BTDF Extensions for VS 2019 - the challenge
In BizTalk 2020 projects, many users of the Biztalk Deployment Framework are currently facing the problem that the actual framework has already been updated, but there is still no new version of the Visual Studio Extension for VS 2019. Working with scripts is unwieldy and time-consuming, especially with ongoing developments.
We have been implementing BizTalk Server 2020 upgrade & migration projects in the DACH region for a year. Together with our customers, we evaluate the current options for retaining a BizTalk implementation and "only" modernizing it or completely replacing it with new Microsoft-based integration technologies.
If our customer decides to keep the BizTalk Server and thus only to modernize his environment, it is mostly BizTalk 2010 or BizTalk 2013 implementations that we migrate to the current version of BizTalk Server 2020 and then optimize.
In the further course of this article, we would like to share our experiences from the BizTalk migration projects with you.
BTDF Extensions for VS 2019 - the solution
As part of a customer project, we have therefore taken the trouble to create a workaround that is as simple and quick to implement as possible, which will act as an interim solution until the Visual Studio Tools are officially migrated to 2019.
The basis of the development is the freely accessible source code of BTDF ToolForVisualStudio on GitHub: https://github.com/BTDF/ToolsForVisualStudio
In preparation for the actual development task, the existing solution must be made compilable. To do this, we convert the .NET Framework version in the DeploymentFrameworkForBizTalkAddin project to 4.7.2 and install the following NuGet packages: " Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.Interop.15.3.DesignTime" and "Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.15.0 "
We pack the two files here into a .zip file with the name: " DFBTProject.zip"
In the next step we create a total of five new directories with the name "ProjectTemplates" in the following folders:
The .zip file created above is moved into the "Addin" directory:
Now the solution can be compiled and the actual development can be carried out in the following four steps.
Step 1: Creating a copy of the DeploymentFrameworkForBizTalkAddin.VS2015 project
First, a copy of the -VS2015 project is created, renamed -VS2019 and the solution is integrated.
Step 2: Adaptation of the Visual Studio in the manifest file
The vsixmanifest file copied from the new project should look like this under "Install Targets":
The range is adjusted as follows for all Visual Studio versions: [14.0] -> [16.0,]
This adaptation prevents a version conflict from occurring when installing the extension.
Then compile the solution and open the directory of the VS2019 project in Windows Explorer.
Step 3: Installation of the extension on the BizTalk Server
We can now copy the created .vsix file to the target system and execute it:
Step 4: Setup in Visual Studio 2019
The extension is now successfully installed and almost ready to use. When you start a BizTalk 2020 solution for the first time, you will notice the following display at the top:
Since our goal is not a full migration, but a workaround, we accept the use of outdated APIs by clicking on "Allow synchronous autoload".
Visual Studio then has to be restarted and looks like this:
The buttons of the BTDF tools that were just grayed out are now visible. After clicking on "Don't show again", the extension is ready for use and can be used with the usual range of functions.
BTDF Extensions for VS 2019 - summary
As described above, we enabled the migration of the BizTalk Deployment Framework Tools for Visual Studio 2019. The deployment functionalities that are well known from earlier versions are now available to us. This makes developing the BizTalk 2020 interfaces considerably more convenient and faster!