I have been running into too many issues with BizTalk 2009 on VS.NET 2008 lately. This post is just to mention them and let everyone else know that they are not the only one – and that they will be reported to MS and hopefully fixed quickly.
Build action of schemas
Some times the “build action” of a schema in your BizTalk project is set to “None” instead of “BtsCompile”. When this happens, the schema is not compiled into the assembly and can therefore not be used for pipeline components, maps, orchestration messages, and so on. It happens if you drag a schema from your explorer into your project, but it also happens sometimes when you drag a schema between two projects inside VS.NET.
More build action of schemas
The above error could be more easy to live with, if it weren’t absolutely impossible to know when the “Build action” property of the schema in visible in VS.NET – some times the property is visible and you can change the value. Other times it is not. Quite confusing. I have found that if I add a schema to a project, then the property is suddenly visible for all schemas in the project. Change the ones that need changing and delete the schema you added.
Auto save a map before schemas are chosen
When you add a new map then at some point VS.NET auto saves the map, but if this happens before you have chosen both the source and destination schema you suddenly get an error, which you really do not expect, because you weren’t doing anything at the time of the error. This also occurred in previous versions of BizTalk.
Map looses information about schemas
I have seen several times, that even after choosing source- and destination schema for a map and dragging a couple of links in the map and saving it, then at compile time, I get an error about the map not having source- and destination schemas. So I need to choose them again, and redo all the links, because they have magically disappeared. This happens for maps that uses both schemas from the same project as schemas from referenced projects.
The output window seems to not always show all information when compiling/deploying. Some times the information comes all at the end instead of being written to the output windows as it happens. Other times, I can rebuild my entire solution and the output windows will only show me the one warning that occurred during compilation.
Dragging elements in Schema Editor
Dragging elements inside the schema editor has had me baffled since BizTalk 2002. Some times, I need more than 20 tries to get an element to be dragged – and sometimes it just works. Annoying? Indeed it is!
Copy local fails
If I have a project (P2) that references another project (P1), then after I have added an item to P1 and recompiled it, everything seems OK. BUT, if I then deploy from within V.NET, things start to go wrong. From then on, it seems that the “Copy local” property of the project reference is ignored. Whenever I recompile P2, I do NOT get the P1.dll copied to the local folder of P2. This causes all sorts of stuff as also explained here by Ryan: http://dotnet.org.za/ryancrawcour/archive/2009/07/17/biztalk-2009-amp-visual-studio-2008-annoyance-2.aspx
Setting properties for more than one project at the same time
See here: http://dotnet.org.za/ryancrawcour/archive/2009/07/15/biztalk-2009-feature-missing.aspx for Ryans thoughts on this.