Setting Promoted, Distinguished Fields on BizTalk Web Messages

Just finishing up a week-long 12-hour-a-day BizTalk workshop for my SoCal customers, and wanted to post a few bits I built for the class. This post focuses on using promoted properties and distinguished fields on web messages.

One apparent challenge when consuming an existing web service from within a BizTalk orchestration is the fact that you don't appear to have a schema added to your project. Oh, you get "web message types" and so forth, but that's not the same. What if you need to access a field in the input/output message in a message assignment shape, or, need to initialize a correlation set when you call a one-way service?

When you add a "web reference" to your project, you get something like this ...

However, if you open up the reference all the way, you can drill through the and you'll find references.xsd. This XSD schema holds all the types used in the WSDL.

So, if you want to distinguish a field, or promote a property, it's as easy as opening up this schema, and making that choice. Then you can easily access web message fields from within orchestration shapes, or, initialize new correlation sets on web service calls.

The obvious disclaimer applies: this is a auto-generated schema, and if I "update reference" I'd lose any promoted or distinguished distinction.

Technorati Tags: BizTalk, Web Services