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[UPDATE]  This post relates to Biztalk Server 2004.   Later versions of Biztalk Server now support a clearly defined administrative concept of an 'application' which is independant of hosts.   This is a major change in later versions of BizTalk Server.

The Standard edition of BizTalk Server 2004 is restricted to "10 internal applications with up to 20 external trading partners".   A colleague just asked what the definition of an 'application' is?

I believe the answer is as follows.   An 'application' in BizTalk is a synonym for a host.  The term 'Application' is used in relation to the MessageBox, whereas the term 'Host' is used in management and administration of BizTalk.   Note that default name for the default in-proc host is BizTalkServerApplication. 

The MessageBox maintains an 'Application' table and BizTalk dynamically creates multiple queue tables in the MessageBox database for each application (i.e., each application has its own independent set of queues).   

When administering BizTalk, hosts are, of course, virtual concepts and can map to multiple host instances on different boxes.   However, the Standard version does not support multi-box clusters.   You can only have one instance of any on host on any one box.

Posted on Friday, May 7, 2004 2:41 PM BizTalk Server 2004/2006 | Back to top


Comments on this post: What is a BizTalk 'application'?

# re: What is a BizTalk 'application'?
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Hi Charles
My biztalk server was not configured properly. I just want to change this one parameter only. Default host is BiztalkServerApplication. Can you tell me how I can do that without having to reconfigure the computer again.
Thanx
Left by BiztalkServerApplicationDistress on Aug 24, 2004 6:59 PM

# re: What is a BizTalk 'application'?
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Its easy! Open the BizTalk management console, expand the Hosts node, right click the host you want as the default, and select 'Default Host in Group'. You have to select an in-process host.

Left by Charles Young on Aug 24, 2004 7:16 PM

# re: What is a BizTalk 'application'?
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Hi Charles,

I'm trying to find a definition for "external trading partners". In 2000/2002 it was easy defined by organizations. What is it now with 2004/2006? Orchestrations?

Regards Karsten
Left by Karsten Fuchs on Aug 15, 2007 10:26 AM

# re: What is a BizTalk 'application'?
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Organisations are now defined by Parties and, more abstractly, by Roles in BTS 2006. You configure things a little differently depending on whether you are using BTS 2004 or BTS 2006. In BTS 2006, you can use the admin console to define Parties. You can also create Role Links at the application level and define roles. You enlist parties into roles, and can then use Role Links within orchestrations. Inside an orchestration, you set the party you want to use for a particular role in a dynamic fashion (e.g., via the rule engine). See http://www.topxml.com/rbnews/BizTalk-BAM-activity/re-28475_Using-Role-Links-in-BizTalk-Server-2006.aspx for a worked example.

If you are using BTS 2004, you have to set this up using the BizTalk Explorer in Visual Studio, rather than the admin console. Actually, you can use BizTalk Explorer in BTS 2006 as well.

An orchestration is a custom state machine service that is used to automated business processes. It can communicate with external partners indirectly via the BizTalk message box. It has a 'Role Link' orchestration shape to facilitate the use of roles.

Thanks

Charles
Left by Charles Young on Aug 15, 2007 11:20 AM

# re: What is a BizTalk 'application'?
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Hi Charles,

thank you very much for your description. Does this mean external trading partners are parties? I need to know what kind of restrictions are there for BTS 2004 or 2006 standard edition.

Regards Karsten
Left by Karsten Fuchs on Aug 15, 2007 12:42 PM

# re: What is a BizTalk 'application'?
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Yes, parties are organisations, and are used to define trading partners.

I don't think there are any restrictions on the number of parties you can define. The BizTalk Server license restricts the number of 'applications'. In BizTalk 2004, it was rather difficult to define what was meant by an application (hence my old post on the subject). In BizTalk 2006, applications are 'first-class' configuration items. The Standard edition is limited to five applications. You can define as many role links as you need per application.

The 'application' restriction can be enforced in BizTalk 2006 (unlike 2004), but is still quite loose. There is nothing stopping you adding lots of BizTalk artefacts into a single administrative 'application', even though you know they really belong to multiple business solutions. There are drawbacks though. You can start and stop entire BizTalk applications in one go, or deploy/un-deploy applications. If you pack the artefacts from multiple business solutions into a single BizTalk application, it can make it hard to effectively administer those individual solutions.

If you are using BizTalk Server 2004, be aware that there is a cheap 'Partner' edition. I think this is only licensed for a single (or 2?) application. It is designed as a cheap way for your partners to obtain BizTalk Server in order to run BizTalk artefacts at their end as part of a B2B solution. The partner edition was withdrawn in BTS 2006.
Left by Charles Young on Aug 15, 2007 1:22 PM

# re: What is a BizTalk 'application'?
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Hi,

i am new to this biztalk iam not able to understand biztalk by above description can any one explain in very simple terms
Left by MOhan on Jun 27, 2008 2:35 PM

# re: What is a BizTalk 'application'?
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This discussion was about a specific concept within BizTalk - an administrative and configuration unit called an 'application'. The BizTalk 2004 application model was very primitive, but BTS 2006 improved on this substantially.

For a general introduction to BizTalk Server, you will need to look elsewhere. It's such a big subject, I'm not sure where to point you too. There are whitepapers on the Microsoft web site, and plenty of bloggers. Also, some good books. I quite like 'Professional BizTalk Server 2006', but most of the major books offer some basic overview of what the product is about.
Left by Charles Young on Jun 27, 2008 3:26 PM

# re: What is a BizTalk 'application'?
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Is there a way I could find out the applications that have status other than 'Started'? I searched WMI classes but they do not provide that information.

thanks, Changi
Left by Changi Kudi on Oct 17, 2009 7:59 AM

# re: What is a BizTalk 'application'?
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Which version of BizTalk Server are you using?
Left by Charles Young on Oct 25, 2009 3:11 PM

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