Splitting Delimited Values in BizTalk Maps

Today, one of our BizTalk developers asked me how to take a delimited string stored in a single node, and extract all those values into separate destination nodes.  I put together a quick XSLT operation that makes this magic happen.

So let’s say I have a source XML structure like this:

I need to get this pipe-delimited value into an unbounded destination node.  Specifically, the above XML should be reshaped into the format here:

Notice that each pipe-delimited value is in its own “value” node.  Now I guess I could chained together 62 functoids to make this happen, but it seemed easier to write a bit of XSLT that took advantage of recursion to split the delimited string and emit the desired nodes.

My map has a scripting functoid that accepts the three values from the source (included the pipe-delimited “values” field) and maps to a parent destination record.

Because I want explicit input variables  to my functoid (vs. traversing the source tree just to get the individual nodes I need), I’m using the “Call Templates” action of the Scripting functoid.

My XSLT script is as follows:

<!-- This template accepts three inputs and creates the destination 
"Property" node.  Inside the template, it calls another template which 
builds up the potentially repeating "Value" child node -->
<xsl:template name="WritePropertyNodeTemplate">
<xsl:param name="name" />
<xsl:param name="type" />
<xsl:param name="value" />

<!-- create property node -->
<!-- create single instance children nodes -->
<Name><xsl:value-of select="$name" /></Name>
<Type><xsl:value-of select="$type" /></Type>

<!-- call splitter template which accepts the "|" separated string -->
<xsl:call-template name="StringSplit">
<xsl:with-param name="val" select="$value" />

<!-- This template accepts a string and pulls out the value before the 
designated delimiter -->
<xsl:template name="StringSplit">
<xsl:param name="val" />

<!-- do a check to see if the input string (still) has a "|" in it -->
  <xsl:when test="contains($val, '|')">
   <!-- pull out the value of the string before the "|" delimiter -->
   <Value><xsl:value-of select="substring-before($val, '|')" /></Value>
     <!-- recursively call this template and pass in 
value AFTER the "|" delimiter -->
     <xsl:call-template name="StringSplit">
     <xsl:with-param name="val" select="substring-after($val, '|')" />

      <!-- if there is no more delimiter values, print out 
the whole string -->
      <Value><xsl:value-of select="$val" /></Value>


Note that I use recursion to call the “string splitter” template and I keep passing in the shorter and shorter string into the template.   When I use this mechanism, I end up with the destination XML shown at the top.

Any other way you would have done this?

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Author: Richard Seroter

Richard Seroter is Director of Developer Relations and Outbound Product Management at Google Cloud. He’s also an instructor at Pluralsight, a frequent public speaker, the author of multiple books on software design and development, and a former InfoQ.com editor plus former 12-time Microsoft MVP for cloud. As Director of Developer Relations and Outbound Product Management, Richard leads an organization of Google Cloud developer advocates, engineers, platform builders, and outbound product managers that help customers find success in their cloud journey. Richard maintains a regularly updated blog on topics of architecture and solution design and can be found on Twitter as @rseroter.

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