Biz Talk Editor User Interface and Menu Structure

To work with the BizTalk Editor and learn all its complexities, we will examine the user interface in depth. Let's look at the functions of the User Interface tools available to us in both the Menu options and the Icon toolbar.

The menu and toolbar located directly below the BizTalk Editor dialog box contain many options that we need to discuss. Let's look at the options available to us in the menu bar at the top of Figure 5.1:

■ File Used to save, open, and close a specification.

■ Edit Used to copy, cut, insert, and work with fields and records in the specification.

■ View Used to work with the panes (right, left, and bottom), such as changing text size, etc.

■ Tools Used for validation, creating document instances, importing and exporting XDR schema.

■ Help Used to search for help with the BizTalk Editor.

You can click the BizTalk Editor 2000 toolbar icons to quickly access certain options within the menu structure we just reviewed.The toolbar shown in Figure 5.1 directly under the title bar and File menu has a series of icons. From left to right, the first one is to open (thus creating) a new specification. The Open Folder icon depicts the action of opening a preexisting specification.The Diskette icon is for saving a specification you opened in the Editor.The next two icons are for retrieving from and storing to WebDAV (we discuss WebDAV in the last section of this chapter).The next four icons are for cutting, copying, pasting, and deleting specification nodes, respectively.The next four icons allow you to add a new record, add a new field, insert a new record, and insert a new field, respec-tively.We discuss what all these options do later in this section.The last two icons are used to collapse and expand data within the Editor.Table 5.1 lists the pre-established shortcut keystrokes to manipulate and maneuver through the Editor.

Table 5.1 BizTalk Editor Shortcut Keys



Ctrl + N

New specification

Ctrl + S

Save a specification

Ctrl + O

Open a specification

Ctrl + R

Add a new record

Ctrl + F

Add a new field

Ctrl + C







Insert a record


Insert a field


Moves the focus of attention from pane to pane



Help system


Edit mode activation


Highlight the next warning


Schema validation


Also moves focus of attention from pane to pane

(only clockwise)

Alt + F4

Exit the program


Cancel editing

The user interface as seen in Figure 5.1 has three main window panes. Below the title bar, toolbar, and menu are three main working areas.We will be doing most of our work in the left pane. In this pane you will see a tree-like view of the root record and all the records and fields contained within the specification. Refer to Figure 5.2 for a complete view of what the tree looks like when occupied by records and fields.

Figure 5.2 The BizTalk Editor with a New Specification, BIZTALKPO

Figure 5.2 The BizTalk Editor with a New Specification, BIZTALKPO

You can set property values for specification records and fields in the right pane. Let's briefly examine each tab:

■ Declaration This view contains information based on what record or field you select within the left pane of the BizTalk Editor.

■ Reference This view specifies specific things based on what context you are in. For example, if you select the root record, and then select the Reference tab, you will be able to modify the specification standard (XML to X12, for example). If you select a subrecord, you can specify how often there is an occurrence of referencing the element. A field will either be required or not, or you can clear the field by right-clicking it and selecting Clear Property.

■ Parse This view contains information for serializers, as well as non-XML-based parsers.

■ Namespace This view allows you to create custom namespaces not normally accepted by BizTalk Server. In this tab is the default namespace that cannot be altered by the Editor.You can, however, add a new custom namespace by typing a namespace prefix in the Prefix column, and a namespace in the Uniform Resource Name (URN) column of the Namespace tab. It is important to note that the BizTalk Editor will not validate the URN you just created.

■ Dictionary This view helps you create channels for BizTalk to follow. Parsing will look for information found on the Dictionary tab. Consider a channel as a set of properties that designate the source of documents to the destination of documents using specific processing steps using Messaging Services. If you look at the root node record in Figure 5.2, which is BIZTALKPO, you can click on the Dictionary tab and select that as the Document Container Node.This will put a period "." in the Node Path field, which in turn designates it as the document container node. If you go to the first field below it, you can see that you cannot make this the root, but you can add mappings to types and values. Now, go down to ITEMLIST. If you try to make that record the root in the Dictionary tab, BizTalk will ask if this is what you want to do, because you can only have one root and it does not have to be the root node for the specification.You can also set Dictionary properties by right-clicking the field or record in the left pane and selecting Set Routing Information.

■ Code list One aspect of the standardized specification of EDI is the ability to make constraints on code lists.You can view this by opening a predefined standards-based specification and looking at the fields within the Code List tab.You will learn how to open predefined standards-based specifications later in the chapter.


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