Debugging XSLT Stylesheet with Custom Extension Objects from Within Visual Studio

This blog post was very useful today!

A Technical Perspective

When developping complex maps with the BizTalk Mapper, you sometimes find yourself in a situation where you need to debug the underlying logic of the associated XML stylesheet.

In situations like these, it is customary to have Visual Studio generate an XSLT file from the BizTalk map, and use Visual Studio’s builtin support for debugging XSLT. This allows you to put breakpoints, inspect the content of variables and precisely monitor the transformation step by step.

Custom Extension Objects

There are two cases, however, that prevent you from debugging the underlying XSLT from within Visual Studio :

The first case involves the use of the various database functoids, for instance the cross-reference GetCommonValue, GetCommonID, GetApplicationValue and GetApplicationID functoids. These, are implemented in terms of external functions, in a separate assembly, that is itself referenced from the generated map.

The second case involves the use of the Scripting functoid to call an…

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