Importing Exporting Specifications

Importing and exporting specifications is easy with the BizTalk Editor. Although the BizTalk schema is based on XDR, it does not mean that it is XDR compatible

(hence, a weakness of XDR within BizTalk).This is easily solved by importing an XDR-compatible schema.This tool is crucial to place schema into ordinary XML documents. Let's import, export, and view the XDR schema.


The main differences between XDR and XSD are that XSD is the schema that is currently being finalized as a W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) specification. XDR is Microsoft's release, and Microsoft has plans to release an XSD schema as soon as it is finalized with the W3C.

To import, and thus create, an XDR schema, you need to use the BizTalk Editor tool that comes with BizTalk 2000 Server.

1. Open the BizTalk Editor and go to the Tools menu.The full path is Tools | Import.

2. Once selected, you can now view the Select Import Module dialog box (Figure 5.10).

Figure 5.10 The Select Import Module Dialog Box

Figure 5.10 The Select Import Module Dialog Box

3. In the dialog box, double-click on the XDR Schema icon.

4. Next, you will be asked to select a file. If you wanted to select an XML document, you could do so to import the XDR schema into it, or, you could simply use the BIZTALKPO.xml document that we created in the previous exercise. For purposes of this exercise, browse to and open the PO we created earlier.

5. Now, when you open it, it will be part of the XDR schema.

Be aware that although the BizTalk Editor tool does a great job of importing an XDR schema into an ordinary XML document, you should never rely on any tool to be 100-percent foolproof. Make sure that any XML document you import XDR schema to is fully inspected for accuracy, since it could contain errors from translation.

To export, you will follow the same steps as you did when importing.When you export the schema, you will see the XML code as it looks in Figure 5.11. The reason to export would be to create an XDR schema from whatever schema type with which you are currently working with now. To view this, we will create a test file to work with so you can convert the schema to XDR, and then we will look at the difference.

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