Orchestration Designer Views of the BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.0 Transform and Routing Services

If you’ve worked with the BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.0, you’ve probably used Orchestration Extenders in your itineraries.  The Toolkit includes two default orchestrations (services) named Microsoft.Practices.ESB.Services.Transform and Microsoft.Practices.ESB.Services.Routing.  These service names correspond to two orchestrations installed in the Microsoft.Practices.ESB BizTalk application, named Microsoft.Practices.ESB.Agents.Transform and Microsoft.Practices.ESB.Agents.Delivery, respectively.

These two orchestrations/services are somewhat mysterious since Microsoft chose not to release the Toolkit source code, and there is no detailed step-by-step documentation that describes what each orchestration does – not even a picture of the orchestration design surfaces.

After running some itineraries through BizTalk that used these two orchestrations, I launched the resulting instances in the Orchestration Debugger.  As you probably know, the Orchestration Debugger shows a close representation of the Visual Studio Orchestration Designer view, albeit without ports and with no ability to drill into Expression shapes, etc.

I screen captured the orchestration views in the debugger and made some annotations to make the Send and Receive shapes more apparent.  Since these will probably be useful to many other BizTalk developers, I’m sharing them below in PDF and PNG formats:


UPDATE (04/27/2010): After my original post, I was able to extract the original ODX XML’s and re-create an ODX file for each orchestration. This will let you open up either orchestration in the Orchestration Designer and view all of the code in Expression shapes, etc. They are posted below.


Using the BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.0’s ESB Configuration Tool on Windows XP

Have you ever tried to configure the BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.0 on Windows XP?  If so, you probably didn’t get too far.  According to the system requirements, the ESB Toolkit requires Windows Server 2003 or newer.  However, the original release – ESB Guidance 1.0 – ran just fine on Windows XP.

If you’ve tried to use the ESB Configuration Tool (EsbConfigurationTool.exe) on Windows XP, you probably made it through the first step which creates the Exception Management database.  The next step, Exception Web Services, probably didn’t go so well.  You may have gotten an error like The following exception occurred while retrieving member “Create”: “The system cannot find the path specified.”

The reason for the error is that the tool assumes that you’re using Windows Server 2003 or newer – which implies IIS 6 or newer – all of which have the concept of IIS Application Pools.  Since IIS 5.1 (Windows XP) does not have AppPools, the Configuration Tool’s script blows up.

This is hardly a reason to keep us from using the ESB Toolkit 2.0 on Windows XP!  Who wants to create all of those vdirs and databases by hand?  Not I…  All that was necessary to make the tool work on XP was to slightly modify the built-in PowerShell scripts to avoid referencing IIS AppPools.  I decompiled EsbConfigurationTool.exe, tweaked the scripts, removed the strong name key (since it’s no longer signed by Microsoft) and recompiled the EXE.  Voila!  The tool now works perfectly on Windows XP.

I am attaching the modified version of the tool to this post in the hopes of saving some of you from the same hassle.  Just unzip and overwrite your existing EXE.  Enjoy!

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