link

  • This will open a browser on the page, where you can request a free license. You just need to fill and submit the Request a Free Trial Key form

    • Later on, you will be receiving an email with the Key and necessary information for you to activate the extension
  • Once, you receive the Key, you need to go back to the License screen, select the Trial option, fulfill the form with the Order Number and License Code, and then click on the Activate button

    • A window will be prompted if you successfully activated the license.

  • Click OK. And you will notice on the Solution Explorer window menu that the BizTalk NoS Ultimate features are now enabled

List of Available Features

In this section we will have an overview of all features available with this Visual Studio add-in and how can you use them:

  • Dependencies – You can deal with the dependencies between BizTalk artifacts through the different options available in this extension:
    • External Dependencies –  get a clear sense of where the changes that we need to do can have impacts. For example, if I need to change a schema, will these changes will have an impact on my maps or in my orchestration? 
    • Internal Dependencies – this will be the opposite to the previous one. In this case, we want to know what this artifact is using (or which artifacts are consuming). For example, I need to modify the schema, or the schemas, used by a map
    • Heuristics – this is basically the same as the above dependencies features (internal and external) but more useful during refactoring or before to do an update in an artifact. For example, you need to modify an artifact and you want to know what will be the artifact update impact in the entire solution
    • Heuristic Internal Propagation – this feature is basically the same as the “Internal Dependencies” but with the difference that we will also go ahead and will also the sub-levels of dependencies, i.e., the sub-artifacts
  • Wild Card Search – Perform a full-textual search across all the artifacts within your solution
    • This feature will perform a full-text search in all the artifacts of your entire solution, which means that for example, in schemas will search for elements, records, and attributes but also properties of the map itself, in orchestrations will search for shape names, messages names, variable names and so on. The best way to explain the mode of how this operation works or to find an analogy is: inside the Visual Studio open the artifact (schema, map, orchestration, and so on) with XML (text) Editor and make a search inside that artifact.
  • Reflector – Reporting capabilities with information such as statistics, solution & artifact metrics, artifact dependencies, number of shapes in the orchestration, and so on. The reports are also interactive – you can open the artifacts as you read the reports!
  • Build Project – When your solution file is huge with lots of projects, building a single project can be a time-consuming operation given the internal dependencies between projects. With this improved feature, you have the option of building only the required project.
  • Register/unregister in the Global Assembly Cache (GAC) – How many times have you thought of having an easy way to register/unregister a DLL into GAC. This is now possible with BizTalk NoS Ultimate through register/unregister in GAC functionality. You can now do this through the Visual Studio window.
    • This feature is very useful to deploy for example Support C# Libraries that you will use inside Orchestrations or Maps.
  • Deploy Assembly – Deploy a BizTalk assembly directly from the bin directory in Visual Studio. This is very similar to adding/updating a resource from the BizTalk server administration console.
  • Test Pipeline Component – Similar to testing a pipeline, you can now test a custom pipeline component through Visual Studio. In just 2-3 steps, you can configure and test (debug) your pipeline component.
  • Test Pipeline – You have the option to test your pipeline right within the Visual Studio developer environment. You need not use a separate BizTalk Pipeline Framework or use the Pipeline.exe tool anymore!
  • JackHammering – the infamous JackHammering. one of my favorite features. You can jackhammer BizTalk in order to compare the artifacts in your development environment with that in production. It’s a very useful feature for BizTalk developers & administrators.
  • Refactor – Creates a more simple report with circular (internal & external) references with other artifacts. You will receive a piece of detailed statistics information about who’s using the artifact, which other artifacts are the current artifact consuming, and so on.

Feel free to try this amazing extension for BizTalk Server here: Download BizTalk NoS Ultimate for BizTalk Server 2020.

The post What is BizTalk NoS Ultimate Purpose and What Features are Available? appeared first on BizTalk360.

BizTalk NoS Ultimate: Features Overview (Part I)

BizTalk NoS Ultimate: Features Overview (Part I)

BizTalk NoS Ultimate was just released for BizTalk Server 2020. This Visual Studio extension is available for the following versions:

  • BizTalk Server 2020 – Visual Studio 2019
  • BizTalk Server 2016 – Visual Studio 2015
  • BizTalk Server 2013 R2 – Visual Studio 2013
  • BizTalk Server 2013 – Visual Studio 2012

As I mentioned in previous posts, the purpose of BizTalk NoS Ultimate is to mainly help all BizTalk developers, but why not also all BizTalk administrators, in a lot of different day-to-day situations, by improving the developer experience. By doing so you reduce the development time in new or existing BizTalk projects but also in the analysis, troubleshoot, and documentation experience.

BizTalk NoS Ultimate provides several functionalities like:

  • Quick search inside artifacts
  • Fast register/unregister in GAC
  • Find critical, internal, or external dependencies
  • JackHammering, which will compare your Visual Studio artifacts with the artifacts deployed in any of your BizTalk environment
  • Extract the artifacts (Orchestration, map, schema, and so on) from the BizTalk environment and put it in a Visual Studio solution
  • Many more functionalities like testing your pipeline in Visual Studio in a simple and fast way

Several features are useful in our day by day work and a time saver in a lot of situations.

So, with the release of this new version, I think it is now a good time to start making a walk through all the available features that this extension has to offer.

Expand Solution

Let’s start with the basic new functionalities that are available in the context of the solution. Collapsing a solution is now a default option available in Visual Studio.

However, quickly expanding all project of a solution it isn’t:

  • Expand Solution – This option will fully expand all the projects in your current solution. This feature can be useful when you want an easy and simple way to have a visualization of the entire structure of the solution.

You can access this feature on the Solution Explorer window menu.

Wild Card Search

I think the name explains the feature itself. This feature will perform a full-text search in all the artifacts of your entire solution, which means that, for example, in schemas, it will search for elements, records, and attributes but also for properties of the schema or map itself. In orchestrations, it will search for shape names, message names, variable names, and so on.

The best way to explain the mode of how this operation works or to find an analogy is: inside Visual Studio, open the artifact (schema, map, orchestration, and so on) with XML (text) Editor and make a search inside that artifact. Now think of this process, automatically, to all artifacts of your solution.

We can also call this as a SearchSelectionOpen it operation.

All the artifacts in your entire solution that meet the search requirement will be selected and you will have the option to open them all automatically after the search has finished.

Once again, you can access this feature in the Solution Explorer window menu.

As an example, if I do a Wild Card Search in my solution for ‘Map’ and select Ignore Case, below screenshot will show the outcome. All the artifacts (including folders) that contain the word Map, in any part, will be highlighted in your solution.

You may see in the picture above, that the PessoaOrigem.xsd schema file is selected and if you open it, you will not see any record or element that contains Map word. However, the target namespace contains this word and for that reason, it is being shown on the outcome result of the wild search.

I hope you are enjoying these features and stay tuned because this extension has more! Feel free to try this amazing extension for BizTalk Server here: Download BizTalk NoS Ultimate for BizTalk Server 2020.

The post BizTalk NoS Ultimate: Features Overview (Part I) appeared first on BizTalk360.

How to install BizTalk NoS Ultimate for BizTalk Server 2020/Visual Studio 2019

How to install BizTalk NoS Ultimate for BizTalk Server 2020/Visual Studio 2019

First of all, what is BizTalk NoS Ultimate? BizTalk NoS Ultimate is a Visual Studio add-in for BizTalk developers that will improve the experience while developing BizTalk projects. The add-in can be installed as an extension to Microsoft Visual Studio and offers lots of useful functionalities (in addition to existing features) for developers by which they can save valuable time while working on their day-to-day activities and improve the productivity. For me, it is the ultimate tool that all BizTalk developers should have!

BizTalk NoS Ultimate Installation

Installing BizTalk NoS Ultimate in your BizTalk Server 2020 development environment with Visual Studio 2019 is a straightforward task. Most of the pre-requisites will be present and you can simply install the BizTalk NoS Ultimate Visual Studio Extension, that you can download through the below link;

Download BizTalk NoS Ultimate for BizTalk Server 2020

To install BizTalk NoS Ultimate Visual Studio extension, you need to:

Option 1

  • Open your Visual Studio, on the entry screen select the option Continue without code ->

  • Then on the menu, navigate to Extensions > Manage Extensions

  • Select Online and search for BizTalk NoS Ultimate

  • The add-in will be listed in the search results section. Click Download to download and install the add-in
  • On the VSIX Installer screen
    • Make sure that the correct version of Visual Studio is selected.
    • Click Install. This will download and install the add-in to your version of Visual Studio
  • You need to restart your Visual Studio in order for the changes to take effect

Option 2

  • If you already have downloaded the BizTalk NoS Ultimate Visual Studio extension file, it will be named something like BizTalkNoS.Addin<version>.vsix
  • Double-click the extension file to run the installation process
  • On the VSIX Installer screen
    • Make sure that the correct version of Visual Studio is selected
    • Click Install

  • In the VSIX Installer Complete screen, click Close

Now, if you open or create a new BizTalk Server solution on Visual Studio, you will see BizTalk NoS Ultimate functionalities both at the Project level as in the Artifact level. By right-clicking on one of your BizTalk projects or artifacts you can see the new options provided by this extension.

Feel free to try this amazing extension for BizTalk Server here: Download BizTalk NoS Ultimate for BizTalk Server 2020.

The post How to install BizTalk NoS Ultimate for BizTalk Server 2020/Visual Studio 2019 appeared first on BizTalk360.