BizTalk Interview Questions

Looking forward to improving your BizTalk Server skill? This blog covers all the important BizTalk Server interview questions. These questions are curated by the topmost industry experts and help you to crack the interviews. Go through the below mentioned frequently asked questions and answers to grab the right opportunity and stay ahead in your career.

1. What is BizTalk?

Ans: Microsoft BizTalk Server is a business process management tool. It enables the communication between applications and systems involved in a business process with the help of adapters. It provides a mechanism to map input and outputs of various systems used for exchanging documents like invoices, purchase orders between enterprises. It basically transforms one file format to another.

2. What are the components of the BizTalk Server?

Ans: Here are the components of BizTalk Server architecture,

  • Receive Port - message listener
  • Adapters - exchange information between external systems
  • Pipeline, dis-assembler and sub-components - normalizing schema through XML
  • Message-box - XML messages are published internally and subscribers will consume them
  • Subscribers - subscribe to the messages or context properties in the Message-box 
  • Biz-talk Orchestration Engine - to process internal messages for republishing to  Message-box
  • Send Port - consumes the XML messages and converts them to wire messages
  • Adapter - wire messages are sent to the target system

3. What are the types of subscriptions in BizTalk?

Ans: A subscription is usually a set of conditions that ensure a subscriber gets the required message. There are two types of subscriptions,

  • Activation Subscription - a message when received should create or activate a new instance of the subscriber
  • Instance Subscription - a message should be routed to an already existing instance of the subscriber that is in running state

4. Explain about artifacts in BizTalk server

Ans: Artifacts are the components that are required for a BizTalk application to function. Here are some of the artifacts,

  • Receive Ports
  • Receive Locations
  • Send Ports and Send Port Groups
  • Role Links
  • Schemas
  • Maps
  • Pipelines
  • Adapters
  • Orchestrations
  • Policies

5. What is Direct Binding?

Ans: Direct Binding is used to bind one orchestration port directly to another. The messages from one Orchestration can also be routed to the MessageBox of another Orchestration.

6. Explain about the distinguished field in BizTalk server

Ans: Distinguished fields are properties of messages that can be added to a message. It is mainly used for decision making or data manipulation in Orchestration when the message is received on the port.

7. What is a promoted property?

Ans: Promoted properties are defined inside a schema to provide more visibility to a message. They are used for accessing key items of data in a message i.e distinguished fields and property fields rather than going through the entire message.

8. What is a Message Type?

Ans: Message Type is the most common property that is prompted in the BizTalk pipeline to ensure proper routing. Data of any format like documents, SQL records, flat files, email, etc can be sent between systems as messages. Each schema created by a developer for a structure of messages includes a message type.

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9. Define correlation in BizTalk Server

Ans: At any point in time, multiple instances might run simultaneously. So the correlation of messages with the Orchestration instances can be achieved by defining correlation sets. It will associate an incoming message to a specific instance in the Orchestration.

10. Tell the difference between static, dynamic and direct binding?

Ans: 

  • Static Binding - at the time of deployment, a static port will already be configured to send messages to a specific external port. The compilation would be slower as the static binding will be implemented at compile time
  • Dynamic Binding - used to select transport types and locations dynamically at runtime. Compilation time will be faster
  • Direct Binding - developers have full control on subscriptions and message context to route messages

11. Explain about Virtual Directory

Ans: If we have written a custom Web service for applying to BizTalk Server, then we have to create a virtual directory. A service will be published at isolated host(IIS) in the virtual directory by the publishing wizard.

12. What is BizTalk Orchestration?

Ans: Orchestration represents an executable business process based on XLANG/s language. It publishes and subscribes messages through MessageBox. Message send and receive actions, the ports through which the messages should be transported are all fundamental elements of orchestration.

13. How can we transfer files without using Orchestration?

Ans: We can use content-based routing for transferring files without Orchestration. Content-based routing routes messages based on envelope properties. While sending messages, we can create a filter that checks for ‘receive location’ in the envelope. If a match is found, it will be directly sent to the receive location, instead of sending it through Orchestration.

14. What is Dehydration?

Ans: The process in which the state of orchestration is serializing into a SQL Server database is called Dehydration. It determines how long an Orchestration instance has been idle. If the Orchestration instance idle time exceeds a threshold, it will dehydrate the instance.

15. What is the Rehydration Process?

Ans: If an orchestration instance is dehydrated, it can be rehydrated when the orchestration engine is triggered through a message (or) when a specified time-out expires. The orchestration engine loads the saved orchestration instance into memory and runs it.

16. Explain the execution modes in a pipeline Stage

Ans: We have an option to set a different execution model for each pipeline stage. We can set the execution mode to either 'All' or 'FirstMatch'.

  • All - all the components in the pipeline will run in sequence
  • first match - only the first component that recognizes the message is run

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17. What are the differences between Message Routing And Content Routing?

Ans: 

  • Message-based Routing - no processing will be applied to the message. It will be routed through Orchestration.
  • Content-based Routing - the routing will be based on envelope properties. The message will be directly sent to the destination without using Orchestration

18. Define rules engine in BizTalk

Ans: Rules Engine is used to define, classify and manage all business rules and applies them to business objects in a dynamic production environment. We can create a rule-based application by constructing rules from business logic which will apply to the data in the business objects.

19. What are the ways of deploying a BizTalk application?

Ans: There are many ways to deploy a BizTalk application,

  • Import them to an application through Deployment Wizard (.msi file)
  • Importing through BTSTask.exe
  • Deploying from Visual Studio
  • MSBuild
  • Deploying from BizTalk Server Administration Console
  • From command line using BTSTask

20. Explain the use of persistence points

Ans: Persistence points are used to save the orchestration state to the database. The orchestration engine saves the states of all the running instances at different points. When the orchestration engine has to rehydrate an instance, it uses the last persistence point of that instance and loads it into memory to run the orchestration instance.

21. Give the list of persistence points?

Ans: Below are the persistence points at which the orchestration engine stores state,

  • End of a transactional scope
  • At debugging breakpoints
  • At the execution of other orchestrations through the Start Orchestration shape
  • At the Send shape
  • When an orchestration instance is suspended
  • When the system shutdowns in a controlled manner
  • When the engine determines it wants to dehydrate
  • When an orchestration instance is finished

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22. What are the transaction types in the BizTalk server?

Ans: BizTalk Orchestration engine has the ability of exception handling and recovery from failed transactions. There are two types of transactions,

  • Atomic transactions - if a transaction is not successfully complete, it enables the transaction to roll back to the previous state automatically
  • Long-running transactions - provides custom scope-based exception handling and nesting transactions

23. What is an atomic transaction?

Ans: 
Atomic Transactions move a process from one consistent state to a new consistent and durable state that is secluded from other units. All the states will be reset if an atomic transaction fails. It uses custom exception handling methods to recover from error scenarios.

24. Define BAM in BizTalk

Ans: Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) is used for real-time monitoring and tracking data through multiple applications. It gives end-to-end visibility on all your business processes (or) business applications. It can also send event-driven alerts.

25. What are the types of schemas?

Ans: BizTalk supports four types of schemas,

  • XML schema - uses XML Schema definition (XSD) for defining the structure of an XML instance message
  • Flat file schema - defines the structure of instance messages that use a flat-file format
  • Envelope schema - defines the structure of XML envelopes which is used to merge one or more XML documents into an XML instance message
  • Property schema - used for property promotion

26. What is the difference between Document Schema and Property Schema?

Ans: 

  • A document schema is used to define a message. It is like a definition of XML message with optional extensions for flat files, EDI files, etc.
  • A property schema is used for property promotion. It elevates the promotion properties that are deep within an instance message

27. What is the difference between typed and untyped messages?

Ans: 

  • A message that is bound to a schema is called a typed message
  • A message that is bound to System.Xml.XmlDocument instead of a schema is called an untyped message

28. What is a link in a Map?

Ans: Links are the function of copying data from an input instance message to an output instance message. We have to create links between source and destination schemas during design time. BizTalk Mapper provides support for both one-to-one and one-to-many links.

29. What is the flow of message (or) a life cycle of a message in the BizTalk server?

Ans: 

  • A message is received to a receive port through the receive location
  • It is processed and sent to the MessageBox
  • The MessageBox checks for active subscriptions and routes the message to orchestrations and send ports
  • Orchestration will process the message and sends it to a send port through MessageBox where the message will be further routed to its destination

30. Does BizTalk support synchronous communication?

Ans: BizTalk provides synchronous-on-asynchronous (sync-on-async) communication. The BizTalk Server architecture is asynchronous but the BizTalk Messaging Engine architecture enables exposing synchronous message exchange on top of these asynchronous exchanges.

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Tabres
Servicenow All Softwares & Other IT technologies Specialist
My name is tabres Am from hkr trainings I have good knowledge about the cloud computing services. I have been working on this field more than 10 years. Being here it is good opportunity because possibilities for enterprise engagement and as well as chance to attract with very good PhD students. Cloud computing has become one of the most used structures to installation High Availability (HA) solutions for its flexibility, and elasticity. Connect with me LinkedIn and twitter. Thank you

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