Distinguished Fields vs. Promoted Properties in BizTalk

BizTalk provides two types of property promotions: Distinguished Fields and Property Fields.

In a simple words, distinguished fields can only be used within orchestration whereas promoted property fields can be accessed through all phases of the BizTalk message processing – orchetration or from custom code,, pipelines, port filter (routing)..

Distinguished Fields

Promoted Properties
(Property Fields)

Are only accessed within an orchestration, and they are not available to other BizTalk Server objects, such as receive locations, send ports, send port groups, and tracking utilities.

Accessed through all phases of the BizTalk message processing, either in orchestrations or custom code, routing (receive and send ports) and pipelines.

Do not participate in routing
IsPromoted = false

Used for routing (subscription mechanism)
IsPromoted = true

Not used for tracking

Used for tracking

They are not persisted to the MessageBox database.
Instead, they are essentially XPath aliases, which simply point to the appropriate XML data field.

Are persisted to the Message box database.

Do not have a size limitation

A maximum 256-character length limitation

Accessed through a reference to the name of the message, the name of the record structure containing the distinguished field, and the name of the distinguished field, with each named item separated by periods:

 

MessageName.RecordName.FieldName

Accessed through a reference to the name of the message, the name of the property schema, and a name of the promoted property, via the following format:

 

MessageName(
PropertySchemaName.PromotedPropertyName)

Do not require the creation of a corresponding property schema

Require the creation of a corresponding property schema

Cannot be used to promote values in a record

Can only be used on records with Simple Content type

Both can be used to promote elements and attributes

Cost less

Have the additional overhead of being written in both to the Message Box context tables and the subscription tables

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