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Posted 26 Jun 2008


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Call a custom .NET component from BizTalk 2006

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26 Jun 2008CPOL
This article describes how to consume a .NET component from an Expression Shape of BizTalk 2006.


Lately, I have had to add some external logic to one of my BizTalk applications. I searched all over the web and didn't find a step by step guide to consume a custom .NET component from BizTalk 2006. So, I'm going to enumerate the steps to make a custom .NET component to be implemented from an Expression Shape of BizTalk 2006.

Making the component

  1. Open a new Visual Studio 2005 project. It must be a Class Library.
  2. Input a project name and rename the class name as desired.
  3. Now, it's necessary to add some BizTalk 2006 references in order for both applications to communicate. So, right click in References-->Add Reference, and search in the default installation folder of BizTalk (by default, C:\Program Files\Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006). Add the “Microsoft.XLANGs.BaseTypes.dll” assembly.
  4. basetypes.JPG

  5. Add the following lines on the top of the code of the class:
  6. using Microsoft.XLANGs.BaseTypes;
    using System.Xml;
  7. Define the class as [Serializable].
  8. Add two methods, one to receive a string, and the other to receive the whole XML message. Both of the methods are going to write the received values to a text file. These methods aren't useful in real world, but are good examples.
  9. using System;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Text;
    using Microsoft.XLANGs.BaseTypes;
    using System.Xml;
    using System.IO;
    namespace BizLog
        public class Trace
            public void WriteValue(string value)
                File.AppendAllText("C:\\Log.txt", value);
                System.Diagnostics.EventLog.WriteEntry("BizLog", value);
            public void WriteMessage(XLANGMessage msg)
                XmlDocument doc = (XmlDocument)msg[0].RetrieveAs(typeof(XmlDocument));
                string mystring = doc.InnerXml;
                File.WriteAllText("C:\\content.txt", mystring);
  10. Sign the assembly. First of all, it's necessary to make a file with keys: In the VS2005 Command Prompt, input “Sn –k keyfile.snk”. A new file with keys will be generated. Now, it's necessary to inculcate the project with the new key file. Go to project's Properties-->Signing-->Sign the assembly-->Browse-->keyfile.snk.
  11. In the Solutions Configuration, select “Release” and build the assembly.
  12. Add the component to the GAC (Global Assembly Cache) Start-->Settings-->Control Panel-->Administrative Tools-->Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Configuration-->Manage the Assembly Cache-->Add an assembly to the GAC-->Select the assembly.

Calling the component from a BizTalk 2006 orchestration

Let's assume that you have defined a schema project, a message, send port, receive port and all the necessary stuff.


  1. From the orchestration project, it's necessary to add a reference to the assembly that contains the serializable class we have defined previously.
  2. It's time to create an instance of the new class. Go to “Orchestration View”. Click on Variables. Input the name of the instance and select the type and class, and select the referenced assembly.
  3. type.JPG

  4. Add an Expression Shape to your orchestration and edit the code inside (double click over it). Tip: You can use Ctrl+j or Ctrl+Space to display all the elements you can use as messages, variables, and components.
  5. Add the following code to your Expression Shape:


  6. Now, compile the assembly and deploy it. Don't forget to stop the BizTalk application before deploying the assembly, and it's recommended to stop and start the BizTalk Service from Control Panel-->Administrative Tools-->Services.

  7. Start the BizTalk application and send a message to your Receive location. Soon, you will see that two new files have appeared in your hard disk.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Santiago Sanchez
Software Developer
Spain Spain
I´ve been working with Oracle, Sql Server and Visual Basic 6 since 2003 and with C# since 2006. Now I´m fighting with Biztalk 2006 too...

MCTS - .NET Framework 4, Windows Applications
MCTS - Accessing Data with .NET Framework 4

Comments and Discussions

QuestionError Pin
prasad2007code15-Mar-12 18:05
Memberprasad2007code15-Mar-12 18:05 
AnswerRe: Error Pin
Santiago Sanchez15-Mar-12 22:21
MemberSantiago Sanchez15-Mar-12 22:21 
GeneralObject Reference 'Persona' in Expression Pin
MarvPerk31-Mar-11 12:05
MemberMarvPerk31-Mar-11 12:05 
GeneralRe: Object Reference 'Persona' in Expression Pin
Santiago Sanchez3-Mar-11 0:10
MemberSantiago Sanchez3-Mar-11 0:10 
GeneralRe: Object Reference 'Persona' in Expression Pin
MarvPerk33-Mar-11 17:39
MemberMarvPerk33-Mar-11 17:39 
GeneralRe: Object Reference 'Persona' in Expression Pin
Santiago Sanchez4-Mar-11 5:48
MemberSantiago Sanchez4-Mar-11 5:48 
GeneralRe: Object Reference 'Persona' in Expression Pin
MarvPerk34-Mar-11 8:24
MemberMarvPerk34-Mar-11 8:24 
GeneralRe: Object Reference 'Persona' in Expression Pin
Santiago Sanchez4-Mar-11 8:37
MemberSantiago Sanchez4-Mar-11 8:37 
GeneralRe: Object Reference 'Persona' in Expression Pin
MarvPerk34-Mar-11 9:11
MemberMarvPerk34-Mar-11 9:11 
Thanks, Santiago. No rush on this at all, I am just doing some experimenting to make sure I can make different things work. I haven't got any critical coding I am trying to get in.

Further, it is working fine! I just wanted to make sure I was doing things correctly, but as you well stated, there are so many variables it is hard to predict what is going on.

When I click ctrl+space in the expression, my window shows "InboundMessage" in the form of an envelope, and it also shows references to my .dll Class, the ports for my orchestration, the Biztalk project itself, as well as references to "Microsoft" and "System".

I do get intellisense when I type in "InboundMessage(", so it was easy to find the "MyOnlyChild" node reference.

...anyway, thanks again for revisiting your 2+ year old post, you've done more than enough!

GeneralCannot get file output to C Drive Pin
Horng Woei Por30-Mar-09 21:26
MemberHorng Woei Por30-Mar-09 21:26 
GeneralRe: Cannot get file output to C Drive Pin
Santiago Sanchez31-Mar-09 0:32
MemberSantiago Sanchez31-Mar-09 0:32 
GeneralRe: Cannot get file output to C Drive Pin
MarvPerk31-Mar-11 12:09
MemberMarvPerk31-Mar-11 12:09 
GeneralException Handling Pin
Aunalisiraj9-Jul-08 19:04
MemberAunalisiraj9-Jul-08 19:04 
GeneralRe: Exception Handling Pin
Santiago Sanchez10-Jul-08 6:41
MemberSantiago Sanchez10-Jul-08 6:41 
GeneralSpecial point about properties with only get accessors Pin
Hector Contreras2-Jul-08 12:35
MemberHector Contreras2-Jul-08 12:35 
GeneralPlease Confirm Necessity of Adding Reference to Microsoft.XLANGs.BaseTypes Pin
Hector Contreras30-Jun-08 4:03
MemberHector Contreras30-Jun-08 4:03 
GeneralRe: Please Confirm Necessity of Adding Reference to Microsoft.XLANGs.BaseTypes Pin
Santiago Sanchez30-Jun-08 4:11
MemberSantiago Sanchez30-Jun-08 4:11 
GeneralRe: Please Confirm Necessity of Adding Reference to Microsoft.XLANGs.BaseTypes Pin
brett.net30-Jun-08 19:58
Memberbrett.net30-Jun-08 19:58 
GeneralRe: Please Confirm Necessity of Adding Reference to Microsoft.XLANGs.BaseTypes Pin
Santiago Sanchez1-Jul-08 10:34
MemberSantiago Sanchez1-Jul-08 10:34 

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