BizTalk Server: Basics principles of Maps – Organizing Maps (Part 5)

Posted: April 3, 2012  |  Categories: BizTalk Maps

If you are dealing with large maps, they can become very complex and therefore very difficult to maintain and read.

BizTalk Mapper Design complex map

To minimize this problem, the BizTalk Server provides two main features to aid in the readability and maintainability of maps:

  • Grid Pages
  • Link Labels

Grid Pages

You can segment groups of links into different grid pages. BizTalk allows to create, remove, delete and order grid pages. You can see this like different pages or segments of links of the map. By default, the map file is created with one grid page named “Page 1”. This feature has been described earlier.

BizTalk Mapper Design Grid Pages

Link Labels

In previous versions of the product, by default, The XPATH query is presented if a link from the source schema is established to a functoid:

/*[local-name()='PersonOrigin' and namespace-uri()='http://HowMapsWorks.PersonOrigin']/*[local-name()='FirstName' and namespace-uri()='']

Or it will show the name of the previous functoid if it’s linked from another functoid, which may cause the reading of maps more difficult.

In BizTalk Server 2010 this behavior was slightly improved. Currently, the default value is the name of the element of the source schema from where the link comes:

BizTalk Mapper Design Functoid name element source schema

Or the name of the previous functoid:

BizTalk Mapper Design Functoid name previous functoid

However, the map editor allows us to label the links, replacing the XPATH query (in previous versions) or the name the elements of the source schema, with a friendly description, for this we need to:

  • Select the link to be labeled, right-click, and select properties;
  • Fill the label property
BizTalk Mapper Design link labeled

Usually, this feature is forgotten by developers.

Although it may seem a trivial feature and without significant impact, in my opinion, this is an important supporting map feature in the long term. While the ideas are fresh in our head we know what we are doing, but if it is necessary to intervene after some time and review the mappings, this feature will make our task easier.

Related links

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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