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Broker Messages

Most communication between applications is handled through application-specific messages that are defined as message type objects. In addition, Service Broker provides three types of messages that contain information from Service Broker rather than application-specific data. Every application must contain logic to handle Error messages and End Dialog messages. If the application sets a conversation timer on a dialog conversation, the application must contain logic to handle Dialog Timer messages. Service Broker provides these message types to every service, whether or not they appear in the contract for the service.

Dialog timer messages indicate that the conversation timer on a dialog has expired. These messages are of message type http://schemas.microsoft.com/SQL/ServiceBroker/DialogTimer. A conversation timer is specific to one side of the conversation; Service Broker never sends a dialog timer message to the other side of the conversation.

Dialog timer messages are empty messages. A receive operation receives the dialog timer message before any other message for that dialog, regardless of the order in which the timeout message arrived on the queue.

When a remote service ends a dialog with an error or the local broker detects an unrecoverable error in a dialog, the local broker creates an Error Message. Error messages are of message type http://schemas.microsoft.com/SQL/ServiceBroker/Error. Error messages are validated as well-formed XML.

The XML document contained in an error message uses the namespace http://schemas.microsoft.com/SQL/ServiceBroker. The root element of the document has the local name Error, and contains an element named Code and an element named Message. The Code element holds an integer value. The Message element holds the human-readable text of the message.

For example, an error message generated by a service that processes expense reports might contain the following XML (reformatted for readability):

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<Error xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/SQL/ServiceBroker">
  <Code>12</Code>
  <Description>
    Unknown cost center "127-1000". Please check the cost center list
    and resubmit the report.
  </Description>
</Error>

A receive operation receives an error message before any other message for that dialog other than a dialog timer message, regardless of the order in which the error message arrived on the queue. When a queue has both a dialog timer message and an error message, a receive operation receives the dialog timer message before the error message.

Once an error message arrives for a dialog, the broker raises an error if an application tries to send a message on that dialog. However, an application can receive any remaining messages for the dialog, even after receiving an error message.

When an application ends a dialog without specifying an error, the local broker sends an End Dialog message to the remote broker. End Dialog messages are of message type http://schemas.microsoft.com/SQL/ServiceBroker/EndDialog.

End Dialog messages are empty messages. A receive operation receives an End Dialog message in the order in which the message arrived on the queue.

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