BizTalk Orchestration – Orchestration debugging inside Visual Studio

HAT it’s great for visual debug orchestration and see the track of the workflow, but there are some situations that we wish to could step through orchestration shapes in Visual Studio and see what’s real appends inside the shapes, special in expression shapes and message assign shapes, why this is so difficult to do with BizTalk projects?

So how can I do this?

  1. Go to Regedit;
  2. Add a registry key named BizTalkProject at [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0]
    (if you are using BizTalk 2004 and Visual Studio .NET 2003 is HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\7.1)
  3. Next, create a DWORD value named “GenerateCSFile” and set it to 1
  4. Setting the Generate Debugging Information = True property by right-clicking on the project in Visual Studio and selecting Properties → Configuration Properties → Build will ensure that the C# files are created for debug builds in BizTalk 2006.
  5. If you rebuild your project, you will see C# files in your project directory (Click show hidden files and you should see a file named <OrchestrationName>.odx..cs);

Now we can add breakpoints in code inside expression shapes or message assign shapes, to get into debug mode simply attach Visual Studio to the BTSNTSVC.exe process.

BizTalk Orchestration debugging inside Visual Studio

Surprisingly not too many people are familiar with it.

I hope that in the next versions of the product this feature will become more easy to accomplish, in other words, with special highlight inside Visual Studio.

Author: Sandro Pereira

Sandro Pereira lives in Portugal and works as a consultant at DevScope. In the past years, he has been working on implementing Integration scenarios both on-premises and cloud for various clients, each with different scenarios from a technical point of view, size, and criticality, using Microsoft Azure, Microsoft BizTalk Server and different technologies like AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, SAP, TIBCO etc. He is a regular blogger, international speaker, and technical reviewer of several BizTalk books all focused on Integration. He is also the author of the book “BizTalk Mapping Patterns & Best Practices”. He has been awarded MVP since 2011 for his contributions to the integration community.

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