Introduction

This article intends to cover the answers to BizTalk Adapter based questions, which a BizTalk developer can face during an interview.

Questions and Answers

  1. What is an Adapter?
    An adapter is a software component (COM or .NET-based) that enables you to easily send messages out of or receive messages in BizTalk Server with a delivery mechanism that conforms to a commonly recognized standard, such as SMTP, POP3, FTP, or Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ). As Microsoft BizTalk Server has evolved, the need for adapters that quickly enable connectivity with commonly used applications and technologies has increased. BizTalk Includes over 25 multi-platform adapters that simplify the integration with Line of Business (LOB) Applications (such as Siebel, SAP, JD Edwards, Oracle, and Dynamics CRM), database (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, DB2) and other technologies (Tibco, Java EE). (See more here)

  2. What is required for a developer to create a custom adapter?
    A developer can receive requirements for building a custom adapter in case there are no out-of the box or commercial available to fulfill certain functionality.  This can be done by using the Microsoft Windows Communication Foundation Line of Business Adapter SDK. See MSDN Microsoft Windows Communication Foundation Line of Business Adapter SDK.

  3. What is the purpose of Adapter?
    Adapters are the components that enable the BizTalk to interface with the external communications protocol. They mediate between the protocol and the messaging pipeline in use.

  4. Does an adapter write to content of the message?
    No. The adapter only writes data in the context of the message which is further interrogated by another component of BizTalk.

  5. What are the native adapters in BizTalk?
    "Native" or "integrated" adapters in BizTalk are: FILE, FTP, HTTP, MQSeries, MSMQ, POP3, SMTP, SOAP, Windows Sharepoint Services, and the seven WCF adapters (WCF-WSHttp, WCF-BasicHttp, WCF-NetTcp, WCF-NetMsmq, WCF-NetNamedPipe, WCF-Custom, and WCF-CustomIsolated)
    (MSDN Adapters in BizTalk Server, BizTalk 2010) or the ten WCF-based in BizTalk Server 2013 if you include WCF-BasicHttpRelay, WCF-NetTcpRelay, WCF-WebHttp and two other new ones SB-Messaging and SFTP adapter.

  6. Which port do you need configure in a firewall for in and outbound traffic when using the FTP Adapter?
    For the FTP adapter you will need to configure port 20 and/or 21. See MSDN Ports for the Receive and Send Servers.

  7. What happens  to file when message is suspended in a MessageBox?
    The file adapter deletes the file from disk.

  8. What does "Public address" property defaults to?
    This property defaults to file://{Receive folder value}/{file mask value}. The literal prefix file:// is required so as to communicate the protocol in use. It is string from 0 to 255 characters.

  9. What is the default value of Retry count and Retry interval (min)?
    The default value is "5". This can be altered through the Advanced Options Tab of the Transport Properties of a Send Port. See MSDN How to Configure Transport Advanced Options for a Send Port.

  10. What is an Adapter Handler?
    An adapter handler is an instance of a BizTalk host in which the adapter code runs. When you specify a send or receive handler for an adapter you are specifying which host instance the adapter code will run in the context of. An adapter handler is responsible for executing the adapter and contains properties for a specific instance of an adapter. A default BizTalk Server configuration will create adapter handlers for all of the installed adapters, but you may want to create additional adapter handlers for purposes of load balancing or to provide process isolation for a particular adapter handler. (See more here)

  11. What Is the Adapter Framework?
    The BizTalk Adapter Framework offers a stable, open mechanism for all adapters to implement or access work from the BizTalk Server Messaging Engine. The interfaces described in the Microsoft.BizTalk.Adapter.Framework namespace enable adapters to provide a means to modify configuration property pages. It also is a means to import services and schemas into the BizTalk project.  (See more here)

  12. What you mean with Native Adapters and Custom Adapters?
    Native adapters are those that are shipped with the product and there are more than 25 multi-platform adapters. But in some cases a BizTalk Server may need to transport messages to a specific custom application or use a protocol for which a native adapter does not exist. If you are unable to locate an adapter to support your communication requirements, BizTalk Server provides a framework for developers so that you can develop your own custom adapter.

  13. I've heard the term connector in BizTalk. So what's the difference between an adapter and a connector?
    Probably the same thing. In BizTalk, we can call a connector as a software component that enables you to easily exchange messages between BizTalk Server with different systems, i.e, it's an adapter- a communications service used to exchange documents with your trading partners or your internal systems.

  14. What can we expect when Propagate fault message is enabled?
    The fault message will be published to subscribing applications. If it is not enabled then any fault messages will end up being suspended and are available in the BizTalk Administration Console.

  15. What is an Isolated Receive Adapter?
    The receive adapter that is hosted in a process other than a BizTalk Server process. This adapter is created and controlled by an external process and it registers with BizTalk server at run time to submit messages.

  16. What is journal queue?
    The journal queue is a system queue that is automatically created when MSMQ is installed and is meant to contain copies of messages that are sent or received.

  17. What is dead queue?
    The dead letter queue is a system queue that is automatically created when MSMQ is installed and is meant to contain undelivered messages.

Author

Maheshkumar S Tiwari
iVision Software Pvt Ltd
http://tech-findings.blogspot.com/

Contributors

See Also

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