This chapter has covered four technologies and approaches that are key to effective BizTalk Server development and debugging. Although this chapter is simply an introduction, it should give you the bare minimum information required to understand what's going on under the covers and why certain technologies behave the way they do.
XML schemas are at the center of BizTalk development. They define how messages flowing into and out of BizTalk should be represented and what they must include.
Namespaces are used as part of XML documents to protect against elements with the same name causing conflicts and also to convey ownership. However, they often cause problems during development because developers fail to indicate which namespace an element belongs to (for example, when querying for elements using XPath).
XPath enables you to interrogate an XML document and retrieve information to use during processing. This technique is invaluable; when combined with an XPathDocument, it provides a fast, streaming approach to retrieving data from your XML document without, for example, loading the entire document into memory.
Serializible classes are a key concept to understand, as they can greatly simplify the complexity of your solution and enable any applications using your BizTalk solution or being called by BizTalk to leverage the same schemas and classes. They also eliminate the need to write any custom code to handle and validate messages.
The following chapter discusses the ...