Visual Studio Extensions for BizTalk Solutions - Commands

25 March 2017

Introduction

This article describes how to use the commands of the inSyca Suite Visual Studio Extensions.

The inSyca Suite contains Visual Studio Extensions to simplify recurring tasks during development of BizTalk solutions.

  • Add GAC reference (For any project and reference nodes)
    Search and add assemblies from GAC to recent project
  • Fix ODX Error (For BizTalk project nodes)
    Fix for error if BizTalk orchestrations open in text view
  • Set Public (For BizTalk orchestration items)
    Set all items in an orchestration to "Public" visibility
  • Open FilePath (For all items)
    Opens the filepath of a selected item in windows explorer

Prerequisites

Add GAC reference

First of all, a very special thanks to Dave Kerr, who gave me the permission to use his GAC Manager Utility and API. His code and the parts I integrated in this extension can be found at Code Project (https://www.codeproject.com/articles/430568/a-gac-manager-utility-and-api).

After installing the extension, you get an additional context menu for all project and reference nodes in your solution to find an assembly in the local Global Assembly Cache and add it to your project.
Note: If you are getting an error when adding a GAC assembly, try again with administrator privileges.

  1. Right click any project node in your solution (if you prefer the references node you can use it either) to open the context menu.
  2. Click on "Add GAC Reference".
    In the search textbox insert a part of an assembly name to narrow the amount of displayed GAC assemblies.
    Choose the assembly from the table and click "OK"
    Note: The extension loads the list of assemblies during startup of Visual Studio. If you deployed an assembly to GAC while Visual Studio was already running, you can click on the "Refresh" button to reload the list of assemblies.

  3. A reference to the assembly is added to your project

Fix ODX Error

Have you ever seen this after editing an orchestration in XML Editor?

In this discussion you can find the cause and how to solve the problem: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/9381374/biztalk-orchestration-opens-in-text-view-in-visualstudio-orchestration-designer. The context menu "Fix ODX Error" will exactly do the same thing, but you don't have to deal with opening the project in some text editor and search for the nodes.

  1. Right click a project node containing orchestrations, to open the context menu.
    Note: Save your project before invoking the command!

  2. Click on "Fix ODX Error"
    There will be a message because the project file was modified outside the environment

  3. Now with a double click on the orchestration it will be opened in the orchestration designer again

Set Public

In projects where I must connect to external services, I separate the generated items from the artefacts build for business implementation. Now I can use the artifacts (ports, messages, etc.) in any other project and there is only one central project to maintain. Furthermore, it isn't possible to have the same schemas (same target namespace) in multiple projects.
Disadvantage of this approach: All items in the orchestrations have "Internal" type modifiers by default and if you reference the project there will be no items for use in your orchestrations. The "Set Public" command will change all type modifiers in the orchestration from "Internal" to "Public" visibility.

  1. Right click an orchestration item, to open the context menu.

  2. Click on "Set to public"
    All items in the orchestration will have type modifier "Public" and you can use the items in other projects by referencing

Open Filepath

Especially for additional items in test projects, bam components, etc. I sometimes have to copy the items to a different environment. So here's an easy way to open the filepath of an item in windows explorer

  1. Right click any item, to open the context menu.

  2. Click on "Open filepath"
    The filepath is opened in Windows Explorer.