How to Copy Data to the Message Context as Distinguished Fields

This topic provides step-by-step instructions for promoting a property as a Distinguished Field.

You might choose Distinguished Field promotion over Property Field promotion for the following reasons:

  • Property Field values are limited to 255 characters in length.

  • Property Field values are stored in a database, and therefore have more overhead than Distinguished Fields. Distinguished Fields do not require any additional storage; they are essentially an alias for an XPath, thereby allowing orchestrations to more easily access the relevant values directly from the message.

To promote a property as a Distinguished Field

  1. In BizTalk Editor, open the schema for which you want to promote one or more properties, and then select the (first) Field Element, Field Attribute, or Record node that you want to promote as a Distinguished Field.


    Record nodes can never be promoted as Distinguished Fields, regardless of the type of content they contain.

  2. Right-click the selected node, click Promote, and then click Show Promotions.

    The Promote Properties dialog box opens with the selected node showing as selected in the schema tree on the left side of the dialog box.

  3. In the Promote Properties dialog box, select the Distinguished Fields tab.

  4. With the node to be promoted still selected in the schema tree on the left side of the Promote Properties dialog box, click Add.

    If allowed, the selected node is added to the list on the Distinguished Fields tab. If not allowed, a message box provides an explanation.

  5. You can select additional nodes for promotion in the schema tree on the left side of the dialog box, clicking Add after each selection.

  6. When complete, click OK.

    The nodes that you selected to promote are now Distinguished Fields.

See Also

Promoting Properties
How to Create Property Schemas
Ways to Use Message Content to Control Message Processing