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Professional BizTalk® Server 2006 by Ewan Fairweather, Kevin B. Smith, Darren Jefford

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5.2. Orchestration Development

Now that we've covered some of the orchestration fundamentals, we'll move on to discussing how you can develop BizTalk orchestrations to implement your business processes.

5.2.1. Designing the Process

This section describes the way in which you can design your process using BizTalk orchestration. We'll cover the messages and the various orchestration shapes available.

5.2.1.1. Visio Designer

As you'll see in the next section, the usual Orchestration Designer is a developer-focused tool and is not suitable for use by, say, business analysts looking to express a business process. BizTalk Server 2004 and 2006 delivered a Visio-based Orchestration Designer called the Orchestration Designer for Business Analysts (ODBA).

ODBA is available as a free designer for download from Microsoft and doesn't require any BizTalk components to be installed, and at the time of writing requires Microsoft Visio 2003 and is not compatible with Office 2007. You can download ODBA from http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=47543.

ODBA enables a business analyst to define the basic business process using simplified Visio shapes and then export this business process to a BizTalk orchestration file (.ODX), which is compatible with the Visual Studio Orchestration Designer covered next.

While there is ODBA, in my experience with customers it doesn't really fill the void between developers and analysts. Customers often find it more productive to sit the analyst and developers ...

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