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

Posted: April 5, 2014 in BizTalk
Tags: , , , , ,

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 projects 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.

Note: Even if you don’t have the “Solution Explorer” Window opened, this feature will find the file that you are locking 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 option 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 this changes will have impact in my maps or in my orchestration? So I really need to know, before modifying my resource, which artifacts are using it.

You can access this 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 challenger 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 being consumed by the artifact will be selected:

BTSG-NoS-Addin-Internal-dependencies-result

These are simple things/operations but they are 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 van 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, an pipeline (or other artifact 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 in 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 being 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 this features (there are 6 Heuristic Dependencies!) in another post.

Refactory

Similar with 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

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