If you’re like a lot of us, you purchased BizTalk Server 2006 Standard Edition which has a “hard limit” of five BizTalk applications. In BizTalk 2006, an application is “a logical grouping of all the BizTalk design-time artifacts (schemas, maps, pipelines, orchestrations), messaging components (receive ports, receive locations, send ports) and other related items such as policies that comprise an integrated business process”. In my previous post entitled BizTalk Server 2006 – Pricing and Licensing, I wrote about how this apparent “limitation” was really no limitation at all and that the licensing actually allows you to utilize your server configuration to it’s fullest extent, limited only by your choice of hardware and available bandwidth.
The only issue created by this new feature is deciding the best way to group and deploy your existing BizTalk solutions and projects into these five new applications. I certainly don’t want to lump everything under the default “BizTalk Application 1″ but I also don’t want to bump up against the five application limit either. After trying out several different scenarios on my development server, I’ve finally settled on one that I believe offers the best granularity and maintainability in the long run.
As you can see in the image above, I’ve broken down my BizTalk (VS) “Solution” into several (VS) “Projects” to make it easier to work on one project at a time. Each project contains all the specific artifacts needed including schemas, maps, pipelines and orchestrations. This (VS) “Solution” also corresponds to the BizTalk “Application” that I plan to deploy all these artifacts into. I’ve also created a “Shared” project which contains the schemas, maps, pipelines and orchestrations that are common to all the other “specific” projects.
I also chose a new “naming convention” to help me keep track of the various assemblies and artifacts I’ve deployed.
GCS – Company
BizTalk – Application Type
Invoices – Application Subject
Shared – For shared artifacts
Specific – For specific artifacts
Artifact – Artifact Name
I’m looking for comments and suggestions here so don’t be shy!