BizTalk Server 2009, BizTalk Server 2010, Deployment, Development

Visual Studio (BizTalk Server) 2010 development / BizTalk Server 2009 deployment mix

Can you use the updated development environment for BizTalk Server 2010 with Visual Studio 2010 while still deploying to BizTalk Server 2009?

Can you do it? On a file level, yes. On a project level, yes. On a solution level, doesn’t seem like it. On an assembly level, no.

I tried two scenarios.

  1. A simple messaging only scenario with a transformation on the receive port.
  2. An orchestration scenario picking up the file from the receive location, doing the mapping and delivering it to the send port.

I developed the solution on a BizTalk Server 2010 / Visual Studio 2010 combo and deployed it to BizTalk Server 2009.

So what worked and what didn’t?

Compile and deploy the .NET 4 assembly to BizTalk Server 2009

FAIL!

Why?

Even though I did Add a resource manually selecting the file to be a BizTalkAssembly BizTalk Server 2009 kept on reverting it back to File. Obviously it doesn’t recognize it, or recognizes that it’s an incorrect version of the framework.

image

Re-target the solution to .NET 3.5 or .NET 2.0

FAIL!

Why?

The following is taken from http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff629735(BTS.70).aspx

BizTalk Server 2010 supports building new applications only on .NET Framework version 4 . You can build both BizTalk applications as well as custom applications (such as custom functoids, custom pipeline components) using .NET Framework 4 . However, BizTalk Server 2010 continues to support the BizTalk Server 2006 R2 and BizTalk Server 2009 applications (BizTalk applications and custom applications) built on .NET Framework 3.5 SP2.

If you launch an existing BizTalk project in BizTalk Server 2010 , it automatically gets migrated, changing the .NET Framework version to 4.0. You cannot modify the .NET version number later in the Properties dialog box of the BizTalk project.

In essence it says that you cannot use the re-targeting functionality within Visual Studio 2010 for BizTalk Server 2010 projects. If you try, because the drop down is still there, you get the following dialog:
image

Using Files created by Visual Studio 2010, like .xsd, .btm or .odx

SUCCESS!

You can copy paste files from one project into another, without any issues I detected.

Open the project file created with Visual Studio 2010 and re-compile using Visual Studio 2008

SUCCESS! But with some issues…

You can open a BizTalk project created in Visual Studio 2010 in Visual Studio 2008 and just re-compile it. Without any issues I detected. However, it does not seem like Visual Studio 2008 wants to open the solution file, which may be an issue in some situations, like for example if you wan’t to create automated builds. The structure of the solution file begins like this:

Microsoft Visual Studio Solution File, Format Version 11.00
# Visual Studio 2010
Project("{FAE04EC0-301F-11D3-BF4B-00C04F79EFBC}") = "BizTalk Server Project1", 
"BizTalk Server Project1BizTalk Server Project1.btproj", "{DE7C19FB-A5BA-46A0-9382-ACFB3EB91409}"

This may very well be what causes Visual Studio to dismiss it.

Hope this helps someone thinking along these lines 🙂

Disclaimer: This is tested with BizTalk Server 2010 Beta. All artifacts used while performing these tests are trivial. It might very well be that in some more complex scenario this might not work.