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

Questions and Answers

1. What is EDI?
  • Electronic data interchange (EDI) is a document standard which when implemented acts as a common interface between two or more computer applications in terms of understanding the document transmitted. It is commonly used by big companies for e-commerce purposes, such as sending orders to warehouses or tracking their order.
2. What are the things which make EDI solutions differ from standard XML solutions?
  • EDI solutions are on the same line as XML solutions but involved more complexities in a schema, maps, etc. Also, few more things are to be done like setting up and configuring the trading partners (business profiles, parties, agreements, etc.).
3. How to create the EDI schema?
  • BizTalk already ships with the standard EDI schemas. To use it we need to extract the schemas using the MicrosoftEdiXSDTemplates.exe file, located in the root of the XSD_Schema\EDI folder.
4. What is the default character set supported by EDI pipeline?
  • UTF-8 is the default Character set supported and it is used for run-time validation and applies only to EDI X12.
5. How does BizTalk resolve Agreement?
  • BizTalk requires the qualifier and identifier fields for sender and receiver in order to perform agreement resolution. It will match the values of ISA5, ISA6, ISA7, and ISA8 in the interchange header with those in the properties of an agreement.
6. When does fallback agreement properties come into the picture?
  • When BizTalk is not able to resolve the agreement, then it uses the fallback agreement properties.
7. It is required to use EDI Pipeline in the EDI solution, but I can't see in the options?
  • EDI pipelines are not included in the Application as XML and Pass Thru pipelines are available. A reference to the BizTalk EDI Application is to be explicitly added so as to use EDI pipelines.
8. What are the values which Segment Separator Suffix and Segment Terminator Suffix can have? 
  • Either of the following: None,CR,LF or CRLF
9. Are there a relation between EDI sending pipeline and Parties?
  • The EDI sends pipeline performs a party lookup by performing a series of steps to determine whether there is a match between the outgoing interchange and the properties of a party.
10. What are the options to release EDI Batch messages to the destination?
  • There are four options which can be used as the deciding factor and then release:
    • Schedule: At regular intervals
    • Maximum Number of Transaction Sets: Fixed number of transactions within an Interchange
    • Maximum Number of Characters in an Interchange: Number of characters
    • External Release Trigger: Whenever a Trigger Message is given to BizTalk
11. Is it possible to receive Multiple Interchanges in a Single Message and parse it?
  • Yes, it's possible to receive Multiple interchanges in a single message and to parse it, the pipeline property called DetectMID is to be set as True.
12. Can we access EDI message context properties in orchestration?
  • Yes it's possible. To do so reference to Microsoft.BizTalk.Edi.BaseArtifacts.dll should be added.


Maheshkumar S Tiwari

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