Microsoft AppFabric Connect in BizTalk 2010 – licensing and installation, what’s the deal?

Posted: October 19, 2010  |  Categories: BizTalk Uncategorized

This post goes over a couple of points around the installation of Microsoft AppFabric Connect feature of BizTalk Server 2010 and a note on the licensing requirements.

Installations Details

The installation details of the BizTalk AppFabric Connect feature are described in detail here by Trace Young:

On a development or runtime machine where Windows Server AppFabric is already installed you can start up the BizTalk Server setup and select ‘Install Microsoft AppFabric Connect’:


Once there you can see the required installation steps: you need BizTalk Server, the Microsoft WCF LOB Adapter SDK (this is a pre-requisite for the BizTalk Adapter Pack), and the BizTalk Adapter Pack itself (this is the part that installs the actual AppFabric Connect feature proper):


There are actually two features that compose the Microsoft AppFabric Connect feature: the mapper activity; and the line of business activities. Both [update 30/10/2010] Even though the splash screen mentions the BizTalk runtime is required, only the mapper requires the BizTalk Server runtime to be installed on the machine. The line of business activities are as they were in BizTalk 2009, you only need the WCF LOB SDK and the BizTalk Adapter Pack.

When clicking to install Microsoft BizTalk Server, the only parts needed for the [update 30/10/2010] mapper part of the AppFabric Connect feature on a  development environment are the following:


Note that you only need the Developer Tools and SDK on a development environment, but the Server Runtime is needed on all environments [update 30/10/2010] for the mapper feature. This is because the mapper depends on certain core DLLs from BizTalk Server but the LOB activities don’t.

Next is the WCF LOB adapter SDK. On a development environment you need both Runtime and Tools (if you want just the mapper then just Runtime is enough). On non-development environments (UAT, Production, etc) you can install only the runtime option.


If you made it this far and all you wanted was the mapper in your workflow then you have it already. If you want the LOB feature then the last step is to install the adapters you are interested in from the BizTalk Adapter Pack. For example, if I’m only interested in the WCF-SQL and the WCF-Oracle adapters I choose them from the custom installation:


With this you can start a new .NET 4 WCF Workflow Service project or add a new workflow to an existing project. You should now be able to use ‘Add Adapter Service Reference’ from your workflow project to get the LOB activities, and of course you will find the mapper activity in your workflow’s toolbox:



[update 30/10/2010] Microsoft’s approach to this at the moment is that you need a BizTalk Server Standard or Enterprise license to use the Windows AppFabric Connect feature (even if you only need the LOB adapters and did not install the BizTalk runtime).

If you have any licensing questions please contact your local Microsoft office and they can help you to figure out the licensing requirements for your scenarios.


Thiago Almeida

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