BizTalk Messaging Services is (along with BizTalk Orchestration) a core feature of BizTalk Server. Messaging Services represents the objects that participate in your business flow, and allow you to configure them through the BizTalk Messaging Manager.These objects are organizations, document definitions, document specifications, organizations, channels, messaging ports, and distribution lists. Organizations represent the logical endpoints—both source and destination—of the document exchange. Document definitions reference a specific document type and provide the ability to track and persist specific document fields to a database. Document specifications represent the schema/layout of the instance document, as well as specify any document routing information and any other transport-specific parameters that reside in the message envelope. Channels represent the document source. As the document is submitted to BizTalk Server, an appropriate channel will accept the document based on its configured source organization and/or document definition. Messaging ports represent the document destination, and must accept documents from channels, package them, and deliver the documents to the destination organization. Finally, distribution lists serve as convenient collections of messaging ports, allowing a channel to route its documents to multiple recipients at once.

In addition to its fundamental objects, BizTalk Messaging Services also specifies the path that a document must take through BizTalk Server. In summary, when a document is submitted to BizTalk Server, a channel picks up the document after recognizing it was sent from a particular source organization, then validates the document against a document definition/specification. The channel and/or the document definition can optionally save document tracking data to the tracking database. The channel then processes and/or transforms the document (based on a specified map between differing input and output document specifications) before passing it to an associated messaging port or distribution list.The messaging port then packages and optionally signs, encodes, and encrypts the document before sending it to the destination.

BizTalk Messaging can be configured via the BizTalk Messaging Manager application or a COM object model.The BizTalk Messaging object model contains classes representing each of the objects that are configurable from the Messaging Manager.The BizTalkConfig object represents the high-level parent and contains ADO recordset collections of Channels, Ports, Organizations, Documents, and PortGroups (distribution lists).The BizTalkConfig class also contains methods that create empty shell objects (e.g., CreatePort() ), from which new messaging objects can be created and subsequently persisted to the configuration database.

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