Error Upgrading a Solution to BizTalk 2009: Child element <BIZTALK> of element <VisualStudioProject> is not valid
If you are planning to upgrade a BizTalk solution from 2006 to 2009 RTM, don’t expect that it will be simple. I recently took a good BizTalk 2006 R2 solution and opened it in VS2008 w/ BT2009, got the project upgrade wizard, stepped through it, and at the end of the process all of the BizTalk projects showed as “unloaded.” They all failed conversion with the error Error converting project file. Child element <BIZTALK> of element <VisualStudioProject> is not valid.
<VisualStudioProject><BIZTALK> etc. etc. is the normal, valid structure of an old btproj file!
I did some quick searches and other people had reported this during the beta. Microsoft did not offer any thoughtful, tested solutions to the problem (one solution was to make sure you are opening your actual BT2006 SLN file — duh.) They closed the bug report on Connect as “fixed.”
Some people reported problems with conversion when the project files were bound to source control. I don’t have the solution bound to source control and it still failed. I created a brand new SLN file in VS 2008 and added the projects to it, to no avail. Not wanting to waste any more time, I created a new SLN and all new project files, then copied over the BT2006 artifacts and included them in the new project files. Everything was OK after that, as one would expect.
I created a new issue on Microsoft Connect regarding this issue. If you are encountering it, please vote on it.
There’s no better way to put a sour taste in a customer’s mouth than to run into a barrier like this right out of the box. Microsoft should not have shrugged this off so quickly when it was reporting during the beta period.
UPDATE: The most common reason for this problem is renaming the default project configurations Development and Deployment — a perfectly normal activity that can be done through Visual Studio. According to Microsoft, changing the names is unsupported for BizTalk projects before 2009. See related posts here.