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biztalk as a workflow RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have started doing research on Biztalk 2006 for its BPM/workflow use.

    I need to know the answers to the following at the earliest.It is not possible without help from all of you.please contribute with your answers to as many questions as possible.You have to say only yes or no in most cases

     
    1.Is it able to use .net classes created using VS.net as activities inside workflow.

    2. Can we invoke workflow created in it being called from .net assembly

    3. Are the workflows created in biztalk available as a webservice

    4. Does it have logging support and reporting features for workflows. 

    5. Is transaction and entire rollback supported throughout the workflow.

    6. Does it support multiple versions of the same workflow running  simultaneously.

    7. Does it support recovery from abrupt breakdown. If yes, what is the 

        features of its Error handling.

    Cheers

    Monday, May 1, 2006 1:40 PM

All replies

  • There is a document about al this questions called: "Understanding BizTalk Server 2004" [copy paste in google or Live search]


    This ar my answers, correct me if I'm wrong.

    1.Is it able to use .net classes created using VS.net as activities inside workflow.

    Yes, make a reference in the Biztalk project

    2. Can we invoke workflow created in it being called from .net assembly

    don't understand this one

    3. Are the workflows created in biztalk available as a webservice

    Yes

    4. Does it have logging support and reporting features for workflows. 

    Yes, Business Activity Monitoring

    5. Is transaction and entire rollback supported throughout the workflow.

    Yes, normal transactions and for long running transaction compensations

    6. Does it support multiple versions of the same workflow running  simultaneously.

    Biztalk assemblies live in the GAC

    7. Does it support recovery from abrupt breakdown. If yes, what is the features of its Error handling.

    SQL Server is used to store the messages, SQL's abrupt breakdown recovery capibility is used. Error handeling is the same as .NET

    Monday, May 1, 2006 3:40 PM
  • Hi Clemens,

    Thanks for your reply.Please find my comments on your inputs>kind revert back with your new inputs on the same

    1.Is it able to use .net classes created using VS.net as activities inside workflow.

    Yes, make a reference in the Biztalk project

    2. Can we invoke workflow created in it being called from .net assembly

    don't understand this one

    Thompson: Here i wish to ask about suppose we create a workflow in biztalk. save it as "a.someextension". Now can i reference it as a reference in .net assembly.I mean to ask here that what are different type of files(type of extensions) in which workflow generated in biztalk can be saved. Are they saved as .dll

    3. Are the workflows created in biztalk available as a webservice

    Yes

    4. Does it have logging support and reporting features for workflows. 

    Yes, Business Activity Monitoring

    5. Is transaction and entire rollback supported throughout the workflow.

    Yes, normal transactions and for long running transaction compensations

    6. Does it support multiple versions of the same workflow running  simultaneously.

    Biztalk assemblies live in the GAC

    Thompson:Here i wanted to know that suppose we create a new version of a workflow in biztalk while keeping the older one intact.So now can i invoke both the versions of the same workflow at the same time from different applications(suppose .net applications).

    7. Does it support recovery from abrupt breakdown. If yes, what is the features of its Error handling.

    SQL Server is used to store the messages, SQL's abrupt breakdown recovery capibility is used. Error handeling is the same as .NET

    Thompson:Here i neede to know whether biztalk workflow provides rollback at activitiy and process(group of activities) level.

    Regards

    Thompson

    Tuesday, May 2, 2006 4:56 AM
  • Thompson: Here i wish to ask about suppose we create a workflow in biztalk. save it as "a.someextension". Now can i reference it as a reference in .net assembly.I mean to ask here that what are different type of files(type of extensions) in which workflow generated in biztalk can be saved. Are they saved as .dll

    Clemens: No this is not possible, the other way is your question number 1. When you want to use this you must take a look at Windows Workflow Foundation

    Thompson:Here i wanted to know that suppose we create a new version of a workflow in biztalk while keeping the older one intact.So now can i invoke both the versions of the same workflow at the same time from different applications(suppose .net applications).

    Clemens: That's why they live in the GAC, common .NET functionality

    Thompson:Here i neede to know whether biztalk workflow provides rollback at activitiy and process(group of activities) level.

    Clemens: you can use Long running transaction with compensating or normal transactions

    Tuesday, May 2, 2006 8:13 AM
  • thanks clemens for your prompt response.

    You are correct in saying that biztalk workflow (*.dll)can't be used as reference in .net assembly but i got to know from msdn site that it is possible by using it as a webservice.

    I have some more queries related to biztalk. See if you are take out some time to answers these:

    1. How many readymade packages (loan processing, leave request etc) are available as a part of the Biztalk- i know about human workflow provided but no knowledge about others.

    2. How many concurrent instances of a single workflow are possible inside biztalk.

    3. Can we use activity monitoring feature of biztalk to check(reporting) the status of any specific instance of workflow which is used inside any .net application(as i mentioned earlier that biztalk workflow can be used a webservice).

    4.Can the activities created in biztalk be integrated with active directory for assigning users for the tasks

    5. Do biztalk have any logging features to log different workflows runnings inside it

    6.How do you differentiate biztalk with different BPMs/workflows like K2, captaris,ultimus etc available in the market

    I would be grateful if you could throw some light on the above

    regards

    thompson

     

     

     

    Tuesday, May 2, 2006 10:49 AM
  •  

    There could be work around for your 2 question:

    One option could be:

    In context of Biztalk 2006, you can have different assembly versions of the same workflow. You can then deploy your workflow with a different application Name and then host the Application in the same Host-instance or in a different host-instance.

    Regards

    Haider

    Wednesday, May 17, 2006 7:07 AM
  • Thomson,

    BTS is not a workflow tool. It is a system to system orchestration and messaging product. There is a Human Workflow Services part but it is developer intensive (reams of code) and it would be better to build your workflow on top of Windows Workflow Foundation or use one of the third party tools such as K2 or Metastorm which integrate well with Biztalk.

    Also, now that WWF has come out, from what I hear, HWS is effectively dead in the water. It will be supported but will not be enhanced. (Biztalk Server vNext will include WWF and WCF )

    Check out Scott Woodgate's blog (former product manager of Biztalk) for more discussions (like the one here) on the same including a whitepaper (rather old now and predates WWF) on when you would choose HWS if at all. [I dont have the link to the papers though but you should be able to google for it]

    Hope this helps,

    cheers,

    benjy

     

    Wednesday, May 17, 2006 7:52 AM