Scripting Hosts, Instances and Handlers

Having a common set of Hosts and Handlers over different environments is a quite common practice. Being able to script the setup is a great way to ensure you have the same set hosts and settings. A good approach when you write scripts to handle Hosts, instances and handlers is to be able to re-run them over and over and just creating new if not present.

Sample scripts can be found here:

Create a host and instances

I use the PowerShell Provider that comes with BizTalk Server which I find handy. If you prefer that you could use the WMI classes MSBTS_Host, MSBTS_HostInstance and MSBTS_ServerHost. The sample below uses the PowerShell Provider. Note that for hosts I do a Push-Location to “BizTalk:\Platform Settings\Hosts\“. To create objects with the Provider, navigating to the right location is a must before calling New-Item.

To create a host


To create an instance


The full samples can be found in the BizTalk-Common.psm1.

Making a host handler for an adapter

To configure handlers with WMI use the classes MSBTS_ReceiveHandler and MSBTS_SendHandler2. Doing it with the PowerShell Provider is straight forward using New-Item.


The full sample can be found in the BizTalk-Common.psm1.

Exporting and importing Hosts, instances and handlers

A lot of customers have asked for a way to “copy” their setup in let’s say QA to Production. One tool you could use is the BizTalk Server Migration Tool in which you can select what parts you want to move, that said you might want to change some settings along the way. I have written a script (Export-BizTalkHostsRemote.ps1) to export Hosts, Host Instances and Handler to a CSV file and another (Configure-Hosts.ps1) to import using the edited output from the export. I could have used the existing settings export but wanted to easily be able to edit the file in Excel. I have intentionally left out throttling settings. Hope you find them handy, if you find any issues let me know.

Format of the file

Column Comment
HostName Name of the host
HostType Expected values InProcess or Isolated
GroupName Windows Group that controls access to the host
AuthTrusted Authentication Trusted setting in the properties dialogue.
IsTrackingHost Allow host tracking setting in the properties dialogue.
Is32BitOnly 32-Bit only setting in the properties dialogue.
MessagingMaxReceiveInterval Messaging Polling Interval for the host
XlangMaxReceiveInterval Orchestration Polling Interval for the host
InstanceServer A pipe | separated list of instances


InstanceUser Service Account used for the host instances
InstanceUserPwd In the export same value as InstanceUser for the import it expects path to a password in a KeePass database
ReceiveHandler A pipe | separated list of Receive adapters for this host.


SendHandler A pipe | separated list of Send adapters for this host. A * will mark this as the default host.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s