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Using BizTalk Mapper

Microsoft® BizTalk™ Mapper is a translation design tool that enables you to create a correspondence between the records and fields in two different specification formats. BizTalk Mapper uses links and functoids to accomplish this translation. Functoids perform operations that range from simple calculations to elaborate script functionality.

You can use BizTalk Mapper to graphically represent the structural transformation relationship between source-specification data elements and destination-specification data elements. This cross-reference and data-manipulation functionality creates a map that provides a set of instructions that defines the relationship between two different specification formats. The specification formats are defined by using BizTalk Editor.

A map represents data transformations between a source specification and a destination specification. Microsoft BizTalk Server 2002 uses the data that you provide in a map to generate Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT). Then, the XSLT output is used by Microsoft XML Parser (MSXML) version 3.0 at run time to transform the schema on the server. When you create a map, the XSLT can be viewed on the Output tab of BizTalk Mapper.

BizTalk Mapper enables the open exchange of specifications in an XML-Data Reduced (XDR) data format. BizTalk Mapper can open only specifications that have been saved in BizTalk Editor. BizTalk Mapper cannot open generic Extensible Markup Language (XML) files or non-XML files. If you need to translate two generic XML files, you must first import them into BizTalk Editor and save them as specifications.

BizTalk Mapper supports a variety of mapping scenarios that range from simple, parent-child tree relationships to detailed, complex looping of records and hierarchies. When the mapping process is complete, a serializer component uses the specification to create a file format that can be recognized by your trading partner or internal application. BizTalk Mapper also includes a style-sheet compiler component that takes the visual representation of the map and creates an XSLT style sheet.

The following illustration shows the process of mapping a source specification to a destination specification. The source file is an electronic data interchange (EDI)-based document, and the destination file is a flat-file document. In this example, the EDI document structure is converted to an intermediate XML format, the structure of which is represented by an XDR specification. The final format of the data is a flat file. A data-driven parser (that uses the XDR specification) creates an XML version of the source EDI specification. The XSL engine then transforms this source XML representation to an XML representation of the destination file format. The destination specification is later serialized to the native format of the destination file, which is a flat file in this example.

Transforming an EDI document into a flat-file document

The following topics are covered in this section:

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