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Introduction

BizTalk360 allows you to setup monitoring on many artifacts and also allows you to auto-correct artifacts which have hit an unexpected state. During day to day operations it is very helpful to have this monitoring in place as it will save the BizTalk administrator(s) a lot of time because they don’t have to do that monitoring manually.

However, there are also times that you don’t want this monitoring to be active. Think of for example during maintenance windows because of deployments or installation of security patches. To temporarily stop monitoring, BizTalk360 provides a feature called ‘Stop Alerts for Maintenance’, which enabled the user to set up a single maintenance window. This feature can be found in the Settings area of the product.

In BizTalk360 v8.8, we have extended that feature by adding the capability to allow the user to setup multiple future maintenance windows. So during these periods the alarms will be disabled and no notifications will be sent.

In this article, we will take a detailed look at few end-to-end scenarios of settings up maintenance windows with a real-time scenario.

Scenario: Regular Maintenance windows

Let’s say, weekly on a Saturday some work involving performing weekly maintenance checks of the reliability, administration, security, and performance of a BizTalk Server system are done.
When the ports are down, you might continue to get notifications from BizTalk360 as it continues to monitor the BizTalk environment. In this case you would like to setup a maintenance window to stop all alerts during that period.

Follow the below steps as shown:

1. Log in to the BizTalk360 application
2. Go to the Settings page by clicking the Gear icon on top left hand side.
3. Navigate to ‘Monitoring & Notifications‘ and then ‘Stop Alerts for Maintenence
4. Select the environment which you wish BizTalk360 to stop monitoring and the correct date and start time of maintenance and the duration of the window. Also provide a Comment for Auditing purposes and click ‘Save’

Setup multiple Maintenance Windows: configuration settings

5. Here you can set up future maintenance schedules. As these are saved in the BizTalk360 database, they are displayed in the Grid below the configuration section

The Alert Maintenance Schedule grid shows you the list of scheduled maintenance windows for that environment. You can also delete schedules in this table by clicking on the small bin icon on the right-hand side of each of the schedules. If you wish to see the Historical Maintenance Schedules that have gone past, you can switch Tabs and view the results there.

Scenario: Emergency maintenance window

In case some emergency is happening and you don’t want to receive falsified notifications from BizTalk360, you can also set this up.

1.  Select the environment which you wish BizTalk360 to stop monitoring and the correct date and start time of maintenance and the duration of the window

2. Use the Immediate slider option for the maintenance window to start immediately

Setup multiple Maintenance Windows: Immediate setting

3. Define how long the Maintenance window must remain active

4. Give comment for Auditing purposes and click ‘Save’

Now the maintenance window is started immediately, and BizTalk360 notifications will cease while maintenance is on.

When the maintenance period is on

You will be alerted that the maintenance period is currently going on with an informational message both in the Operational dashboard as well as in the Stop Alerts screen as well.

Setup multiple Maintenance Windows: Maintenance window is active

Information regarding the start & end times of maintenance window will also be provided.

Setup multiple Maintenance Windows: Date/time details

This feature is very useful to keep track of the maintenance schedules that are upcoming and those that have already passed. It also shows some form of auditing as you can see the person who scheduled a maintenance window in BizTalk360.

As soon as the maintenance window finishes, BizTalk360 will start sending notifications again based on the monitoring.

Purging maintenance windows

We have also set in place some purging policies to help manage the table size of the historical maintenance schedules.

To view this configuration

1. Log in to the BizTalk360 application
2. Go to the Settings page by clicking the Gear icon on top left hand side.
3. Navigate to ‘BizTalk360 Health‘ and then ‘Data Purging‘.

Setup multiple Maintenance Windows: Purging policy

The default value is 15 days, so every 15 days the Alert & maintenance history is purged, but this can be changed as per your requirements.

Conclusion

If you want to read more about this and all the other features BizTalk360 provides, check out our Documentation portal.

Improvement of the existing ‘Stop Alerts for Maintenance’ feature was implemented based on the voting and requests on our feedback portal. If you feel there is any feature that would benefit you, please make a note in the feedback portal.

Author: Rochelle Saldanha

Rochelle Saldanha is currently working in the Customer Support & Client Relationship Teams at BizTalk360. She loves travelling and watching movies.