One of the basic functionalities of BizTalk Server is to offer Business to Business (B2B) communications between customers and business partners. The basic entities required to achieve this functionality is the Partners and their Business Profiles - referred to as Parties and Agreements in BizTalk Server language.
Party (Trading Partners)
Party is the business entity with the capability of being able to send and receive messages with other parties in the server environment. For e.g., if Fabrikam wants to send a business information to their partner Contoso, there would be two parties (Fabrikam and Contoso) for the transaction. Fabrikam should create the two new trading partners (parties) to enable the message transactions between the two parties.
The profile information of the trading partner is simply referred to as the business profile. For instance, if an organization (party) has multiple divisions, each division can have its own business profile as a subset of the party information. Let's take the same scenario as before - when Fabrikam wants to send a business information to their partner Contoso, and Fabrikam has two divisions "Inventory" and "Shipping" while Contoso has one division "Purchase". In this case, since Fabrikam is responsible to send the information to Contoso, they must create the party information for both Fabrikam as well as Contoso and define the business profiles (for themselves and Contoso) within the party information.
The importance of having a business profile is to represent the different divisions in the organization clearly and define how each business profile will interact with the other party business profiles.
As the name implies, partner agreements are the agreements between the trading partners involved in a B2B communication. Agreements define the bi-directional message properties between the two business profiles of the parties. In simple terms, an agreement is the understanding between two business profiles while exchanging messages between each other. As with the previous example of Fabrikam and Contoso, lets say one agreement to be like "Fabrikam's Shipping and Contoso's Purchase business profiles should use X12 agreement standard during message transfers".
Viewing EDI Information in BizTalk360
BizTalk360 allows the capability to view the party information and their associated business profiles and agreement information.
- Log into the application
- Click 'Operations' tab in the Navigation panel
- Click the expand button against 'Electronic Data Interchange' and click 'Parties & Agreements' link
- The Parties and Business Profiles section displays the different EDI parties and their associated profiles information. If there are multiple business profiles associated with a single party, all the profiles will be displayed.
- By default, all the associated business profiles information will be in the expanded state. You can choose to collapse the business profiles information by clicking the '^' symbol.
- Click the 'Party Properties icon' (represented as a file icon) to view the Party properties information. The party properties screen will display the following information:
- Name - The name of the party. Party here refers to the trading partner or the actual business itself, business processes, and systems.
- Additional Properties- This section will display the additional properties associated with the party such as value pair property list.
- Send Ports tab - Displays the location where the messages are actually sent and the technology that used to implement the communication. This section displays the send port(s) name and the URI information of the send port.
- Certificate tab - Displays the information about the party certificate that is used to resolve and validate the identity of the party information.
- If there are multiple business profiles associated with a single party, all the profiles will be displayed under the party information. This example shows you to how to view the Parties and Agreements Information in BizTalk360 EDI section. This video shows you the various operations that can be performed in this screen.
- Click the 'Profile Properties icon' (represented as a user icon) to view the profile properties information. The profile properties screen will display the following information:
- General - Displays the properties of the business profile such as Profile Name, Name of the associated Party, and Description
- Identities - Displays the complete list of identities that are used by the business. The fields displayed under Identities are Qualifier and Value of the Qualifier
- Additional Properties - This section displays any additional properties associated with the business profile information
Click on one of the business party information to view the associated agreements. The right side of the screen will display the list of agreement(s) for the selected business party.
Filter Implementation for Grids
A Filter capability is implemented for the grid columns to do better search from the grid columns. A user can filter the data from the respective rows according to their needs.
The following type of filter has been implemented in the grid columns of the EDI Parties and Agreements:
- Text Filter
This is the most commonly used filter. Using this filter, a user can perform text based search. The text filter has the following options:
- Is equal to
- Is not equal to
- Starts with
- Ends with
- Does not Contains
- Is Null
- Is not null
- Is Empty
- Is not Empty