BAM is such a good name for this technology for a few reasons. The first is that it reminds me of the kid Bambam on the Flinstones (You know, the baby with the club that had a thing for Pebbles). Very powerful and also tough to handle at times. Also because "BAM" is the sound my forehead makes while it collides with the palm of my hand as I discover an all too simple solution to some problem that has plagued me for hours or even days.
This article will be a fairly unstructured summary of my recent experiences with BAM under BTS 2006. If there is interest, I will create some more in-depth posts on the topic.
I'll be brief here because most of you know this allready. The basic way BAM works is the following:
The end result of this is that you can take the mess of code, orchestrations etc and transform it back into a logical/business view that even a CEO could understand. All in all, very cool.
Some Pragmatic Advice
Continuations & Relationships
I can't do these justice in this entry so this will be a bit shallow. I will probably blog on this separately. The more comments i see below requesting this, the sooner I will get around to it.
RealTime vs. Scheduled Aggregations
There is a little button in the Excel view (if you have installed the BAM addon) that will mark the orchestration as RealTime or Scheduled. Again, this is complex so I will summarize below.
Common Problems & Solutions
Problem: The BAM Activity and the Tracking Profile have been deployed, the process has been run, but there is no data displayed for the activity in the BAM portal or LiveData Excel sheet.
Solution: When you deploy a non-Real Time Aggregation (this is default) while using SQL 2005. It will create the <package>_DM and <package>_AN packages. These packages need to be run to populate the BAM tables and get you the BAM Data. To run these packages you should select "Integration Services" in the SQL Management Console (not database engine). Once you have found them, run them. Hopefully, you're data will appear.
Problem: The BAM portal or LiveData Excel sheet shows "BLANK" for one column and one row in the Aggregation display. It seems like the measures, and the milestones are not being combined into the same activity. Also, the data shows up in two rows (or more) in the BAMPrimaryImport.dbo.bam_<ActivityName_Completed table.
Solution: This could be a number of things, but if it was the same problem that I had the solution is the following. When you are in the TPE and you are associating data from the message, be sure to use the orchestration schedule. Right click on your receive, Message Construct, or Send shape and select Message Payload and map the items from there. Many people go to the "Select Event Source" and use the "Messaging Payload" from there. YOU ONLY WANT TO DO THAT IF YOU ARE JUST USING SEND RECEIVE PORTS TO MOVE MESSAGES. If you are using an orchestration, map everything from the orchestration schedule.
Problem: Your BAM aggregation is not working and you see "Could not find stored procedure" in your event log.
Solution: This is probably caused becaues you have a "space" or some other bad character in your Activity Name. Undeploy your activity, rename it so it does not have the space. Redeploy it. Adjust your TPE (if required). This should fix the problem.