Friday, August 23, 2013

Interview questions on Visual Studio in context to BizTalk

This post intends to cover the  Visual Studio related questions, which a BizTalk developer can face during an interview.

Questions and answers:

1.     What purpose does Visual Studio server?
Development for BizTalk Server is done through Visual Studio <version> (depends on BizTalk version). Visual Studio has templates for BizTalk artifacts like orchestration, pipelines, schemas and maps, so a BizTalk solution can be created (design time) and deployed to the BizTalk runtime. Besides artifacts .NET development can be done in creating pipeline components, custom functoids, custom adapters, and .NET helper classes to aid in orchestrations. As a BizTalk professional Visual Studio is your friend and required to build BizTalk solutions. 

2.     What is strong name key?
A strong name ensures that each assembly name is unique. Each assembly in your BizTalk project requires a strong name in order to deploy successfully. See also MSDN How to Configure a Strong Name Assembly Key File Jump .

3.     How is strong name key generated?
At the command prompt, from the folder where you want to store the key file, type the following command, and then press ENTER: sn /k file_name .snk. In Visual Studio Solution Explorer, right-click the project and then clickProperties. Click the Signing tab and choose Browse in the Choose a strong name key file drop down box. See also MSDN How to Configure a Strong Name Assembly Key File.


4.     Difference between Build and Rebuild?
Build means compile and link only the source files that have changed since the last build, while Rebuild means compile and link all source files regardless of whether they changed or not. See also MSDN Building and Cleaning Projects and Solutions in Visual Studio Jump

5.     What are the actions in order to deploy from Visual Studio?

o    Sign the project with strong name key
o    Give the name to the Application

6.     Can I create or configure Receive Ports or Send Ports through Visual Studio?
That depends of the BizTalk Version/Visual Studio that you are using! In previous version you could create and configure port through the BizTalk Explorer view in Visual Studio, but since BizTalk Server 2010 the BizTalk Explorer view was removed from Visual Studio.

7.     What is a .btproj File?
.btproj is a Visual Studio BizTalk project file.

8.     Are all the BizTalk development tools embedded in Visual Studio?
No. Indeed BizTalk Mapper Editor, Schema Editor, Orchestration editor and Pipeline editor are embedded in Visual Studio. However BAM and BRE tool are not embedded.

9.     Why we get the error "Unexpected error writing metadata to file <filename>"? 
It is a known issue of Visual Studio. Visual Studio will not successfully compile a project if it would result in an assembly larger than 75 megabytes (Mb). 

10.   Where can we see assembly information in Visual Studio?
AssemblyInfo.cs contains information about  assembly, like name, description, version, etc. It can be located under Project-->Properties-->AssemblyInfo.cs 

11.   What is Build Order and can it be changed?
Build Order is the sequence in which the projects will be build when the whole solution is build and yes it can be changed.

12.   What is option Clean used for?
Clean Solution is used to delete any intermediate and output files (mostly assemblies). With only the project and component files left, new instances of the intermediate and output files (mostly assemblies) can then be built.

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