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:


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.


    Yes, Mercator is essentially perfect. Where it excels over Biztalk is that you can do indexed iterations and also drive output iterations with input data the way you need to i.e. drive iterations of a functional map with any input set you query. I find with BizTalk I am constantly driving loops with unrelated features of the input just “because its there”. Also I have to do two pass mappings for lack of the Mercator EXTRACT type capability (and even if I could extract, I can only drive output loops in Biztalk with naturally occurring loops in the input. Mercator is a professional tool and BizTalk is … inexpensive, at least….

    Also, I can map a 200 meg flat file to EDI with Mercator in 2.5 minutes where as Biztalk takes way longer.

    Finally, there is little technology needed, just the idea of functional maps and you can do EVERYTHING. With BizTalk I have to know more about all the technologies that are cobbled together.

  • Eric Stott

    Yes, as I said, the mapper in BizTalk lacks compared to Mercator’s. However, I think that feature for feature, BizTalk offers a lot more than what Mercator’s suite does. The fact that with BizTalk you can add servers to improve performance whereas with Mercator you are needing to architect something different.

  • magicmonster

    The Mercator mapper definitely deserves a gold star. I am using Mercator and Biztalk for different things. It is impossible to replace one with the other for some of the things I do. Otherwise, I would choose Mercator because I could use the command server in Mercator and feed in different variables easily.

  • You have to realize the genesis of the two products. Mercator (Websphere TX) was designed first as a translator and then the adapters to transport the data were added on after. BizTalk was designed first as a messenging agent. The transformation is limited in the fact that it has to adhere to the published XSLT standards.

  • Devaraj

    I think this is right link to post my question. Do we have any product in the market to migrate Mercator maps to Biztalk maps.

    Also i would like to know whether microsoft is planning to implement any such migration tool.

  • ashwin

    Finally i think i have got right blog…
    I want some good documentation for mercator as
    i want to understand it’s working and implementation…. i am new to mercator and want to learn it…
    Please let me know if we have any link or site where i can get such documentation or pdfs…. free of cost ofcourse !!

  • Siva

    We have been using WTX for our EDI since few years. We deal with VDA docs along with X12 and EDIFACT. Some times WTX is painful, especially in terms of debugging and very difficult to adapt the techonlogy for the new developers and you need to depend on the people who knows it clearly. How good is Biztalk over WTX, in terms of performance, easy to learn???. Can any one help me with some comments

  • I can only refer to IBM’s website. Not many bloggers about it, especially if you came across my blog!

  • Ramya

    What are the differnce between Websphere TX and Mercator 7.2?

  • Websphere Transformation Extender and Mercator 7.2 are the same thing.
    The history is that Mercator was bought by Ascential Software, which was then absorbed by IBM and absorbed into the Websphere suite of products.

    People still like to call it Mercator.

  • The wtx2bts.com tool has moved:

  • yopurp

    Does anyone know the rough pricing for WTX these days? Is it per developer, per runtime server instance, ??? I’m looking simply for budgetary purposes at this point. Thanks

  • There is no 7.2 version of WTX, we jumped from 6.7.1 to 7.5 . Versionning of Mercator aka DSTX aka WTX is a hell ! (even before IBM and Ascential)

  • Srinivas

    Hi All,

    Recently i am facing one problem like,
    Is there any way to crate the “folder” by using the mercator map other than batch command “BAT” adapter?

  • Wow, this is the only site that you found that discusses Mercator WTX stuff?!
    WTX does not have out of the box folder creation functionality. You can always create an assembly that you can call from within a map in the EXIT function, but otherwise, nope, you are required to use the Batch Adapter.

    Ah the good ol days!

  • bhrao

    i want know about this tools can you

  • dinesh

    what is Diff b/w mercator 6.7 and 8.0?

  • raju

    please advice me to excel myself in mercator or WTX as iam new to this techi tool.i know how to map and type trees but dont know regarding all deployment and launchers DID’S and all.I want to be expert in this so anyone can help me tby teaching and providing required materials thank you…..

  • Dhanya

    Hi all,

    I am having issue with my map.
    Its working fine in windows….. whereas when deployed in mainframe the output is different.
    Its omitting some records.
    So i changed all LOOKUP function to EXTRACT that time its giving me those missing records but with altogather with another header,whereas it should come under same header.
    Please help me.