BizTalk – How to debug Custom Pipeline Components running on Isolated Host

Posted: May 8, 2011  |  Categories: BizTalk Pipelines Visual Studio

Normally we can debug almost all pipeline components in run-time mode by attaching Visual Studio to “BTSNTSvc.exe” process (see: Debugging External assembly’s or pipeline components – Attach to Process – which BizTalk process to use?)

This is true for components that are running on In-Process Host, the exception is Custom Pipeline Components that are running on Isolated Host.

One of the differences between Isolated Host and In-Process Host is that an Isolated Host must run under another process, in most case IIS, and an In-Process host is a complete BizTalk service alone.

So, if you are using custom pipelines that are associated, for example with HTTP, SOAP or WCF Adapter, then you need to attach to the properly isolated host process, in this case, “w3wp.exe” process.


The application pool process (w3wp.exe) is typically not started until the first request is received.

You can use a browser to access the receive location URL, this should return a WSDL and should cause the “w3wp.exe” process to initiate.

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Special thanks

One of the pleasures of trying to help other people’s is that sometimes you learn some things, and this is one of these cases, thanks Ritesh.

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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