by Lex Hegt | Jun 18, 2020 | BizTalk Community Blogs via Syndication
In Atomic Scope, the Tracking screen is where you get an overview of your business transactions involving Microsoft BizTalk Server and Azure resources that are tracked by the product. Here, you can learn whether all your on-premise and/or hybrid transactions are being processed successfully and view these transactions in every detail.
In our next Atomic Scope webinar, we will be doing a deep dive into the capabilities of the Tracking screen of the product. Among other things, we will show
- How to search for specific transactions
- View all the details of executed transactions
- How Atomic Scope supports batched messages
- What can be done in case something went wrong?
Also, the webinar attendees will get a special sneak-peek on the new features from Atomic Scope v7, which will just have been released at the time of the webinar. These features include
- Graphical Business Process Designer – A new and more powerful way to define the workflows of your respective business process transactions
- Dynamic Email Template Engine – Create flexible and rich email templates to send informative email alerts
If you want to want to have complete insight into your business processes in one portal, then this webinar is for you. We look forward to meeting you during the webinar!
The webinar will take place at:
Date: Thursday, June 25th
Time: 10 AM BST
Save your Spot!
So, if you want to want to have complete insight into your business processes in one portal, then this webinar is for you. The registration process is very simple. Just click here to register and leave your details. Shortly we will send you the confirmation mail. We look forward to meeting you during the webinar!
Also, if you think you cannot attend the webinar at the specified time, no worries! Go ahead and register, our team will make sure to send you the webinar recording.
Also, if you wish to know more about the webinar, feel free to check out the web site!
The post Webinar Spoiler: Discover How to Track Your Hybrid Business Transactions in a Smarter Way appeared first on BizTalk360.
by Lex Hegt | May 19, 2020 | BizTalk Community Blogs via Syndication
Continuing our series of webinars around BizTalk360, Atomic Scope, and BizTalk Server, this time we will explain how you can use BizTalk360 to monitor your BizTalk environment effortlessly!
One of the main goals of using BizTalk360 is probably that you want to have peace of mind that your BizTalk environment is healthy, while you are doing smarter things than constantly checking the BizTalk Server Administration console and all kind of other relevant consoles. In this webinar, we will show you several different ways how you can achieve that peace of mind. Among other things, the following topics are discussed.
Organize your Alarms
BizTalk360 gives you a lot of freedom around alarm creation, but this might leave you uncertain around how to approach setting up monitoring. That is why, besides explaining the basics around the different monitoring types and setting up monitoring in BizTalk360, in this webinar, we will be explaining different approaches to organize your alarms.
Inform your Business Users
In general, we see that BizTalk360 notifications are mainly being transmitted to the BizTalk administrators. However, not just BizTalk administrators, and other IT roles, are involved in operating the BizTalk environment. Also, your business users play a role in it.
BizTalk360 has multiple capabilities to support your business users in such a way that they can help themselves. This way they do not need to create support tickets or pick up the phone, they can check their relevant information themselves via BizTalk360!
Return of Investment in BizTalk and BizTalk360
Your organization has heavily invested in a BizTalk platform and have developed all kind of interfaces which are deployed in that platform. By making the best of your investment in BizTalk360, you do not only get ROI in BizTalk360 but also in BizTalk Server. Using a couple of examples, we show you how that happens.
Note: As you know, in early June we will run our annual Integrate event, which will take place remotely this year. In case, you did not register to join us in this event, join this webinar, as we will have something interesting for you!
As we have done a couple of times meanwhile, also for this webinar we have an external guest. During this webinar, we are joined by Frédéric Gobert, who is an Integration analyst at ArcelorMittal, which is the biggest producer of steel in the world. Among other things, Frédéric will explain how BizTalk360 is used beside SCOM and Dynatrace and how BizTalk360 has been a lifesaver in multiple scenarios!
BizTalk360 v9.1 has been Released!
Following our pattern of bringing a new release every 3 to 4 months, we have just released v9.1. During the webinar, we will show you what’s new in that release. Are you already interested in knowing more about this release? You can check the Release Notes here.
In summary, do you identify yourself in one or more of the following situations?
- you want to be aware of any issues earlier than your IT colleagues or business users
- you want to be able to monitor pro-actively
- you want to do smarter things than constantly perform manual checks
- you want to take more benefit in your investment in BizTalk Server (and BizTalk360)
- you want higher availability of your interfaces
Then, this webinar is for you! It will take place on May 28th, 10 AM (BST). Just click here to register and leave your details. Shortly we will send you the confirmation mail.
Also, if you think you cannot attend the webinar at the specified time, no worries! Go ahead and register, our team will make sure to send you the webinar recording.
We are looking forward to meeting you there!
The post Webinar Spoiler: Monitor your BizTalk environment effortlessly with BizTalk360 appeared first on BizTalk360.
by Lex Hegt | Apr 9, 2020 | BizTalk Community Blogs via Syndication
In the last couple of months, we have brought several blog posts about BizTalk Server 2020. In today’s blog post about the BizTalk Server 2020 features, we will have a look at the Analytics features.
In the “What’s New in BizTalk Server 2020” article, which has been published by Microsoft during the release of the product, under Analytics they mention “Leveraging the power of Azure (Application Insight and Event Hub) for deep data storage and Power BI for reporting and viewing of data”.
To be able to leverage the power of Azure, BizTalk Server 2020 can push different kinds of data to Application Insights, Event Hubs and/or Power BI. As it depends on what kind of data can be pushed to the different Azure storages, let’s have a look at the business-wise possibilities of pushing BizTalk data to Azure. A few possibilities would be:
- Analyze processed data and execute advanced queries
- Collect BizTalk metrics for data processing
- Get visual representations of tracked data
Let’s have a bit more detailed look at each of these scenarios.
Analyze Processed Data and Execute Advanced Queries
With this, you will be able to get all kinds of interesting data about what all becomes processed through your BizTalk environment. Think of statistics around the number of processed messages per port or schema. But it does not end there, as you can also track your promoted properties, you will also be able to get statistics around business entities! Besides querying for such a date, you can also create charts based on the same data.
To get this to work, the following prerequisites apply:
- In Azure: An Application Insights instance to which the data will be pushed (the Instrumentation key is used for authentication)
- In BizTalk: Analytics must be enabled and configured at the Group level
- In BizTalk: In at least one receive/send port or an orchestration, Analytics must have been enabled (don’t forget to restart your Tracking Host)
Documentation on how to set this up can be found here. A much more detailed blog on this topic can be found here.
Collect BizTalk Metrics for Data Processing
Instead of pushing your BizTalk data to Application Insights, you can also push the data to an Event Hub. This enables you to stream the Event Hub data to Azure Blob Storage or Azure Data Lake Storage. This enables you to focus on processing the streamed data, rather than on capturing it.
Alternatively, you could use the new Event Hub adapter to retrieve the tracked data back from the Event Hub and use it for your own purposes. You could think of storing the data in a separate database and use it for reporting or analytic purposes. An advantage of this approach is that you could keep the size of your tracking database limited, while still being able to access the data (via a separate database).
To be able to push tracked data to Event Hubs, the prerequisites are:
- In Azure: You need an Azure Event Hub namespace and Event Hub. A SAS (namespace-level) or Event Hub-level policy is used to authenticate
- In BizTalk: Analytics must be enabled and configured at the Group level
- In BizTalk: In at least one receive/send port or an orchestration, Analytics must have been enabled (don’t forget to restart your Tracking Host)
If you need help to set this up, you can refer to this article.
Get Visual Representations of Tracked Data
You can also push your tracked data to Power BI. By doing so, you can access your operational BizTalk data anywhere and on any device. Your operational data can consist of the following categories:
‘regular’ BizTalk data
- Application data
- Instance information
- Tracked Events
BizTalk EDI data
- AS2 Status Records
- Batching information
- Interchange Aggregations Records
- Interchange Status Records
- Transaction reports
- Transaction sets
After the installation of the prerequisites, you will be able to access the data in Power BI and create dashboards that are based on your operational BizTalk data.
BizTalk Server 2020 contains a pre-defined Power BI template that shows out-of-the-box graphs and charts.
See below for an example of how this looks like.
Besides sticking with the pre-defined template, you have abilities like checking data in tabular form (including drill-down), change chart types, select measures and dimensions, and so on.
To be able to access your BizTalk operational data in Power BI, the following prerequisites must have been met:
More information about this can be found at Microsoft Docs. Read about Power BI at its web site.
If you want to read more on how you can set up Power BI to access your BizTalk operational data, check Sandro’s whitepaper.
More Resources on BizTalk Server 2020
Besides the blog posts, we are bringing much more content about BizTalk Server 2020. Check below resources to learn more about these community initiatives:
BizTalk Server 2020 landing page
To start with, you can visit our BizTalk Server 2020 landing page, which not just contains links to articles from ourselves but also from Microsoft and community members all about BizTalk Server 2020! We are frequently revisiting that page ourselves to make sure that it contains the most accurate and useful articles for you.
Whitepapers and e-books
We are in the progress of updating the current set of whitepapers and e-books about earlier versions of the BizTalk Server. Think of papers about installation and configuration of BizTalk Server, and so on. Current and updated papers can be found here.
BizTalk Server 2020 Webinar on April 23rd
In a couple of weeks, we will be hosting a webinar dedicated to BizTalk Server 2020. If you want to more about it, check this link.
Integration Monday session by Tom Canter
In February, Tom did a session in which he explained the new features in BizTalk Server 2020. You can view the recording of his session on this page.
New LinkedIn group: BizTalk Server (verified)
On LinkedIn, we have initiated a new group that focusses on BizTalk Server. There, we share hand-picked content about BizTalk Server. To be able to join that group, it is important that you are currently working with BizTalk Server. Submitting your interest in being part of that group is required, as that also enables us to keep recruiters away from the group. Do you want to participate? Enter the form here: LinkedIn Group Access.
Since the release of BizTalk Server 2020, over the last couple of months, we have brought several articles about the latest release of BizTalk Server. Besides this new blog post, we are planning to bring even more posts. So, be sure to visit our blog regularly, as you might find more relevant articles for you.
The post BizTalk Server 2020 – Analytics Features appeared first on BizTalk360.
by Lex Hegt | Jan 27, 2020 | BizTalk Community Blogs via Syndication
At our annual event Integrate, Microsoft announced last year that BizTalk Server 2020 should have released in the first quarter of 2019. Only two weeks in the new year, Microsoft has released BizTalk Server 2020 (v3.13.717.0)! In this blog, we want to update you on what’s new in this version of the product.
No Changes in Available Editions
Similar to earlier versions of the product, BizTalk Server 2020 comes in 4 flavors:
- Microsoft BizTalk Server 2020 Developer
- Microsoft BizTalk Server 2020 Branch
- Microsoft BizTalk Server 2020 Standard [to do: changed limitations]
- Microsoft BizTalk Server 2020 Enterprise
You can download these products when you have an Enterprise MSDN account.
New Features in BizTalk Server 2020
During Integrate 2019, Paul Larsen, the Program Manager who is responsible for BizTalk Server, already highlighted which new features are coming in BizTalk Server 2020. You can read a recap about Paul’s session here.
As you can understand from Paul’s session, we were already expecting platform alignment. More importantly, BizTalk Server 2020 contains all features from BizTalk Server 2016, including the 3 Feature Packs, which have been released.
You can find the complete set of new features here
But, let’s have a look at some of the new features and capabilities.
Support for newer platforms
BizTalk Server 2020 adds support for the following Microsoft platforms:
– Visual Studio 2019
– Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows 10
– SQL Server 2019, SQL Server 2017, SQL Server 2016 SP2
– Office 2019, Office 2016
Hardware and Software Requirements for BizTalk Server 2020
Operational Data Monitoring and Analytics.
Leverage the power of Azure (Application Insight and Event Hub) for deep data storage and Power BI for reporting and viewing of data.
Send tracking data to Azure
Configure data feed for Power BI
Application Lifecycle Management with VSTS
Using Visual Studio Team Services, you can define multi-server deployments of BizTalk Server 2020, and then maintain those systems throughout the application lifecycle.
Configure automatic deployment using VSTS
Manage your environment remotely using the new REST APIs with full Swagger support.
REST API reference
New and improved scheduling capabilities in Adapters.
Configure time zone and recurrence
Backup to Azure Blob Storage
When deploying BizTalk Server to Azure VMs, you can backup BizTalk Server databases to Azure blob storage.
Configure the Backup Job
Event Hubs Adapter
Using the new Event Hub Adapter, BizTalk Server can send and receive messages with Azure Event Hubs, where BizTalk Server can function as both an event publisher and subscriber, as part of a new Azure cloud-based event-driven application.
Event Hubs adapter
Office 365 Adapters
Leverage the power of BizTalk in newer office automation workflows by integrating with Adapters that allow you to send or receive Office 365 emails, receive or transmit Office 365 calendar events, and create Office 365 contacts.
Office 365 Outlook Email adapter
Office 365 Outlook Calendar adapter
Office 365 Outlook Contact adapter
Group Managed Service Accounts
Extend windows GMSA support to BizTalk operations and services.
Using Group Managed Service Account
Making BizTalk further secure by maintaining audit trails of all management operations.
New Read-Only Operator role
Brand new read-only operator role in facilitating the dev-ops model, where access to production stamp is provided without the ability to update anything.
· Move to new long term supported Microsoft OLEDB Driver for SQL Server
· Support for SSO Affiliate applications in the SFTP adapter
· SQL Availability Group support for BAM DTS Package via SSIS Catalog
· Partially disabled receive locations
· Throughput improvements for Dynamic Send Ports with Ordered Delivery
Deprecated and Removed Features
Some features of the product are deprecated or removed from the product. Here’s the list:
Removed from BizTalk Server installation
POP3 and SMTP adapters
Office 365 adapters
Support for ACS authentication in adapters
Old SQL adapter
JDE OneWorld adapter
Changes that Catch the Eye
Based on the above lists, and besides the already expected features and improvements, a few features catch the eye.
Until now, no auditing was available for any operations performed against the BizTalk environment. Luckily, from BizTalk Server 2020 on, the Administration console provides auditing of operations. To be able to use this feature, you will have to turn it on in the Group Settings screen.
The auditing data is stored in the Management database, and you can access it via the Operational Services. At the moment, the supported operations are:
- Creating, updating and deleting ports
- Suspending, resuming and terminating service instances
- Adding, updating and removing BizTalk applications
- Importing binding files
Although this is a good start, multiple important operations are still missing; think of starting/stopping of ports, orchestrations, and host instances. We hope that Microsoft adds such operations in the future.
Read more about this feature here.
Support of .NET Framework v4.7
Earlier, Microsoft has announced that .NET 4.8 will be supported.
New Read-Only Operator role
The BizTalk Operator role has changed. Where before, it was possible to perform actions like stopping/starting ports and changing the port configuration, this role is now completely read-only. This can certainly be useful for facilitating DevOps scenarios.
When accessing the BizTalk Server 2020 Admin console as a BizTalk Operator, all the operations are still accessible. However, when an operator tries, for example, to stop a port, an error message shows up, and the operation becomes blocked. Unfortunately, the error message is not always clear that the operation is blocked due to insufficient permissions.
BAM Portal is Deprecated
Microsoft has decided to deprecate the BAM portal. Probably due to the new capabilities to push data to Azure, they decided to deprecate the old-fashioned BAM portal. In case you are using BAM, and you are considering upgrading to BizTalk Server 2020, you can still install and configure the BAM portal from the BizTalk installer and configuration wizard; you won’t be left in the dark.
Deprecated and Removed Adapters
Multiple updates in this area as well. For example, Microsoft deprecates the POP3 and the SMTP adapters in favor of the Office 365 adapters, which appeared in the BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Packs. Next, the old SQL adapter has been removed and replaced by the WCF-SQL adapter, and the JDE OneWorld and the WCF-NetTcpRelay adapter have both been deprecated.
BizTalk360 Support of BizTalk Server 2020
The BizTalk360 product team has eagerly followed the developments around BizTalk Server 2020, and we are glad that BizTalk Server 2020 has been released. For BizTalk360, it is evident that the product must support all recent versions of BizTalk Server.
That’s why we made the latest released versions of BizTalk360 and Atomic Scope compatible with BizTalk Server 2020!
BizTalk Server 2020 has been released. This is the 11th version of the product since its inception in 2000. Although we have already seen most of the features of this release (in the BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Packs), this is still a useful release. Especially when you are still on versions older than BizTalk Server 2016, it will certainly be worth upgrading or migrating to this release.
The post What’s new in BizTalk Server 2020! appeared first on BizTalk360.
by Lex Hegt | Jan 9, 2020 | BizTalk Community Blogs via Syndication
In 2019, we released multiple major versions of BizTalk360. We have always believed that listening to the requests of our customers and partners is the right way to evolve the product. Many of the new features and improvements in the most actual version of the product have been suggested by our customers. So, we decided to organize a webinar to showcase the most appealing new features and improvements in the product.
Date: Wednesday 22nd of January
Time: 10 AM to 11 AM GMT (London)
Overview of some of the most important updates in BizTalk360 v9.x
It is interesting to see, that although over the last 8 years, we have brought over 60 releases, there are still areas where we can improve in the product. When looking at the v9.X updates we have released in 2019, the most recent version of the product contains 11 new features, 25 improvements, and 30 bug fixes. During the webinar, we will show the most interesting of these features in detail. Some of the features we brought are in the following areas:
- Monitoring and notification – SQL Server cluster monitoring, database size monitoring, a new BizTalk Group dashboard, configurable polling intervals, a new Notification Channel
- Operations – Querying Subscriptions, Send Port Group operations
- Analytics – APM integrations (AppDynamics, Dynatrace), Reporting improvements, data collection optimization
Does this sound interesting? It doesn’t stop here! Join the webinar to learn about other new capabilities in BizTalk360!
How does BizTalk360 help our customers?
Meanwhile, we have around 600 customers all over the world and we believe that we are doing a good job in helping them efficiently manage their BizTalk environments. But why should you just take our word for it?
That’s why we have invited representatives from a BizTalk360 customer and a partner to be a part of our webinar.
During the webinar, we will interview them, enabling them to share their experiences with BizTalk360. Please find a short introduction about both below.
The customer, UWV (Netherlands), is an organization around social security. They might just have the largest BizTalk Server platform in The Netherlands. UWV is using BizTalk360 for a few years now. We have invited Hans Knaap, a senior administrator at UWV, to share his experiences with the product.
The partner, Integration.Team, is one of the major Belgian consultancy companies in the area of Microsoft integration. During the webinar, we will talk to Jordy Maes, who is a BizTalk360 Product Specialist for multiple years meanwhile. He has done multiple implementations of BizTalk360 at his customers.
Join us at the Webinar!
The webinar will be hosted by two of our senior Product Consultants, who have years of experience in the area of BizTalk Server and BizTalk360. This tandem will be able not just to show how the new capabilities look like, they will also share how they can be used in day-to-day practice.
Do you want to join us at the webinar on January 22nd? Why wait! Registration is simple, just click the below banner and leave your details. We are looking forward to welcoming you during the webinar.
The post Webinar Spoiler: BizTalk360 v9. X Product Walkthrough appeared first on BizTalk360.
by Lex Hegt | Oct 28, 2019 | BizTalk Community Blogs via Syndication
As part of our efforts to help you make the best of your investment in BizTalk360, we provide several services. Take for example our very responsive support team which helps you with your support requests, installation and implementation best practice sessions and quarterly client relationship calls. Typically, these ways to support you are carried out via remote conference calls. In most scenarios, we are very well able to help our customers via such calls. However, sometimes it is just more convenient to speak to somebody in person and with your BizTalk environment at hand. For such scenarios, we provide our customers with the opportunity to have an experienced BizTalk360 Product Consultant visit you at your premises.
In this blog post, we wanted to explain more on this topic of on-site BizTalk360 consultancy and why this could be beneficial for you, as a BizTalk360 user, too! We have been doing these consultancy visits for a couple of years now and our experience is positive – these sessions are of great value, not only for you, the customer but also for us!
To demonstrate the rationale and effectiveness of these sessions, we have provided a few examples:
BizTalk360 Upgrades & Newer Versions
We often see that our customers have not upgraded to the latest release of BizTalk360. That is totally fine, as we bring 3 to 4 releases per year and not each version will contain features that are relevant for you. We understand that and, in fact, that’s the reason why we test upgrade scenarios from multiple previous BizTalk360 versions before we release a new version.
One of the topics we discuss during consultancy visits is explaining the new features and improvements since the customer’s latest upgrade.
On multiple occasions, we arrived wanting to discuss a particular requirement from a customer, only to find out that the requirement can be met once the customer upgrades to a newer version! Similarly, we also see that a specific requirement can already be met in the currently installed version, but the customer was not yet aware of it. In the latter case, we can immediately dive into the details and start using the required feature.
Move your organization forward by maximizing your investment in BizTalk360
As you are probably aware, BizTalk360 is very rich in features. Since its inception in 2011, the product has constantly been matured and improved by bringing 3 to 4 releases a year. As a customer of the product, it is likely that you will take the implementation of the product one step at a time.
This is exactly how we can help our customers during consultancy visits. During face to face meetings with all the employees involved, we discuss the current status and any requirements. The product consultant will actively participate in the conversations, share his/her experiences and explain how specific requirements can be met with the product. After such meetings, we can immediately have a look at implementing any requirements which have been identified. By doing similar sessions with a certain frequency, you will be able to quickly move forward fulfilling requirements and, at the same time, make most of your investment in BizTalk360.
Potential agenda and outcome of a visit
To make the actual visit as effective as possible, we usually set up an agenda for the day, beforehand. This helps to structure the day and will also help in identifying any preparations, from either side, to be done.
An agenda of a previous on-site visit looked like below:
- The customer tells about the current situation at the customer’s side, including any issues (high level)
- The product consultant tells about the features which appeared in BizTalk360 since the latest installed version at the customer’s site. During the explanation, the customer identifies features they might be interested in
- A detailed look into any issues the customer faces, address these issues or plan how the issues will be solved
- Product consultant does several checks of the current configuration of BizTalk360 and where possible gives the advice to make the most of the product
- Upgrade to the latest or latest minus 1 release of BizTalk360, depending on the company policy
- Product consultant demonstrates the earlier identified features and configures them, based on the customer’s requirements
In the above case, the customer had the latest release of BizTalk360 installed and could immediately benefit from a new feature. Besides that, an improvement request has been identified which has been released in the next version of the product and installed during the next visit of the consultant.
These are just a couple of examples we have experienced. Let’s take a closer look at some more advantages of this service.
Face to face meeting with an experienced product consultant
Sometimes, face to face meetings is simply the best way to investigate and have a look at a specific requirement you might have. In your busy day to day activities, you might find it hard to allocate time to have a good look at your operations and monitoring requirements. Sitting down with a BizTalk360 product consultant is helpful as you will allocate some time to have a better look at your BizTalk operations and monitoring requirements and immediately optimize your current setup.
Focused on your requirements
The product consultant has many years of BizTalk and BizTalk360 experience. He/she can relate to your pain points and can share with you similar customer scenarios more often than not from the same industry. BizTalk360 has always prided itself on improving business processes. The main focus for the consultant is, therefore, helping you out in the best possible way when using the product, thereby helping you achieve the best possible return on investment.
We often see cases where customers have a particular business requirement with respect to their BizTalk administration unaware it could be solved with BizTalk360.
Any BizTalk360 or BizTalk Server topic can be discussed
When you have a BizTalk360 product consultant on-site, any BizTalk360 or BizTalk Server topic is on the table. The consultant has rich experience in both fields, so is happy to take your questions in these areas and share his/her views and experience.
For example, you might be in the process of installing our BizTalk360 product. The consultant will explain the different deployment models and, based on your requirements, give you a recommendation making you aware of any prerequisites. Moreover, if you are not sure how to implement the monitoring of your BizTalk environment, you can discuss and implement, based on your requirements and the recommendations of the consultant. Even if you have concerns about BizTalk administration in general, the consultant will be more than happy to provide you with best practices and his/her own experiences from the field. If required, the consultant can do a short health check of your BizTalk environment, which might give you the confidence that your BizTalk environments are in a healthy state.
Quick access to the BizTalk360 Dev team
Although the product consultant has rich experience with BizTalk360, it might still happen that there are areas where the consultant does not immediately have an answer. If there is no direct urgency to have the answer, the consultant will take your question(s) and get back to you once there is more clarity about the topic. However, if urgency is required and time is of the essence, the consultant will escalate the matter with the developers of BizTalk360.
Listening to & logging your improvement requests
BizTalk360 is a very mature and feature-rich product. Nevertheless, you might have a requirement that BizTalk360 cannot solve.
Having a BizTalk360 product consultant at hand is probably the best way to discuss requests for new or improved features.
When such improvements or new features are discussed, there will be an open conversation about the improvements you have in mind and if the request is considered valuable, it will be logged in our internal systems.
New feature requests generally take the following course: by listening to other customers & partners on a regular basis we tend to hear the same or similar requests. Naturally, we want to bring features that are useful to as many customers as possible. Deciding which requests will be taken for development is carried out, amongst others, on a voting system. The more votes a feature request receives, the more likely it will be that we will take it up for development.
Keep up to date with the latest product developments
Keeping up to date with product development can be tricky especially if you are always busy with important daily activities. It is our responsibility to make you aware of new additions to BizTalk360. As we bring new releases so frequently, we notice that users of BizTalk360 have not always upgraded to the latest version. During the meeting, the consultant will give you an overview of the features which have been added since the version you are using was installed. It might very well be that it contains features of interest to you!
We have agreements with multiple customers who we serve with quarterly or half-yearly visits. Normally, we receive positive feedback on the usefulness of the consultancy visits. We hope that, based on the above-mentioned arguments, you will understand that such visits can be useful for you too. In most cases, a full day will be allocated for the consultancy visit, but any duration from half a day to multiple days can be considered.
If you would like to discuss the possibility of an on-site visit, feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
Besides these product consultancy visits, we can also provide BizTalk360 training and BizTalk Server Administrator or Developer training.
The post On-site BizTalk360 Consultancy appeared first on BizTalk360.
by Lex Hegt | Aug 1, 2019 | BizTalk Community Blogs via Syndication
After the installation of BizTalk360, the implementation phase starts. One of the steps you will want to do is taking benefit of the rich automated monitoring features the product provides. For that, you must set up alarms in BizTalk360. In this article, we intend to give you some best practices around Alarm Configuration. Firstly, however, we’ll shortly explain the different monitoring concepts which are available in BizTalk360.
A short explanation of the supported monitoring types
BizTalk360 has multiple types of monitoring, which are Threshold monitoring, Health Monitoring, and Data Monitoring. Each alarm you create in BizTalk360 can support all types of monitoring, either as separate alarms or as combined alarms.
As you can see from the above screen, BizTalk360 enables you to configure an alarm for multiple purposes. So, in case you want the same people to receive the same notifications for both Thresholds as for Health Checks, you only need to create one alarm.
With this kind of monitoring, you get notified in case a threshold occurs. For example, that can be a Receive Location which was Disabled, while it should be Enabled or any other artefact which is mapped in an alarm and is in an unexpected state.
At the Alarm creation level, you can configure the following:
- Name – each alarm needs to be given a name. The more descriptive the name, the easier it is for identifying the purpose of the alarm
- Description – optionally, you can provide a detailed description of the purpose of the alarm
- Email Ids – each alarm can send notifications to multiple recipients
- High Priority – in case you want specific notifications (for example when anything goes wrong with the BizTalk platform) to jump out in your email box, you can enable the High Priority switch
- Violation persistence – to configure after how much time and with which interval you want to be notified of exceptions
- Limit the number of notifications per exception – to prevent you from being bombarded with notifications and lose the overview as a result
- Back to Normal notification – receive a notification when the alarm no more contains artifacts in the wrong state
- Alert reset – start receiving notifications again after a specific time in case you have received the maximum number of notifications
- Alert schedule – configure when the alarm should perform monitoring. Handy when you know that specific artifacts are not available all the time, due to, for example, maintenance
It can be helpful if you receive a report with the actual status of the monitored artifacts, for example at 9AM every business day. For such scenarios, you can configure alarms for Health monitoring.
BizTalk360 Health Monitoring alarms allow you to easily configure when you want to receive these status reports via an intuitive interface.
Below screenshot shows the screen where you can select when you want to receive these status reports.
This alarm has not only been configured to send a report at the beginning of each working day but also towards the end of the business day. This helps in being aware of the status of your environment before you leave home.
A detailed explanation of Data Monitoring falls outside the scope of this article, therefore we provide a somewhat better overview of its capabilities here.
The concept of Data Monitoring allows you to set up monitoring of your data flows. As an example, your BizTalk platform and applications might be in perfectly good health, but when a misconfigured firewall prevents messages from arriving in BizTalk, no processing will be taking place. This interrupts your business processes, with maybe bad consequences for your company. Data Monitoring can be used to monitor this kind of scenarios.
Data Monitoring provides monitoring at the following levels:
- Process Monitoring – monitor whether your processes run as expected
- MessageBox Monitoring – monitor the active processes and (optionally) take automated actions
- Tracking Data Monitoring – monitor completed processes
- BAM Monitoring – monitor your deployed BAM Views and Activities
- EDI Data Monitoring – monitor your EDI processes
- ESB Data Monitoring – monitor your ESB Exceptions and resubmissions
- Logic Apps Monitoring – monitor tens of metrics about the processing of your Azure Logic Apps
- Event Log Monitoring – monitor your consolidated Event Log entries of your BizTalk and/or SQL servers
After selecting which kind of Data Monitoring you want to set up, it now comes down to configure what exactly you want to monitor and when monitoring needs to be done.
Below screenshot gives an example of Process Monitoring.
Once you have set up Data Monitoring, the output of all the different monitor runs will be shown in a consolidated Data Monitoring dashboard. This dashboard helps in answering the questions from your business/functional users whether a specific process has taken place.
You can refer to the Data Monitoring section in the Documentation portal for a more detailed explanation of this way of monitoring in BizTalk360.
Some more information about BizTalk360 Alarms can be found here.
BizTalk platform versus BizTalk application monitoring
When setting up monitoring in BizTalk360, it is handy to make a difference between monitoring the actual BizTalk platform and the BizTalk applications which are deployed on it. Making this distinction gives several advantages, like:
- Notifying different people, depending on their role and needs
- Use different monitoring settings like:
- The monitoring interval for early notifications in case of important issues
- The number of notifications you want to receive per exception
- Receive a ‘back to normal’ notification in case everything is healthy again
- Set the High Priority flag to easily spot important notifications in your email box
- Run PowerShell scripts for immediate actions
Even within platform monitoring, you can make segregations for different administrators. For example, a SQL Server DBA has different needs than a System (Windows) Administrator, so other artefacts need to be monitored. BizTalk360 enables you to set up different Alarms for different needs.
What to setup for Platform monitoring
When you are creating an alarm for platform monitoring, you want to be notified of unexpected situations which might occur on your BizTalk platform. For this purpose, you will create a Threshold Monitoring Alarm. If you also want to receive a daily status report at say every business day at 8:00 AM, you can configure an alarm for Health Check Notification.
See below for a list of artefacts you could consider for monitoring BizTalk platform health:
- Host Instances (clustered and non-clustered)
- Host Throttling
- BizTalk Server availability
- SQL Server Jobs
- Windows NT Services
- Enterprise Single Sign-On service
- Internet Information Services
- BizTalk Health Monitor output
- Eventlog entries
- BizTalk Criticals, Errors, and Warnings
- SQL Server Criticals, Errors, and Warnings
- ESSO Criticals, Errors and Warnings
- Internet Information Services Criticals, Errors, and Warnings
- Server restarts
- Certificate expiration
- BizTalk and SQL related stuff
- Disk space
- CPU/Memory usage
- Windows NT Services
Below screen shows the Monitoring Dashboard for a Platform alarm.
What to setup for BizTalk Application monitoring
Before we move to discuss which artifacts to monitor from BizTalk Application alarms, let’s firstly discuss how to organize your BizTalk Application-oriented alarms. Basically, there are two ways you can set up your BizTalk Application alarms.
The Alarm equals Application approach
When deploying BizTalk applications, it is often handy to create an alarm per BizTalk application for Threshold Monitoring and/or Health Check Notification. The main motivation for this is, that a BizTalk Application is the unit which you will deploy, so setting up alarms around them will help in keeping the overview. For easy reference, you could give the alarms the same name as the BizTalk application it will be monitoring. This can be considered as a bit more technical approach for your monitoring.
The Alarm equals Interface approach
Another approach to set up your BizTalk Application-oriented alarms is around the interfaces which are being processed by BizTalk. Say, your BizTalk environment contains multiple applications of which several their contained artifacts together are part of a Purchase Order. To keep the overview of such an interface, it makes sense to monitor all artifacts related to that interface. This is totally fine and BizTalk360 allows you to set up your alarm in such a way. Ideally, you can give the alarm the name of the interface. This approach is a bit more business-wise way of monitoring and can be helpful if you need to notify your business/functional users in case of any issues.
However, there is a downside to monitoring your BizTalk artifacts around interfaces. Because artifacts from multiple BizTalk Applications need to be monitored, it might be a bit harder, especially when many artifacts are involved, to keep the overview and be sure that you are really monitoring all the relevant artifacts.
No ‘Always Right’ way
Summarizing, there is no ‘always right’ way to set up your BizTalk Application monitoring. Even a ‘hybrid’ setup, which follows both just mentioned practices, of your monitoring is totally fine and not uncommon. In the end, it all depends on what works the best for you and your organization. BizTalk360 gives you all the freedom you need.
Artifacts to be monitored
When setting up monitoring for your BizTalk Applications, you will set it up for your ports and orchestrations of your BizTalk Applications. However, you can also consider the following artefacts for monitoring:
- State of Services Instances
- Suspended (Resumable/Not Resumable)
- Ready to Run
- Endpoints of your Receive/Send ports
- Web Endpoints
- Queues (MSMQ, IBM MQ, Azure Service Bus)
- File shares
- FTP sites
- API Apps
- Logic Apps
Tip: To be able to find out if files/messages are being picked up, you can monitor your File shares, FTP sites, and Queues. Below screen shows an example of monitoring a File share.
As a side note, BizTalk Server Best Practices suggest that you have a proper Host configuration in place, where separation takes place based on receiving/sending messages, processing of orchestrations and tracking of processed messages/service instances. However, sometimes Host configuration has been set up for a specific process or BizTalk application. In that case, it is valid to monitor your Host Instance(s) in your BizTalk application-oriented alarm, instead (or on top) of your BizTalk platform alarm.
Advanced Monitoring setup
Besides deciding on how to setup your alarms and which artifacts to monitor, there are a couple of other topics you could consider take benefit of. You can think of:
- Auto-Correct – the ability to automatically recover artifacts
- Notification Channels – inform people not just via email but also via different channels
- Customized Notification Templates – provide additional information or brand the templates
Using such features not just makes your life as an administrator easier, it will also help you in making the best of your investment in BizTalk360. Let’s have a better look at all these options.
For state-related artefacts like BizTalk Ports and Orchestrations, Host Instances and SQL Server jobs, you could consider using the Auto-Correct feature, which, after a threshold situation has been met, tries to get the artifacts back to the expected state.
Tip: You can use this feature to automatically Enable your Receive Locations, in case they failed to connect to their endpoints due to a temporary failure!
You can read more about the Auto-Correct feature in this article.
Below screen shows that BizTalk360 will try to automatically try to recover the Host Instances once they are no more in the Started state.
The default way of BizTalk360 for sending notifications is via email. However, sending notifications does not end there. The product has a number of so-called Notification Channels you can use. Examples are:
- Slack – send notifications to a Slack channel
- ServiceNow – have tickets created, directly in ServiceNow
- Microsoft Teams – send notifications to a Teams channel
- PowerShell – trigger a PowerShell script to perform an action
- SMTP – have more control over the way notifications are being sent
- Webhook – connect to an already existing REST API
Besides this rich set of notification channels, there is also an easy to use API at your convenience. By implementing the API, you can, for example, connect to your ticketing system or other important backend systems.
Below screen shows the information you can provide when using the ServiceNow Notification channel.
More information about all the Notification channels can be found here.
Customized Notification Templates
BizTalk360 allows you to customize the notifications it sends. This allows you for example to provide some additional information/instructions for the people who receive the notifications. However, it can also be used for branding purposes.
Although some notification information can simply be provided via text input fields, the actual templates are based on XSLT, so some skills with editing such files will be helpful.
More information about customizing the notification templates can be found here.
With this article, we intended to provide you some help and guidelines with setting up your alarms. Both the Documentation portal and our Blog contain many articles on monitoring your BizTalk environment with BizTalk360. However, if you feel you need some more support with setting up your monitoring, feel free to reach out. We are here to help you!
The post Best Practices for BizTalk360 Alarm Configuration appeared first on BizTalk360.
by Lex Hegt | Jun 17, 2019 | BizTalk Community Blogs via Syndication
From time to time we go on a call with our customers because they raised a support ticket, or simply to explain a particular feature of the product. During such sessions, in most cases, the Operations Dashboard is the first screen which will show up after starting BizTalk360.
Unfortunately, quite often we find that dashboard in its out-of-the-box status. In this article, we will explain taking maximum benefits of the Operations Dashboard.
The default dashboard looks similarly like shown below.
Of course, it is up to our customers to leave the BizTalk360 Operations Dashboard to its defaults. However, there is a big opportunity to make the Operations Dashboard much more informative about your BizTalk environment. In this article, we will show some examples on how to improve the Operations Dashboard.
What is the Operations Dashboard?
The Operations Dashboard, the Home Page of BizTalk360, is designed to provide its users with valuable information about their BizTalk environment. The advantage is that each user has its own homepage and can shape it to his/her own requirements. For example, you can think of showing information in the following categories:
• Suspended/Running Instances
• Status of BizTalk artifacts
• EDI Interchanges and Transaction Sets
• ESB Faults, Itineraries and Resubmissions
• Customized information based on REST API’s
• Shortcuts to BizTalk360 features
All the information is shown in, what we call, widgets. For most widgets, you can decide on matters like:
• Location on the dashboard
• Size of the widget
• Refresh interval of the widget
In summary, by choosing the relevant widgets from the available set of widgets, rearranging and resizing them according to your needs, you can create a highly usable and effective dashboard which gives you a good overview of the health of the environment.
You can read more about Widgets and Widget Operations in the Documentation Portal of BizTalk360.
Before I joined Kovai.co, I was a BizTalk consultant and mainly had developer and administrator roles at many different companies. During that time, I frequently helped these customers out by installing and implementing BizTalk360. Obviously, setting up the Operations Dashboard was a part of that kind of assignments.
In many cases, I ended up with a dashboard like the one which is shown below.
Above dashboard is divided into the following 5 different sections:
1 – Shortcuts to BizTalk360 features
As BizTalk360 has grown over the years to a very rich-featured product, it can be hard to find your way through all the features. Because we want to make navigation throughout all the features a bit easier, we have added pinpoints to most of the features. By clicking on such a pinpoint, a shortcut to the feature is added to the Operations Dashboard. This first section contains several such pinpoints.
2 – Status of BizTalk artifacts
Part of providing an overview of your BizTalk environment is being aware of the status of your BizTalk artifacts. You can think of your Receive/Send Ports, Orchestrations, Host Instances and depending on your scenario, also the EDI Parties & Agreements. BizTalk360 helps you in providing the status of these artifacts in one glance, after you have added these artifacts from the widget library to the dashboard, resize them and drag them to the position you want them to show up.
3 – Some miscellaneous widgets
This section shows the following 2 widgets:
• Monitoring status – this widget reflects the status of the BizTalk360 Monitoring Service. This Windows NT service is used for amongst others performing the actual monitoring, sending notifications, etc. Because this is such an important component, it makes sense to show its status on the dashboard.
• Link to the documentation portal – to help our customers, we put a lot of effort into the maintenance of the documentation portal. Besides topics like Release Notes for all its releases, you will also find detailed information about all the features of the product. That’s why it is handy to have this portal easily accessible from the dashboard.
4 – BizTalk runtime information
Another important category of information to have at hand is the runtime information about Running and Suspended instances. BizTalk 360 contains widgets for both categories and for aggregations like Service Class, Service Name, Error Code, Host Name, BizTalk Application and few more. These different aggregations enable you to take the aggregation you prefer the most.
Besides the Runtime information, the section also shows the BizTalk Environment Properties, which you will find handy to have at hand.
5 – Alarm information
This last section shows information about the two different kinds of alarms. With BizTalk360, you can setup Alarms, being:
• Alarms – used for threshold and health monitoring. The widget shows information about the number of created alarms, how many are Enabled/Disabled, how many alarms contain mappings to (BizTalk) artifacts and how many still need to be mapped to (BizTalk) artifacts
• Data Monitoring – used for monitoring the processing of messages by BizTalk. This widget shows the number of monitors created for each type of monitor.
The purpose of these widgets is to provide the insight if, for example, alarms have been turned on/off for maintenance or few alarms are just empty containers and still need to be mapped to artifacts.
The described set of widgets is just an example. If you feel like some of those widgets are not helpful for you, it is totally fine to select different widgets from the library.
In the Documentation Portal, we have written an article about creating a Custom Widget for showing the results of a SQL query. We have seen that this is something quite useful. Read this article in the Documentation portal, or this blog post, if you want to know more about how this is done.
Global and private dashboards
The Operations Dashboard is the home page for the BizTalk360 user. However, having one dashboard might not be enough for your requirements. You might need to show a lot of different information on a dashboard, and having that information on a single dashboard would make it messy and you’ll lose the overview.
To help you out, you can create additional dashboards in BizTalk360. Additionally created dashboards show up in the Operations menu, under Dashboards.
In addition, you can choose whether a dashboard is Global or Private.
A Global dashboard can be accessed by anyone who has access to BizTalk360. A Private dashboard can only be accessed by the BizTalk360 user who created the private dashboard.
User Policy limited access to information
The data which becomes shown in the dashboards depends on the permissions which are provided to the user. This means that:
- there are no limitations for a Super User
- a Normal User will only have access to the information according to his/her User Access Policy. A few examples:
- if the user has no permissions to EDI, the EDI related widgets will not show up nor be accessible for that user
- information about BizTalk Applications (Ports, Orchestrations and Service instances) for which the user has no permissions, will not show up in the dashboards
With this article, we intend to encourage you to think about your Operations Dashboard. It is not hard to customize your dashboard and you will benefit from a nicely customized dashboard immediately!
If you want to discuss your Operations Dashboard or need some help to properly set it up, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The post Taking Maximum Benefits of the Operations Dashboard appeared first on BizTalk360.
by Lex Hegt | May 29, 2019 | BizTalk Community Blogs via Syndication
From time to time, in conversations we have with our prospects and customers, the question pops up if additional licenses needed for BizTalk components on separate servers. You can install BizTalk360 on a BizTalk server, but also on a separate server on which no BizTalk processing takes place. Normally, we recommend to install BizTalk360 on a separate server. This has advantages like not using resources which BizTalk can use for processing and (equally important) to prevent not able to access BizTalk360 when the BizTalk server goes down.
For BizTalk360 to work, it needs the so-called BizTalk Server Administration Tools. You need to install these tools on the server which will run BizTalk360, as they contain the APIs which BizTalk360 uses to access BizTalk Server.
These APIs, being used by third party products like BizTalk360, is not the only reason why an organisation might want to install these components. These APIs are part of a set of components and tools, you might want to install on a separate server. In the BizTalk Server installer, this set can be found under the category Administration Tools and Monitoring and Additional software, as you can seen in below screenshot.
The set of Additional BizTalk Server software
The Administration Tools and Monitoring and Additional software contain the following components and tools:
- Administration and Monitoring Tools
- Development Tools
- Software Development Kit(s)
- HTTP Receive Adapter
- SOAP Receive Adapter
- Windows SharePoint Services Adapter Web Service
- Windows Communication Foundation Adapters
- Business Activity Monitoring (“BAM”) Event APIs and Interceptors & Administration Tools
- BAM Alert Provider for SQL Notification Services
- BAM Client
- BizTalk Server Related Schemas and Templates
- Business Activity Services
- Master Secret Server/Enterprise Single Sign-On
- Business Rules Component
- MQSeries Agent
Why would you need these components/tools
So, given the list with available components/tools, an organisation could have several reasons to install them, depending on the purpose of the component. You could think of BizTalk users who might want to achieve, for example, the following:
- use the BizTalk APIs as this is a requirement for third party software
- use the BizTalk Server APIs for self-developed software or scripts
- provide the Business Rules Composer to the desktop computer of (functional) users
- make the Enterprise Single Sign-On (ESSO) tools highly available by installing them on separate servers
- use the Developer tools on a build server for BizTalk
- use the BAM tools on a separate server
Hence, it makes sense to be sure whether (or not) you require additional BizTalk Server licenses for the server(s) on which such components will be installed.
The hunt for information
We have been trying to find that information somewhere on the internet. However, as Microsoft is the supplier of the product, we searched for a formal statement from their side. Therefore, we checked web sites like the BizTalk Server product web site
and the BizTalk Server Core Documentation
. However, we were not able to find that information.
As we want to give our customers clarity about this matter, we decided to reach out to the Product Group directly. After a couple of emails, the Product Group informed us where to find the information we were looking for. See below, the email we received from the Product Group.
No additional licenses required for Administration Tools etc.
The email from the Product Group mentions that:
These two highlighted items, “Administration Tools” and “Business Rules Component” are the components to which you refer. The EULA indicates these can be installed on other physical or virtual systems without incurring an additional license cost.
For people who are working with BizTalk Server for some time, it is no surprise that no additional license costs are involved in installing these tools on separate machines. Main reason for this, is that by only installing these tools, the machines are not a part of the BizTalk Group and no additional BizTalk processing is taking place (like receiving/sending messages or processing orchestrations).
However, it has always been a bit frustrating that we could not back this by a statement from Microsoft. So, we are glad that we can now refer to an official resource which gives clarity about this matter.
How to find the End User License Agreement(EULA)
Now we know where to find that information, let’s have a look on how to find the EULA, including the section where the clarity is given.
1. Download and mount the en_host_integration_server_2016_enterprise_x64_cd_9503501.iso (ISO file name varies depending on where you obtain the software—e.g., Volume License site or Visual Studio or Evaluation Center)
2. Start a Windows Explorer and navigate to the BizTalk Server folder
3. Locate and load the EULA.RTF in Microsoft Word
4. See section “2. Use Rights” titled “e. Running Instances of Additional Software”
There you have it, written in black on white! No license costs will be incurred for installing the Administration Tools etc. on a separate server!
We, as a company, are glad to be able to give clarity to our customers, prospects and partners about the matter that no additional license costs will be incurred in case of installing the Administration Tools etc. at separate servers. However, also organisations who are using BizTalk Server, resellers of Microsoft products and consultancy companies who advice their customers about BizTalk Server, are now able to safely say that no additional license costs are involved in case of installing these components and tools as they are backed by the EULA from Microsoft.
From this place, we also like to thank the BizTalk Server Product Group to help in giving the clarity.
The post Do you need additional BizTalk Server Licenses for installing BizTalk components on separate servers appeared first on BizTalk360.
by Lex Hegt | Apr 15, 2019 | BizTalk Community Blogs via Syndication
One of the components of BizTalk360 is a SQL Server database. This database is used for all kind of configuration like user permissions and all the monitoring settings. When that data got corrupted or lost, you would have to do all the configuration all over from scratch. To prevent this from happening, you should frequently take backups of that database. Besides creating manual backups, you can also have these backups being created automatically.
There are two different approaches to making automated backups of this database, both are shown below:
- Create a SQL Server Maintenance Plan
- Extend the Backup BizTalk Server job
The difference between these 2 methods is, that with the Maintenance Plan approach you’ll have a backup which is not in sync with the backup of your BizTalk databases, while with the latter option your BizTalk360 backup will be in sync with the BizTalk backups. This could make restoring your databases in one go easier.
In a previous post, Rochelle has already explained how to create a Maintenance Plan to take care of the BizTalk360 database backups. In this article, we’ll explain how to add the BizTalk360 database to the Backup BizTalk Server job.
Adding custom databases to the BizTalk Server Backup job
What we basically are going to do is using a feature from BizTalk Server. As you probably are aware of, BizTalk Server contains multiple databases and to be able to restore them in sync, the backup needs to be created in sync. The only by Microsoft supported way to create such backups, is by using the Backup BizTalk Server job, which is a SQL Server Agent job. You can read more about that topic in the below articles:
BizTalk users can extend the backup job with other databases which are considered important to the integrations which are deployed in BizTalk Server. This is exactly what we will be doing with the BizTalk360 database.
The process exists of the following steps:
- Prepare the BizTalk360 database
- Add the BizTalk360 database to the BizTalk Server backup job
- Start making backups
Let’s take these steps one by one and have that database added to the BizTalk Server backup job!
Prepare the BizTalk360 database
In this first step, we’ll make sure a table and some Stored Procedures will be created in the BizTalk360 database. The table which becomes created is called MarkLog. You will find this table in all the databases which are being backed up via the BizTalk Server backup job.
Perform below steps to create that table and the needed Stored Procedures:
- Open SQL Server Management Studio and connect to the SQL Server instance which contains the BizTalk360 database
- Click Open File, navigate to folder C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016Schema and select query Backup_Setup_All_Tables.sql
- From the Databases dropdown, select the BizTalk360 database
- Click the Execute button or hit F5 to execute the script. If the database has been created successfully, you can proceed with the next step
- Click Open File, navigate to folder C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016Schema and select query Backup_Setup_All_Procs.sql
- If not yet selected, select the BizTalk360 database from the Databases dropdown
- Click the Execute button or hit F5 to execute the script
If both SQL scripts have been executed successfully, an important part of the configuration has been completed. The BizTalk360 database is ready and in the next step, it will be added to the BizTalk Server backup job!
Important: Ensure yourself that the BizTalk360 is in Full Recovery Model, otherwise the backup will fail! You can check this by:
- Right-click the database then select Properties
- Select Options
- Check if the Recovery Model is set to Full
Add the BizTalk360 database to the BizTalk Server backup job
In the previous step, we prepared the BizTalk360 database to be able to be backed up by the BizTalk Server backup job. In this step, we’ll make sure that that database becomes added to a table in BizTalk Server’s management database, which will make sure that the database will be picked up by the BizTalk Server backup job.
Follow below steps, to make sure that the BizTalk360 database will be picked up by the BizTalk Server backup job:
- In SQL Server Management Studio, connect to the SQL Server instance which contains the BizTalkMgmtDb
- In the Object Explorer, expand the Databases, BizTalkMgmtDb, Tables and find the dbo.adm_OtherBackupDatabases table
- Right-click that table and, from the menu that appears, select Edit Top 200 Rows. As you are in Edit mode, you can add a new row which will contain the information about the BizTalk360 database.
- In the last row, which now only shows NULL values, enter below values
- DefaultDatabase: BizTalk360
- DatabaseName: BizTalk360
- ServerName: <Name of the SQL Server Instance which contains the BizTalk360 database>
- BTSServerName: <Name of the SQL Server Instance which contains the BizTalk360 database>
- Hit Enter to save the record in the table
The BizTalk360 database is now part of the BizTalk Server backup job. The last step we need to do is forcing a full backup, to make sure that also incremental backups can be created.
Start making backups
We are almost there; we have seen how the BizTalk360 database has been prepared to accommodate the BizTalk Server backup job. In the previous step, we have added the BizTalk360 database to the BizTalk Server backup job. In this last step, we will force a full backup, to make sure that after that, also incremental backups can be created. By default, a full backup will be created once every 24 hours; Incremental backups will be created, by default, every 15 minutes.
Perform below steps to force a full backup:
- In SQL Server Management Studio, under the BizTalkMgmtDb, expand Programmability and expand Stored Procedures
- Scroll through the Stored Procedures until you have found sp_ForceFullBackup
- Right-click that Stored Procedure and, from the menu that appears, select Execute Stored Procedure… As the Stored Procedures doesn’t need any parameter values, just click OK
- If the Stored Procedure has been executed successfully, the next time the BizTalk Server backup job runs, it will perform a full backup
There are a couple of ways to check whether the backups are really being created. You can:
- Check the output of the BizTalk Server backup job (in SQL Server Management Studio)
- Check if the backup files have been created (in Windows Explorer)
Check the output of the BizTalk Server backup job
To perform this check, perform these steps:
- In SQL Server Management Studio, you need to navigate to the SQL Server instance which contains the BizTalk Server backup job
- Next, expand SQL Server Agent
- Right-click the Backup BizTalk Server job and select View History
Check if the backup files have been created
To check the availability of the backup files, you firstly need to check where these files are located. Follow the below steps, to find that location and then check the actual location:
- In SQL Server Management Studio, you need to navigate to the SQL Server instance which contains the BizTalk Server backup job
- Next, expand SQL Server Agent
- Double-click the Backup BizTalk Server job
- In the Job Properties dialog which appears, under Select a Page, select Steps
- Now, under Job step list, double click BackupFull
- In the Job Step Properties dialog, at Command, scroll to the right to find the backup path
- Copy the backup path and close all dialog screens
- Next, open a Windows Explorer and paste the backup path in the Address bar
Now the backup files should show. Although we only checked the backup path for the full backup files, this folder might also contain the backup files of the incremental backups.
The BizTalk360 database contains valuable information about, amongst others, your monitoring configuration and the people who have access to BizTalk360. If in case of a disaster, you need to easily restore a backup of your BizTalk360 database, you need to have a recent backup of that database. The BizTalk Server backup job creates such backups. In this article, we have seen how to extend the BizTalk Server backup job to incorporate the backup of the BizTalk360 database.
The post Backup your BizTalk360 database via the BizTalk Backup job appeared first on BizTalk360.