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Using Microsoft .NET in WebSphere Message Broker V8: Part 1: Using the .NETCompute node sample

Matthew Golby-Kirk (mgk@uk.ibm.com), Software Developer, IBM
Matthew Golby-Kirk photo
Matthew Golby-Kirk is a software developer working on the WebSphere Message Broker development team at the IBM Hursley Software Lab in the UK. He works on the design and implementation of the HTTP and Web services support, along with the ESQL language run time in WebSphere Message Broker. You can contact Matthew at mgk@uk.ibm.com.
Ben Thompson (bthomps@uk.ibm.com), Consulting IT Specialist, IBM
Author photo
Ben Thompson is a Consulting IT Specialist working on the WebSphere Message Broker development team at the IBM Hursley Software Lab in the UK. He is currently working on the design and implementation of .NET support in Message Broker. In the past, he has worked for IBM Software Services for WebSphere designing and implementing WebSphere solutions for IBM customers worldwide. You can contact Ben at bthomps@uk.ibm.com.

Summary:  This series of four tutorials demonstrates the new support for Microsoft .NET in WebSphere Message Broker V8. Part 1 shows you how to use the .NETCompute node to filter, modify, and create messages, and provides a sample scenario along with explanatory C# code snippets. Readers should be familiar with either Microsoft .NET or WebSphere Message Broker but need not be familiar with both.

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Date:  21 Dec 2011
Level:  Intermediate

Comments:  

Exploring the message flow

  1. Minimize the window with the documentation for the sample, and return to the Message Broker Toolkit. You should see that the import has created some projects, as shown below. Expand the projects and you will see that they contain several prepared files:

    Application development artifacts
    The application project named DotNetApplication contains a single message flow (DotNet.msgflow), two files with the extension .mbtest, which are used to send test messages through the message flow using the built-in Broker Test Client, and the Broker Archive (BAR) file DotNet.bar, which contains compiled copies of the resources that you will deploy to the runtime broker below. There is also a library project named DotNetLibrary that contains DFDL schema definitions for a comma separated style of output message. This library will be used for one of the output branches in the message flow. Next, examine the message flow DotNet.msgflow, which should already be open:

    Sample message flow
    • The ReadMessages MQInput node takes messages from an input queue named DOTNET.IN.
    • The Filter .NETCompute node routes each message down one of the two flow branches, depending on its format.
    • The Modify .NETCompute node adds some XML elements to the message.
    • The Create .NETCompute node transforms the input message into a new output message, which uses a comma separated format. Both branches of the message flow result in a message being written to the same output queue, named DOTNET.OUT.
    • The WriteLoyaltyProgramMessage node has the output queue name of DOTNET.OUT hard-coded as its queue name property
    • The WriteStoreTransactionMessage node has its output queue controlled dynamically using a DestinationList, which is set up by the preceding Create node. The sample chooses to set the DestinationList to point at the queue DOTNET.OUT as well.
  2. Examine the properties of the Filter .NETCompute node: Filter .NETCompute properties
    When you create a .NETCompute node, you associate it with a .Net assembly file. By default, the sample flow has been configured with the name of an assembly file SampleDotNetProject.dll.
  3. You will create a C# Project, add C# source code, and then build it in order to create this assembly file in subsequent steps, then return to the configuration of the message flow after you have created this transformation code in Microsoft Visual Studio. Right click on the Filter node and select Open Microsoft Visual Studio: Open Microsoft Visual Studio
    Once a .NETCompute node has been associated with a particular Microsoft Visual Studio solution using the Node property on the Visual Studio tab, it will launch with the solution files open. You are yet to create the .NET solution, so the Visual Studio opens with its splash page showing. The next section explains how to write the C# code.

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