What is BTSG NoS Addin purpose and what features are available? (Part 4)

In my last posts, I’m being describing some of the features of BTSG NoS Addin. In this post we will continue to have an overview of all features available with this Visual Studio Addin and how can you use them.

Locate it

How many times you open your old or new project will several files opened in the Visual Studio MDI window and you want a simple way to locate where this file is in your project’s structure? For example, you are working in a transformation but know you need to locate the map file to specify a “TestMap Input Instance”… if don’t know exactly where it is, you need to check the full path of the map and then manually navigate in the solution explorer to the file that you want.

BTSG NoS Addin Where is my file

Finally, now you will have an easy way to accomplish this! Which will save us much time in the developing process, for me this one of the basic stuff that is a timesaver feature.

Note: Even if you don’t have the “Solution Explorer” Window opened, this feature will find the file that you are looking for and will automatically open (or give the proper focus) the “Solution Explorer” window!

You can access these features by:

  • On the Visual Studio MDI window, right-click in tab with the name of the file and select “Locate it!” option
BTSG NoS Addin Locate it

The result is, as you can see the picture below, the project will be expanded and the desired file will be selected:

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Locate-it-result

Again this is very useful for a BizTalk Developer because he needs to locate the file to test or generate schema instances or test, validate or debug maps.

Dependencies

This Addin will provide several options to deal with dependencies between BizTalk artifacts. Choosing what to use will depend on the situation and what you want to archive.

External Dependencies

Sometimes we want to know who use this artifact. This is really useful in order to get a clear sense of where the changes that we need to do can have impacts. For example, if I need to change a schema, will these changes will have an impact on my maps or in my orchestration? So I really need to know, before modifying my resource, which artifacts are using it.

You can access these features by:

  • Right-click in your resource (file) name and select the “External Dependencies” option
BTSG NoS Addin External dependencies

The result is, as you can see the picture below, the project will be expanded and all the resources that are consuming the artifact will be selected:

BTSG NoS Addin External dependencies result

Note: You will also have available the option to automatically open all the files (this is a behavior/functionality that you will find in many features).

BTSG NoS Addin open artifact to option

Internal Dependencies

Well if you like the previous one, this will be the opposite and also useful in several situations. In this case, we want to know what this artifact is using (or which artifacts are consuming). For example, I need to modify the schema, or the Schemas, used by a map… and you need to remember in huge solution this simple task to find schemas in your solution can be a challenge and a boring repeated task by BizTalk developers!

Don´t get me wrong, we have all the information on the map file by simply place the cursor over the schema:

BTSG NoS Addin Where is my file schema

But again, out-of-the-box I don’t have any easy way to locate and open the schemas, I need to manually navigate in the solution explorer to the file that we want.

You can accomplish this by access this feature by:

  • Right-click in your resource (file) name and select the “Internal Dependencies” option
BTSG NoS Addin Internal dependencies

The result is, as you can see the picture below, the project will be expanded and all the resources that were consumed by the artifact will be selected:

BTSG NoS Addin Internal dependencies result

These are simple things/operations but they are a timesaver for a BizTalk Developer. For example, about orchestration, I can ask internal dependencies and select the option “Open it”, because I want with one click to have available and ready to work all the artifact (schemas, maps and so on) to make all the necessary changes.

Critical dependencies

This feature can be found in the project context and will find all critical dependencies to solve the classical problem that you may have when deploying a project or solution, for example, a pipeline (or other artifacts like map and so on) that exist in this project is being used by an external application, normally Visual Studio will generate an error about a foreign key database strict without to specify who the application is or what port that is using it.

BTSG NoS Addin Visual Studio error critical dependencies

You can accomplish this by access this feature by:

  • Right-click on the name of your project and select the “Critical Dependencies” option
BTSG NoS Addin Critical Dependencies

The result is, as you can see the picture below, the project will be expanded and all the resources that were consumed by the artifact will be selected:

BTSG NoS Addin Critical Dependencies result

In this manner, you can fix it and decide you deploy strategies

Heuristic Dependencies

We will talk about these features (there are 6 Heuristic Dependencies!) in another post.

Refactory

Similar to Reflector feature, the Refactory will create a more simple report with a circular reference (internal and external) with other artifacts that can be very useful to understand the refactory strategy to use.

You can accomplish this by access this feature by:

  • Right-click on your artifact (Orchestration, map, schema…) and select the “Refactory” option
BTSG NoS Addin Refactory

This feature will provide some statistics and information’s about

  • Who is using this artifact
  • And what artifacts this resource is consuming.
  • And some general information like complexity, persistent point and error handling (in orchestrations) and so on.
BTSG NoS Addin Refactory result
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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