Step 6: Configure a One-Way Bridge

 

Important

Microsoft Azure BizTalk Services (MABS) is being retired, and replaced with Azure Logic Apps. If you currently use MABS, then Move from BizTalk Services to Logic Appsprovides some guidance on moving your integration solutions to Logic Apps.

If you're brand new to Logic Apps, then we suggest getting started here:

This step demonstrates how to configure a one-way bridge that processes incoming flat-file messages, looks up information from a Microsoft Azure SQL Database, includes that information in the original message, and then routes the message to the LOB Relay endpoint. To configure the bridge to perform these tasks, you must perform the following steps:

  • Add the schema of the incoming flat file message to the bridge configuration to ensure that the bridge processes all incoming message that validate against that schema. You create that schema earlier, as described in the topic Step 3: Generate the Schema for the Flat File Message.

  • Define properties that can be used to track the message as it gets processed by the bridge.

  • Look up an external Microsoft Azure SQL Database table to enrich the incoming message and add more information about the insurance claims before the data is finally written to the on-premises SQL Server database.

Specify the Schema for the Incoming Flat File Message

This section demonstrates how to add a bridge to the BizTalk Service project and configure it to validate flat file messages of a specific schema.

To specify the schema

  1. In the FlatFile_Bridge project, double-click the MessageFlowItinerary.bcs file to open the bridge configuration surface.

  2. From the Toolbox, drag-and-drop the XML One-Way Bridge component to the bridge design surface. This adds a .BridgeConfig file to the solution.

  3. Right-click the XML One-Way Bridge, select Properties, set the bridge entity name to ClaimsBridge and the relative address of the bridge to ClaimsProcessing. With this configuration, the endpoint where the bridge gets deployed is https://mybiztalkservicename.biztalk.windows.net/default/ClaimsProcessing.

  4. Double-click the XML One-Way Bridge component to open the Bridge Configuration design surface. You can now specify the type of message that the bridge can process. To specify the message type, on the XML One-Way Bridge design surface, within the Message Types box, click the add icon [ Add icon ] to open the Message Type Picker dialog box.

  5. In the Message Type Picker dialog box, from the Available message types box, select the schema for the request message and then click the RIGHT ARROW icon [ Arrow Icon ], and then click OK. For this tutorial, select the SourceClaim schema (http://FlatFile_Bridge.InsuranceClaim). The selected schema is listed under the Request Message Type box.

    Tip

    Even though it’s out of the context of this scenario, here’s some information that can be useful. You can configure the same bridge to process flat-file as well as XML messages. This is especially helpful because you don’t need to configure two separate bridges, when your message-processing logic is essentially the same and the only thing that varies is the format of the incoming message. Just like you specified a flat-file message schema in the Message Type dialog box to process flat-file messages using the bridge, you can specify an XML message schema as the message type. For that, you must have already added that XML message schema to the project. Once you have done that, you can send either a flat-file message or an XML message and the bridge processes it through the stages you define in the bridge.

  6. Save the bridge configuration.

Configure Tracking

By default, the bridge always tracks certain stages such as when a bridge activity faulted, when a bridge stage faulted, and so on. However, you can also ‘promote’ certain elements in the incoming message (or the message after it has been transformed) as properties within the bridge, and then track the value of those properties as the message gets processed by the bridge. This section demonstrates how to promote a few properties and then configure tracking for those properties. For more information on tracking, see Operational Tracking of Messages Processed by the Bridge.

This tutorial provides instructions to promote two elements, ClaimType (in the incoming flat-file message) and ClaimTypeDescription (in the message schema for the Insert operation on the Claims table). The tutorial also includes instructions on how to track the values of these properties when the bridge processes the message.

Tip

To promote the ClaimType and ClaimTypeDescription properties, we will use the XPath method within the bridge’s Enrich stage. For that you must have the XPath query string for both ClaimType and ClaimTypeDescription elements. You can get the XPath query from the schema editor. Select the schema element in the schema editor, and in the Properties window look for the value of the Instance XPath property. The value of the property is XPath query for the node.

To define properties and configure tracking

  1. Within the pre-transform Enrich stage, select the Enrich activity, and then from the Properties pane click the ellipsis button (…) against the Properties property to open the Property Definitions dialog box.

  2. In the Property Definitions dialog box, click Add to open the Add Property dialog box. In the Add Property dialog box, do the following:

    Section

    Field Name

    Description

    Source (Read From)

    Type

    Select XPath from the drop-down list.

    Source (Read From)

    Identifier

    Specify the XPath query to extract the value of the ClaimType from the request schema.

    Tip

    To get the Xpath query, select the ClaimType element in the schema editor, and in the Properties window look for the value of the Instance XPath property.

Source (Read From)

Message Type

Select the schema for the SourceClaim message.

Property (Write To)

Property Name

Specifies the name of the property that you are defining. For this tutorial, specify ClaimType.

Property (Write To)

Data Type

Specifies the data type for the property. Specify string.

The dialog box resembles the following: ![Promote Xpath property](images/JJ136824.c230745d-78d2-4a72-a121-d5bb1c5e0965(Azure.100).jpeg "Promote Xpath property")
  1. Click OK in the Add Property dialog box and then click OK in the Property Definition dialog box.

  2. Now, within the post-transform Enrich stage, select the Enrich activity, and then from the Properties pane click the ellipsis button (…) against the Properties property to open the Property Definition dialog box.

  3. In the Property Definitions dialog box, click Add to open the Add Property dialog box. In the Add Property dialog box, do the following:

    Section

    Field Name

    Description

    Source (Read From)

    Type

    Select XPath from the drop-down list.

    Source (Read From)

    Identifier

    Specify the XPath query to extract the value of the ClaimTypeDescription from the request schema.

    Source (Read From)

    Message Type

    Select the schema for the Insert operation.

    Property (Write To)

    Property Name

    Specifies the name of the property that you are defining. For this tutorial, specify ClaimTypeDescription.

    Property (Write To)

    Data Type

    Specifies the data type for the property. Specify string.

    The dialog box resembles the following:

    Promote XPath property

    Click OK in Add Property dialog box and then the Property Definitions dialog box.

    Note

    Save changes to the bridge configuration. If you do not save the changes, the properties you promoted will not be available for tracking.

    Important

    If you are wondering why the ClaimTypeDescription property is promoted in the post-transform Enrich stage and not the pre-transform stage, here’s the reason behind it. The ClaimTypeDescription element is in the Insert message schema. At run time, the bridge transforms the flat-file message into the Insert message for SQL Server Claims table by using a transform that we’ll create later in this tutorial. Only after the message is transformed, the ClaimTypeDescription element will have any value assigned to it. So, there’s no use of tracking the property before it gets transformed and hence you promote this property in the post-transform Enrich stage.

  4. Now that the two properties for tracking have been defined, let us configure tracking for the two properties. Right-click the bridge component, and then select Properties. From the Properties window, click the ellipsis (…) against Track Properties.

  5. In the Track Properties dialog box, do the following:

    1. Select the Track message processing events check box to track detailed information such as when a stage starts, completes, or faults; when an activity within a stage starts, completes, or faults; whether an artifact gets retrieved, and so on.

    2. Select the ClaimType and ClaimTypeDescription properties to track. These properties are listed in the box because these were promoted in the Enrich stages.

      Configure operational tracking

      Click OK.

      For detailed information on what properties get tracked and how the messages get tracked, see Tracking Messages Processed by the Bridge.

  6. Save the project.

Configure Data Lookup

As described in the business scenario at Tutorial: Using BizTalk Service Bridges to Lookup Data from Azure SQL Database, Humongous Insurance ‘enriches’ the incoming message by looking up an external Microsoft Azure SQL Database table to retrieve claim type description that maps to the value in the ClaimType element in the incoming flat file message received from Northwind Insurance. This section demonstrates how to configure this ‘look up’ task as part of the bridge configuration.

Before configuring data lookup, let us understand a little bit about the Azure SQL Database and the table from which the data is looked up. Assume that Humongous Insurance has a Azure SQL Database subscription and have already created a database called datalookupdb. Also assume that within the database they have a table called ClaimTypeLookup. This table contains the mapping between ClaimType and ClaimTypeDescription. Here’s the script that can be run against the Azure SQL Database instance to create the ClaimTypeLookup table and populate it with the values.

USE datalookupdb 
GO 
CREATE TABLE ClaimTypeLookup 
( 
id int identity(1,1) primary key, 
ClaimType varchar(10), 
ClaimTypeDescription varchar(50) 
) 
GO 
INSERT INTO ClaimTypeLookup VALUES ('HI','Health Insurance') 
GO

This script (AzureSQLDatabase_ClaimTypeLookup.sql) is also available with the FlatFile_Bridge solution available for download from http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=249449.

Note that the table is pre-populated with a record that maps a claim type, HI, to its description, Health Insurance. Essentially, this is how the table is used for lookup – the incoming flat-file message has the claim type information, for example, HI. However, the data that must be inserted into an on-premises SQL Server database must include the claim type description instead. So, at runtime, when the bridge is processing the message, it looks up ClaimTypeLookup table on Microsoft Azure SQL Database, sees that HI has the claim type description as Health Insurance, and uses the value Health Insurance in the message in addition to HI.

To configure data lookup from a SQL Database table

  1. Within the pre-transform Enrich stage, select the Enrich activity, and then from the Properties pane click the ellipsis button (…) against the Properties property to open the Property Definition dialog box.

  2. In the Property Definitions dialog box, click Add to open the Add Property dialog box. In the Add Property dialog box, do the following:

    Section

    Field Name

    Description

    Source (Read From)

    Type

    For a lookup operation, select Lookup from the drop-down list.

    Source (Read From)

    Identifier

    1. From the Identifier drop-down list, select Configure New.

    2. In the Provider Configuration dialog box, specify the following values:

      Field Name

      Description

      Provider Name

      Specify a name for the provider. For this tutorial, specify SqlDbLookupProvider.

      Connection String

      Specify a valid connection string to connect to a Azure SQL Database table you created earlier.

      Table Name

      Specify the Azure SQL Database table name from which you want to do a data lookup. For this tutorial, specify ClaimTypeLookup.

      Query In Column

      Specify a column name in the Azure SQL Database table, the value of which is used as the input query for performing the data lookup.

      In this tutorial, you want to look up the claim description for a given claim type. So, specify this value as ClaimType.

      Query Out Column

      Specify a column name in the Azure SQL Database table, the value of which is the output value that eventually gets assigned to the looked up property.

      In this tutorial, you want to retrieve the claim description for a given claim type. So, specify this value as ClaimTypeDescription.

    3. Click OK to add the provider configuration.

    Source (Read From)

    Lookup Property

    From the drop-down list, select a property that you must have already defined. The value of this property is passed on to the Query In Column specified in the provider configuration defined earlier.

    For this tutorial scenario, the value for the ClaimType element in the incoming flat file message must be used to look up data in the Azure SQL Database. So, in the drop-down select ClaimType.

    Property (Write To)

    Property Name

    Specify a name for the property that contains the looked up value. The value of this property is derived from the value of the Query Out Column in the provider configuration defined earlier.

    For this tutorial scenario, the value of ClaimTypeDescription property must be populated using the lookup. So, set this value to ClaimTypeDescription.

    Property (Write To)

    Data Type

    Set the data type to string.

    Click OK in the Add Property dialog box and then in the Property Definitions dialog box. The dialog boxes resemble the following:

    Configure SQL Database lookup

    Save the bridge configuration.

    This is how the definitions in the dialog box would work while the bridge processes the message:

    • The bridge looks up the value of ClaimType element in incoming flat file message and matches it with a ClaimType value in the Azure SQL Database table, ClaimTypeLookup.

    • If a match is found, the bridge picks up the corresponding value from the ClaimTypeDescription column in the ClaimTypeLookup table.

    • The picked up value is then assigned to the property (ClaimTypeDescription) that is created under the Write To section of the dialog box. And finally, the data type of the ClaimTypeDescription property is set to string.

  3. Save changes to the project.

This procedure demonstrated how to configure a data lookup from a Azure SQL Database table by using which the value from the Azure SQL Database table becomes assigned to a ClaimTypeDescription variable. But, how do we assign this value from the ClaimTypeDescription property to the relevant element (ClaimTypeDescription) in the Insert message schema for writing the data into the on-premises Azure SQL Database? To do so, we use the GetContextProperty Map Operation within a transform to pass the value from the context property to an element in the message. After the transform is created, you must include it as part of the bridge configuration. How to perform these tasks is described at Step 7: Transform the Flat File Schema to the Insert Schema describes how to create the transform, how to use the GetContextProperty Map Operation, and how to include the transform as part of bridge configuration.

See Also

Tutorial: Using BizTalk Service Bridges to Lookup Data from Azure SQL Database