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Thursday, April 29, 2004

Pipeline Command Line Tools 

Ok, for those that don't know, there are some really handy pipeline tools in the SDK under the folder:

\Program Files\Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004\SDK\Utilities\PipelineTools

These tools allow you to test your pipeline components and, even more handily, flat file schemas without having to set up the BizTalk Server environment. They are pretty much essential when developing flat file schemas (particularly when you have a header, trailer and body schema).

Here is a list of the pipeline tools available:

  • DSDump.exe - this tool outputs a textual description of the schema.
  • Pipeline.exe - this tool executes a pipeline and produces one or more output files. Very useful for testing custom pipelines.
  • XMLDasm.exe - this tool executes the XML Disassembler component by simulating a receive pipeline.
  • XMLAsm.exe - this tool executes the XML Assembler component by simulating a send pipeline.
  • FFDasm.exe - this tool executes the Flat File Disassembler component by simulating a receive pipeline. Essential for flat file development!
  • FFAsm.exe - this tool executes the Flat File Assembler component by simulating a send pipeline. Again, essential for flat file development!

Note: The pipeline.exe tool does not access the BizTalk Server databases, so executing a pipeline that contains the BizTalk Framework Assembler/Disassembler may not work as it accesses the BizTalk Management database during runtime to match up receipts to documents.

About the Author

You may be wondering who I am (or may not!), but I've been in the industry 16+ years working on a variety of systems from IBM mainframes as a CICS systems programmer, to developing on Unix and Windows based systems. At the moment, I'm currently working for a Microsoft Gold Partner in the UK called Solidsoft who specialise in systems integration using BizTalk Server. My position is generally dictated by what I'm doing, but normally as a solutions architect/consultant helping clients with their integration projects involving, yes you guessed it: BizTalk Server.

Disclaimer: all the views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of Solidsoft Ltd or indeed any other company.