BizTalk Services – Xml Schema Editor

Here’s another short blurt on BizTalk Services – this time the Xml Schema Editor.

The team had clearly, and thankfully, ‘borrowed’ the Schema Editor that we all know and love from BizTalk Server.

The editor allows creating and modifying Xml Schemas without needing to worry about the exact syntax of the underlying XSD making the process much less painful and more productive. After all – selecting from menus and setting properties is something we’re all used to and typing lots of delicate xml isn’t

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In addition to the editor itself, right clicking on an XSD file in the solution explorer reveals three options that exist on BizTalk as well-

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Validate Schema – checks that the schema itself is valid
Validate Instance – checks whether a given xml file is valid according to the schema and
Generate Instance – generates an xml file based on the schema

In all my years of BizTalking I hardly ever used the first option. Not so much because I am an XSD guru (I was! :-)) but because the editor does a very good job saving myself from myself.

The other two options are very useful indeed though, whether during the development process itself or during debugging and troubleshooting.

Sadly – at this point in the preview they may give the misleading impression that they do not work (Richard – did you manage to fall into that trap as I did initially?) – BizTalk used to pop out the output windows whenever executing either operation, where information about the files used (with links!) and the outcome was registered. BizTalk services does write to the output window, but without popping it open the unsuspecting user  (that’s me!) is oblivious to the fact and thinks it did nothing!

It’s amazing what difference a small UI behaviour can make..

 

Note: as is the case with BizTalk the input file for validation and the location of the output file for instance generations are set as properties of the XSD file in the solution explorer:

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Below are the screen shots showing BizTalk services does indeed report to the output window, I just wish it became visible at that point:

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Cross posted on the Solidsoft Blog

About Yossi Dahan
I work as a cloud solutions architect in the Azure team at Microsoft UK. I spend my days working with customers helping be successful in the cloud with Microsoft Azure.

One Response to BizTalk Services – Xml Schema Editor

  1. Apparently I did fall into the trap😉 Now I have to go try it again!

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