Enterprise Integration Patterns Part-1 – Scatter and Gather using Self Correlating Port

Scatter and Gather Integration pattern implies that a message is sent to the Scatter-Garther Operation and the message is either debatched and sent to multiple recepients or is sent as it is depending upon the requirements. The recepients process the message request and when the processing is completed a response is sent back to Scatter-Gather where all the responses are collected from all the recepients and then processed and aggregated into a single message. You can read more about Scatter-Gather Enterprise pattern here.

There can be many approaches for building this pattern but I would suggest to follow a loosely coupled design where you can add more systems. I have used Self correlating ports where the parent orchestration calls the partner orchestrations.

Self Correlating ports – Response messsage returned by Start Orchestration shape:

Self correlating ports are used by orchestrations where it calls another orchestration by passing a port instance as a parameter to the child orchestration. The child orchestration sends the message back to this port instance. In the parent orchestration you can create a new one-way send communication port and use direct binding and select “self correlating” in the port configuration wizard. In the child orchestration drag a port shape and select use existing port type and select the self correlating port you created in the partent orchestration. Use one way communication and send in the port configuration wizard. The self correlating port is part as a port parameter to the child orchestration and the orchestration is called by Start Orchestration shape. In this way a response message is returned by Start orchestration shape.


The diagram below shows the design of the parent orchestration where the parent orchestration calls the partner orchestrations using Start Orchestration shape within the parallel shape. Remember that the Start Orchestration shape executes asynchronously and it does not returns a message.  So we use self correlating ports to return the message back to the parent orchestration. The advantage in this approach is that it is an asynchronous operation and the child orchestration are called concurrently and their responses are also collected independently irrespective of the order of response messages are received. With looping the parent orchestration has to wait for the first child orchestration to complete before calling the next orchestration.


At the end you must apply the business logic to aggregate all the responses into one consolidated response message. I have used a simple transformation map that outputs a response message. In the partner 1 orchestration I have placed a delay shape with delay of 10 seconds and the partner1 orchestration is started in the first branch of the parallel shape. Therefore the response is received after the execution and response of the other two orchestrations.


Partner orchestrations cannot be invoked by start orchestration shape

However if the child/partner orchestrations cannot have a self-correlating port as a parameter or you cannot start orchestrations (if the orchestration has receive shape activate property value “True”) then you have to place send shapes in place of start orchestration shapes while the rest of the design will remain the same. When sending the message you have to ensure that the child or partner orchestration is invoked and also you have to use correlation in this design. The send shape will initialize the correlation set while the receive shape will follow the correlation.


Web Services as partners for Scatter-Gather

If the partner is a web service then the calling and receiving of the message will be a synchronous operation therefore the send and receive shape will be in the parallel shape branches. The self correlating ports or correlation will not be required for this design.

You can download the Scatter and gather integration pattern sample from here.

One Response to Enterprise Integration Patterns Part-1 – Scatter and Gather using Self Correlating Port

  1. Pingback: How to achieve parallel processing in BizTalk Orchestration | Naushad Alam's We[b]log

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: