I've been playing lately with a few WCF features as well as with the WCF Adapter in BizTalk Server 2006 R2. As part of that I had a need to set up a receive location using one of the WCF HTTP-based bindings.

Normally, this isn't a big deal; you can easily use the BizTalk WCF Service Publishing Wizard to create the receive location and IIS service application for an orchestration or from a set of BizTalk schemas.

However, this time I did not want to go that way. What I really wanted was just a simple receive location that would simply receive messages and submit them over to BizTalk without tying the receive location to a specific service definition. As far as I could see, the Service Publishing Wizard didn't really have an option for this, but I was confident it could be made to work.

To be honest, I did have a set of schemas I wanted to work with and even a bunch of predefined WSDL files. However, for many reasons (including the sheer complexity of the schemas and WSDL files involved) I didn't want to get that involved in my initial BizTalk message receiver and processor.

Fortunately, turns out that doing what I wanted was fairly easy stuff. In fact, it was so easy that was able to leverage an existing service I had previously created. I basically just copied the .SVC file (and renamed it) alongside the web.config file. I explicitly ignored all the stuff that normally gets generated under the App_Data directory.

I then manually created a matching receive location in BizTalk using the WCF-BasicHTTP adapter, and this worked right away perfectly for my needs!

Just in case you've never looked at what a WCF HTTP receive location generated files look like, it's actually fairly simple stuff. The SVC file contains just a single directive as expected:

<%@ ServiceHost Language="c#" Factory="Microsoft.BizTalk.Adapter.Wcf.Runtime.BasicHttpWebServiceHostFactory, Microsoft.BizTalk.Adapter.Wcf.Runtime, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35" %>

You can see here that it references the WCF-BasicHTTP adapter. If you wanted to use, say, the WCF-WSHttp Adapter, then you'd use Microsoft.BizTalk.Adapter.Wcf.Runtime.WSHttpWebServiceHostFactory class instead.

The config file is pretty much the default config file generated by the Service Publishing Wizard as well:

xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<configuration xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/.NetConfiguration/v2.0">
            Microsoft.BizTalk.Adapter.Wcf.Runtime, Version=,
            Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35" />
      <mexServiceHostFactory debug="false">
            --add markupFileName="*.svc"
               publicBaseAddress="protocol://host[:port]" /-->
      <webServiceHostFactory debug="false" />
      <isolatedReceiver disable="false" />
      <btsWsdlExporter disable="false" />
   <appSettings />
   <connectionStrings />
      <compilation defaultLanguage="c#" debug="false">
            <add assembly="mscorlib, version=, culture=neutral,
60;     publickeytoken=b77a5c561934e089"
            <add assembly="Microsoft.BizTalk.Adapter.Wcf.Common, Version=,
               Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35" />
            <add assembly="Microsoft.BizTalk.Adapter.Wcf.Runtime, Version=,
               Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35" />
      <authentication mode="Windows" />
            <behavior name="ServiceBehaviorConfiguration">
                  includeExceptionDetailInFaults="false" />
                  httpsGetEnabled="false" />
               contract="IMetadataExchange" />-->
               contract="IMetadataExchange" />-->

It's extremely nice to see how the WCF adapter in BizTalk leverages a bunch of my favorite features in WCF to make this a lot simpler (compared to, say, the whole bunch of code that neede
d to be generated for the original SOAP adapter).

I should mention though, that part of what made it so easy was that my needs were pretty simple: I wanted a simple two-way (request/response) port, and needed no metadata (WSDL) publishing at all (as I said, I already had working WSDL files I could provide to consumers of the service).  Making it one-way wouldn't have been a problem though; as the WCF adapter handles it very gracefully as well.

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Tomas Restrepo

Software developer located in Colombia.