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

Posted: April 3, 2012 in BizTalk
Tags: , , , ,

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


To minimize this problem, 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 in to 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, map file is created with one grid page named “Page 1”. This feature has been described earlier.


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:


Or the name of the previous functoid:


However, the map editor allows us to label the links, replacing the XPATH query (in previous versions) or the name the element 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


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.

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