Many a time, as a developer and as a lead, we are all faced with challenging tasks of solution deployment. Deployment is quite a task when it comes to understanding the various dependencies of the application/system being developed. This article explains one aspect of deployment, namely the creation of an MSI installer file which contains the BizTalk application to be deployed.
In the good old DOS operating system days, one would install an application by just copying a file or two on the hard disk. Now, that's not the case anymore, since the applications of today consist of several files. The MSI are programs written just to copy these files into various locations on the target user's computer. These MSI programs package the application and configure it. This enables smooth installation on the target user's machine.
In this article, we will be creating an MSI file for the application created in this article: HOW To Compensate a Transaction in a BizTalk Orchestration.
Using the BizTalk 2006 MSI Export Wizard
Step 1: Open the "BizTalk Server 2006 Administration Console". You would notice the various applications under the BizTalk Group for the local machine.
Step 2: Create a new application namely "CompensationDemo" by right-clicking on the "Applications" folder and selecting "New" -> "Application...". Observe the screenshot below. Check the check box "Make this the default application".
Step 3: Notice the new application "CompensationDemo" being created as shown in the screen below. Observe the boxes marked in "RED" color.
Step 4: Deploy the application from Visual Studio by selecting the "Deploy" option from the Project menu.
Step 5: Start the Orchestrations from the Administration console to confirm that the application has been deployed correctly and is working as expected.
Step 6: Before the creation of the MSI file, we would need to specify the dependencies of the BizTalk application. We would perform this by selecting "Add" -> "BizTalk Assemblies...".
Step 7: This application depends on the "DBLib.dll" database library. So, this needs to be added to the dependencies list. The check box "Overwrite all" needs to be checked in case you are doing a second deployment, or you might need to update the older "DBLib.dll" in the GAC. Note that all BizTalk assemblies are required to be present in the GAC. Observe the boxes marked in "RED" color.
Step 8: Start the MSI wizard by right-clicking the "CompensationDemo" application and selecting the "Export" -> "MSI file..." option.
Step 9: Check the dependencies in the Resources screen, and appropriately select the check boxes.
Step 10: Specify the destination application name and the location where the MSI file needs to be placed on your local machine.
Step 11: Read the summary information and check the log for any discrepancies or missing items.
Last step: Check whether the MSI file has been copied to the desired location, and test the MSI by installing it on a different box.
BizTalk Server 2006 makes the MSI installer file creation for deployment a breeze.