Jan 152007
 

I am sure some of you who happen onto this blog have worked with the old Mercator or WebSphere TX product.

I just spent the last few days working on upgrading a 6.7 solution to 8.1. I was amazed how I was still able to remember all of the command line switches/card overrides after a few years of not dealing with it.

I just want to tip my hat to all you who are still working with that product. I wish that the mapping capacities that are in the mapper would be present in the BizTalk mapper.

Anyway, just wanted to put a note out there that I was surprised that either the product must be near perfection because there were not many new features from two versions ago, except a debugging utility in the mapper, and it deals with XML a little differently.

Update: I just wanted to put a comment on this entry about the relationship between BizTalk and Mercator. I have been in some meetings with the product team regarding a conversion tool between Mercator and BizTalk. I am not sure that there were any developments by Microsoft towards that. There were a hurdles that largely prevented this from happening. I will list a few that I thought of (maybe not to Microsoft, but ones on my own):

  1. Run Maps: there is no functionality that could be replicated in a BizTalk environment.
  2. Mapping: Custom functions in Mercator have no direct correlation to XSLT that BizTalk uses.
  3. Orchestrations: The integration flow designer and Orchestrations don’t have common conversion features.
  4. Databases: Mercator creates in the adapter an insert statement, BizTalk uses SQLXML

A friend of mine has created a type tree to schema conversion tool that can be accessed here:

http://www.wtx2bts.com/

I like it, but with BTS 2006, it is almost as easy to create a new schema using the flat file wizard, and I would not use it for XML documents.