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Using BizTalk360 Analytics, you can visualize a lot of interesting facts about your BizTalk environment, like number of messages processed, failure rate at message type level, BizTalk server CPU/Memory performances, BizTalk process (host instances, SSO, rules engine, EDI etc), CPU/memory utilization and lots more.

In a data-driven business setup, there will be scenarios where critical executive decisions are made based on the performance reports of various components of the listed servers in their environment. BizTalk360 aims to offer an out of the box tool with similar capabilities as the Performance Monitor tool in Windows servers. BizTalk360 Analytics offers visual display of the most important performance counters that are consolidated and arranged on a single screen so that the information can be monitored in a glance. Custom reports can be built in minutes with the metrics that really count for your business, and they’re easy to share with other users in the system. In addition, dashboards can give you a summary of many reports on a single page using drag-and-drop widgets for fast, easy customization.

In every new release of BizTalk360, we include new features and enhancements to make the product more usable for the customers and adding value for them as per the below quotes,

Excellent organisations consistently add value for the customers by understanding, anticipating and fulfilling needs, expectations and opportunities

Let’s see what we have brought for the Analytics module in BizTalk360 v8.8:

  • Zoom In and Out option for the Message Patterns
  • Renaming option for the Message Pattern title
  • Restart option for the Analytics and Monitoring Windows services

In this article, we are having a look at all these improvements.

Zoom In and Out option for the message patterns

In a typical BizTalk environment, there will be different message flows happening. It could be a simple one-way messaging or more complex message pattern with an orchestration connecting different ports. The unique message patterns are captured and displayed in BizTalk360 with a graphical representation. With messaging patterns, you can get to know how many messages passed through a particular port and the average time of execution for the messages across a time period. 

The difficulty here lies in viewing the complex patterns within small screen resolution. For this reason, we have included the zoom in/out feature for the message patterns in the full screen mode.

Analytics features enhancements in BizTalk360 v8.8: Zoom In/Out button in Graphical Flow

This option comes into picture when the message pattern is opened in full screen mode and you can zoom in /out using either the mouse or the icons present. In the full screen mode, the properties of the ports are not displayed. To view the properties, this mode needs to be exited.

Renaming option for the Message Pattern title

Once a message pattern is recognized by BizTalk360, the message flow is saved with a GUID as its title. This would be difficult to remember and not user friendly. Hence, we had the edit option in a separate screen, enabling the user to provide a descriptive name and detailed description for the message pattern.
Based on the few requests from the customers however, there is an extra capability added to rename the message pattern title from the details screen itself. In this case, the users can directly rename the title in the details section where the message flow is seen instead of going to a separate screen.

Analytics features enhancements in BizTalk360 v8.8: Zoom In/Out in Message Patterns

Restart option for Analytics and Monitoring Windows services

Sometimes an exception occurs during monitoring or in the analytics section. Once that exception is resolved, it is recommended to restart these services to reset the errors in the corresponding sub services.

In this scenario, the user would need to login to the server where the service is installed and then restart it. If the service is installed in more than one server, then they would need to login to all the servers for restarting the services.

To make life a little bit easier, we have added the restart option in BizTalk360 application. When this option is clicked, the service installed in multiple servers will get restarted.

Analytics features enhancements in BizTalk360 v8.8: Restart BizTalk360 services

Other improvements

There are other bug fixes as well, in the Analytics section included as part of the BizTalk360 v8.8 release, which include:

  • Improving the performance by deleting the temporary tables created
    • In BizTalk360 Analytics section, for displaying the data for the messaging patterns, we directly query the MessageBox database and the Tracking database and store them in the temporary table in TempDB. Depending on the volume of data, these temporary tables may cause performance hinge in BizTalk360. Based on the auto growth settings in the SQL server, the TempDb will grow and results in SQL Exception for few widgets. The code is modified to delete the temporary tables after fetching data. Hence, data growth is controlled and there will not be any performance glitch.
  • The edit icon for the date time range in the Analytics widget has been removed as there is already a link present
    • The custom widgets in the Analytics section is designed to display the data based on the date time range, which is last 24 hours, 7 days and 30 days. You also have the option to set the custom date time range. The datetime range in the custom widget data already has the link to edit the date. There was an additional edit link present in these widgets which we thought would be unnecessary as it may not be used. Hence this link was removed to make the widgets more user friendly.
  • Displaying the data for available memory in the widget
    • Widgets in the Analytics Dashboard are designed to provide the user with a graphical data. There are three different types of widgets that can be used,
      • Default/Basic Widgets
      • Static Widgets
      • Custom Widgets
      • You can create and customize the different types of widgets only under the Operations Dashboard and Analytics Dashboard. The process to perform these operations remains the same.

Sometimes there may be inconsistent occurrence of certain issues which may be difficult to be identified. One such issue was that “When the Available memory % counter for SQL server was added to the custom widget and when the widget was refreshed, the data for memory % was not getting displayed in the graph”. The root cause for this case was identified and fixed in BizTalk360 v8.8.

Please refer the release notes link below for the complete list of enhancements and bug fixes in v8.8:

https://docs.biztalk360.com/v1.0/docs/v8821162405

Conclusion

Why not give BizTalk360 a try! It takes about 10 minutes to install on your BizTalk environments and you can witness and check the security and productivity features of BizTalk360, within your own BizTalk Environments. Get started with the free 30 days trial. If you are already using BizTalk360 you can download the latest version directly from the product and upgrade, it to enjoy the new features.

Author: Praveena Jayanarayanan

I am working as Senior Support Engineer at BizTalk360. I always believe in team work leading to success because “We all cannot do everything or solve every issue. ‘It’s impossible’. However, if we each simply do our part, make our own contribution, regardless of how small we may think it is…. together it adds up and great things get accomplished.”