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Developing Custom Adapters

[Unless specifically noted, the content in this topic applies to BizTalk Server 2013 and 2013 R2.]

To exchange messages with external systems, applications, and entities, BizTalk Server uses the concept of an adapter. Adapters are COM or .NET Framework components that transfer messages to and from business end. points (such as file systems, databases, and custom business applications) by using various communication protocols. BizTalk Server provides native adapters that support various protocols. These include:

  • A File adapter that supports sending and receiving messages from a File location

  • Adapters for EDI, FTP, HTTP, MSMQ, SMTP, POP3, and SOAP protocols

  • An adapter for Windows SharePoint Services

In some cases BizTalk Server may need to transport messages to a specific custom application or use a protocol for which a native adapter does not exist. Third-party companies have written adapters to support additional protocols. You may want to determine if there is an adapter for your protocol before deciding to write a custom adapter. For a list of adapters and associated vendors see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=47140. If you are unable to locate an adapter to support your communication requirements, you can develop your own custom adapter.

Writing a custom adapter can be a challenging exercise. To simplify this process Microsoft has developed a foundation called the Adapter Framework. You can use this framework as a basis for your development along with sample adapter source code in the BizTalk Server SDK.

The topics in this section present custom adapter development tips and recommendations.

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