Using Filters With the Receive Message Shape

A filter expression is an optional parameter that can be applied to an orchestration receive shape that specifies a value of True for the Activate property. If a filter expression is specified then the orchestration will only be activated if an incoming message matches the condition(s) specified in the filter expression. If no filter expression is specified then any incoming message that the orchestration subscribes to will activate the orchestration.

To create a filter expression, you compare a property of an incoming message on the left side of the expression with a constant on the right side of the expression. You can also create compound expressions by applying the AND and OR operators to two or more expressions. You can also leave blank the filter expression, in which case all messages will be accepted.

A filter expression might look like the following:

InvoiceSchema.Quantity >= 1000  

In this example, an incoming message is presented to the orchestration. The orchestration has an activation Receive shape (the Activation property is set to True so that receipt of a certain message will cause the orchestration to be run) with the preceding filter expression applied to it. The incoming message is expected to have property called Quantity in the namespace InvoiceSchema. The orchestration accepts only invoices for 1000 or more items, so the runtime engine checks the incoming message before it runs.

The following table shows operators that you can use in filter expressions.

Operator Description Example
== equal to ReqMsg(Total) == 100
!= not equal to ReqMsg(Total) != 100
< less than ReqMsg(Total) < 100
> greater than ReqMsg(Total) > 100
<= less than or equal to ReqMsg(Total) <= 100
>= greater than or equal to ReqMsg(Total) >= 100
exists exists ReqMsg(Description) exists


String values in filter expressions are enclosed in quotation marks, for example: ReqMsg(Description) = "Purchase Order Status". You cannot use a character value in a filter expression.


If your activate receive is associated with a direct-bound port, and you subsequently send a message of the same type with the same value for the property tested in your filter, you will create an infinite loop. The message will go to the MessageBox, where it will be picked up again because it matches the filter criteria. To avoid this, you should either filter on a different property, send a message of a different type, or be sure to change the value of the property before sending out a message of the same type.

See Also

How to Configure the Receive Shape
Using Correlations in Orchestrations
Using Distinguished Fields and Property Fields
Using Messages in Orchestrations