Nesting Scope shapes more than 19 levels

by eliasen 24. April 2010 09:48

Hi all

As many of you know, I am writing this book on BizTalk along side some great names of the community.

Anyway, I was just writing about the Scope shape for orchestrations and decided to go through the documentation of this to see if I missed something. And indeed there was a small detail I missed, which you can find at – it states that “You can nest scopes up to 44 levels deep.”

I thought that was a funny number and decided to test it.

So I started adding Scope shapes and at 19 nested Scope shapes I had this:


which looks just fine. BUT, after adding an expression shape to the content of the 19’th Scope shape and adding the 20’th Scope shape I get this:


which is not fine.

So basically, the orchestration designer will not show you the Scopes at level 20 or deeper. You can still add them, though – and it compiles just fine even at 47 levels of Scope shapes, actually – haven’t bothered trying more levels than that.

Now, some of you (all of you?) may sit and wonder: Come on, how probable is it that anyone will do that? An I completely agree – if you get above 10 levels of nested Scope shapes you are most definitely going in the wrong direction :) I just wanted to see if the documentation was correct on this.

I hope this will help someone, but it probably won’t :)



BizTalk 2009

Comments (4) -

Charles Young
Charles Young
4/26/2010 3:49:21 PM #

Oh, Jan....oh, Jan Smile


Jan Eliasen
Jan Eliasen
4/26/2010 6:29:52 PM #

Hi Charles.

Yes, I know... I know... Smile I'll get a life as fast as I can - promise! Smile

Anyway, funny that they explicitly state the number 44 in the documentation when it clearly doesn't apply...

I appologize for the inconvenience Smile


4/28/2010 12:22:24 PM #

First of all, very funny!  Though I'm already thinking of the client to whom I'm going to have to explain that just because you can do it doesn't mean you should.

Second, I have noticed some oddities using the Scope shape in orchestrations with VS 2008/BT 2009.  Things such as when I try to move the scope it won't move, but if I close the project and then open the project (the old BizTalk standby) the scope is now in the correct spot.  You may find that your scope appears if you close and reopen your project.


Jan Eliasen
Jan Eliasen
5/8/2010 7:08:00 AM #

Hi Elisabeth

Tried closing and opening up the solution. That didn't work. Actually, VS.NET crashes for me when I try to open that orchestration :-(



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About the author

Jan Eliasen is 37 years old, divorced and has 2 sons, Andreas (July 2004) and Emil (July 2006).

Jan has a masters degree in computer science and is currently employed at Logica Denmark as an IT architect.

Jan is a 6 times Microsoft MVP in BizTalk Server (not currently an MVP) and proud co-author of the BizTalk 2010 Unleashed book.

BizTalk Server 2010 Unleashed

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Microsoft MVP

6 times: July 2004, July 2008, July 2009, July 2010, July 2011, and July 2012. Not currently an MVP.


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