Port Bindings

A port binding is the configuration information that determines where and how a message will be sent or received. Depending on type, bindings might refer to physical locations, pipelines, or other orchestrations.

Binding at Deployment Time

You can bind your port to a receive location or to a send port. If you do not have all of the information you need to specify a physical location, you can select the "Specify Later" port binding option in Orchestration Designer, and you only need to specify the port type that describes the port. The information about the actual location will be specified separately after the application has been deployed, either by an administrator in BizTalk Explorer or programmatically, perhaps using script.

Binding at Design Time

You can select the "Specify Now" port binding option in Orchestration Designer to specify at design time what pipeline you want to use and the location you want to communicate with. This is useful if you know in advance the source or destination of transmitted messages.

Direct Binding

Your orchestration can communicate directly with another orchestration by using direct binding. In this case, the message is processed internally by the engine, and no external transport of the message takes place.

There are three flavors of direct binding. You can use direct binding to bind a send or receive action to one of the following:

  • A known port on a partner orchestration.
  • A port with routing information defined by a message subscription on incoming messages, based on a filter expression in a Receive shape.

Caution  You must use a filter expression if you have an activate Receive shape receiving a message of type XmlDocument on a direct-bound port with subscription-defined routing.

  • A self-correlating port, in which the orchestration engine will generate a correlation token on a message that is particular to the orchestration instance, and you do not have to specify any correlation sets yourself.

Caution  Direct binding is not compliant with the standards of the Business Process Engineering Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS). If you require BPEL4WS compliance, use another kind of binding.

Caution  When you use direct binding, you cannot exchange messages between one request-response port and two one-way ports.

Dynamic Binding

If you will not know the location of a communication until run time, you can use dynamic binding for a send port. The location might, for example, be determined from a property on an incoming message.

For information about how to dynamically assign values to ports, see Assigning to Dynamic Ports.

Web Ports

If your project contains a reference to a Web service, Orchestration Designer will detect it and will make available a corresponding Web port type. You simply add a port to your orchestration and assign it an existing Web port type, and you will have a complete Web port. For more information, see Creating Web Ports.

See Also

Working with Port Types

Communication Pattern

Communication Direction

Using Ports in Orchestrations

Port Configuration Wizard

Consuming Web Services

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