User Access Policy – The New Look for Application Access

User Access Policy – The New Look for Application Access

We are super excited to welcome our new release version of BizTalk360, v8.9. There has already been a series of blogs explaining the features coming up in the release. Here is another such blog which explains the enhancements done in the User Access Policy section in v8.9.

User Access Policy is one important feature in BizTalk360, where you can provide access to certain applications in your BizTalk environment to Normal Users and NT groups. This is not available at the BizTalk server level. The importance of this feature can be read here “Why did we build User Access Policy to Manage BizTalk Server Security?

Customer Feedback getting answered

In BizTalk360, we aim at improving the product and adding new features based on the customer feedback and business scenarios. The Feedback portal is one such platform for the customers to provide their suggestions on which can be voted by other customers, if they feel that these ideas fit in their business requirements as well. It’s based on the priority of voting the features and enhancements before getting picked up for development. One such feedback was the access to newly created BizTalk applications.

Hence, in the new release we thought of giving a fresh coat of paint to this feature, based on the feedback we received.

What’s New in User Access Policy

BizTalk360 supports management of multiple BizTalk Server environment from a single console. So, you can set up security and access rights from a single place. You can either configure security for individuals or as team (ex: Create an NT Group called “BizTalk Production Support”).

Now here comes the twist on the Application access. For your information, the rest all remains the same.

In earlier versions, it was a simple grid displaying all the available applications in a BizTalk environment and you can select the applications to provide access to Normal Users/Groups. But now we have slightly modified this, to provide multiple options for providing access to the applications. This would surely be more user friendly and of course meet the requirements. The different options include:

  • Grant Access by Applications
  • Grant Access to all Applications
  • Wildcard Search
  • Grant Access to Application Groups

Only one rule can be applied at a time. This holds for both users and groups. We shall have a detailed look at each one of them.

Grant Access to All Applications

As the name denotes, enabling this rule will provide access to all the available applications for the Normal Users/Groups. This will be similar to the permissions of the Super User who will have access to all applications.

Note: The user will automatically be granted access to all the newly created applications. The user doesn’t need to scroll down the complete list, to select the newly created application and provide access. The extra burden to check for the new applications is now reduced.

Wildcard Search

This is the new capability introduced in this release. It enables users to select the options from the wildcard operator drop down.

With the four options that are available in the Wildcard search, the user can select the required option and provide the search value. Once this rule is configured, the user will have access to all the applications matching this wildcard.  The user will automatically be given access to the newly created applications that match the wildcard.

This will save a lot of time because in a business scenario, the applications will be named based on specific activity and it would be easy for the admins to select the appropriate wildcard option and provide access. This would be quite interesting and easy option for configuring access to these applications.

Grant Access to Application Groups

We know about the BizTalk Group. But what is this Application Group? Sounds new, isn’t it? Yes, it is new to BizTalk360. With this new capability, you can create Application Groups and map the applications to that group. Once the user is given access to the Application group, he can access all the applications mapped to that group.

The Concept of Application Groups

The Application Group is something new to BizTalk360. We always aim at providing a user interface that must ease the work of the customer, with minimal configuration. You can create a group and map the related applications to that group.

Now, providing access to this application group will automatically enable the users to access the applications which are mapped to that Application Group. This Application Group is only related to BizTalk360 and not to BizTalk itself. When the corresponding Normal User logs in to BizTalk360, his access will be limited to these applications. Only Super Users can view and edit the Application Groups.

The Normal Users/Groups will have access to other modules in BizTalk360, based on the applications only. The concept of Application Groups was created to ease the work of the admins.

It is also possible to view the list of Application Groups created for an environment; editing or deletion them is done by the Super users.

Scenario

Do you know what happens if you try to delete an Application Group that is already given access to a Normal user? It is not possible to delete that Application Group. The exception message would be captured and displayed in the UI.

This way, it would be easy to identify the association between the user and the Application Group.

Would it not be interesting to try this out?

What would happen to existing user configuration?

Now that we know what the different available options are for associating the applications to new users/groups. At this point of time, there must be a question coming up on what would happen to the existing users created when we upgrade from an older version to the new version of BizTalk360.

  • Will all that information be lost?
  • Do I need to create all the users once again and configure the rules?
  • Will the user data not get migrated during the upgrade?

Lot more questions would come up during the upgrade, as this is a critical area of security and there would be different users and groups which are already created and provided access to the applications.

Please don’t panic. As promised, we always take care of your data and configuration and migrate them successfully to the new version. There will not be any data loss.

Yes, your data and configuration are safe and will be migrated successfully during the upgrade. Now, said that the data will be safe, what will happen to the User configuration data after the upgrade? There was no concept of Wildcard or Application group in the previous versions. The only which was available, was to select the applications from the grid and save them.

For persisting the existing configuration data, we have another rule available: ‘Grant Access by Application’. You will probably be happy to hear that!

Once the upgrade is completed, this will be the default rule which is selected for existing users. Once the Super users edits the details for a Normal User, this rule is selected. They can now change the rule configuration as per the requirement.

The only difference between this configuration and the other new rules is that when Grant Access by Applications is configured, newly applications created will not automatically be given access as in the other rules.

Viewing the permitted applications

Once the rule is configured, there is a view option for the admin to verify who have been provided access to which applications. Here is the option that we have given:

A view option has been provided in the User settings screen, which will list all the permitted applications for the users.

By viewing the permitted applications, the Super User can verify if the access to the applications have properly been provided to the Normal users/groups.

Conclusion

With the new look for application access, we are convinced that we brought a great new feature 😊. It will save time for the admins to provide access to users and groups. It will now be easy for users to take care of the newly created applications as well. Once the rule is configured, it is all set and no need to worry about new applications.

Happy monitoring with BizTalk360!

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.” View all posts by Praveena Jayanarayanan

Our experience in solving “webHttp” issue

Our experience in solving “webHttp” issue

The top-secret to effective product service handling is to take each complaint seriously. Even if it’s simply a misinterpretation or a mistake on the part of the customer, every complaint deserves the wholehearted attention and special handling. In our support, we often receive tickets which require neither functional investigation nor a problem with the configuration.

Recently, we have received an interesting ticket and it took considerable time to resolve, though it looked like a simple issue to deal with. In this blog, we wanted to share the troubleshooting steps we have performed and how we solved the problem. It would help many of our customers in the future to identify the problem at first hand without spending much time.

After the successful installation of BizTalk360 in the customer environment, during the first launch, the below error message was shown in the browser.

“ERROR after first time install : The extension name ‘webHttp’ is not registered in the collection at system.serviceModel/extensions/behaviorExtensions”

solving “webHttp” issue in BizTalk360

Identifying the problem:

Firstly, BizTalk360 doesn’t require any change in the configuration file. But looking at the error clearly, it’s a configuration issue and it happened during the processing of the configuration file to service the request.  As our product is being used on critical business environments, we are generally cautious in suggesting the changes in the configuration file in the customer environment and as mentioned previously it is not required.

We started from the basic troubleshooting steps one by one.

Choosing the Solution:

Ensure “HTTP Activation” is enabled under WCF:

If the “HTTP Activation” is not enabled under the WCF services It doesn’t communicate with the HTTP network protocols over the network. Hence, we checked whether this is enabled in the “Windows roles and features Wizard”.

This option was enabled and other required roles and features were enabled as per the prerequisite document.

webHTTP issue in BizTalk360

ASP.Net re-registration/ Reinstallation:

As all the configurations are perfectly enabled, which BizTalk360 requires, we nailed down and suggested to ensure the .NET3.5 is installed properly on the machine since the error would occur only if .NET3.5 is not installed correctly. To ensure this, we recommended repairing the .NET3.5 configuration elements using the tool Workflow Services Registration(WFServicesReg.exe) using the below commands.

  1. Go to C:WINDOWSMicrosoft.NETFrameworkv3.5 
  2. Run WFServicesReg.exe /c

After repairing, BizTalk360 didn’t load and the same exception appeared.

Reregistering the ASP.Net and Service models:

The ASP.NET Registration tool can be used to install and uninstall the linked version of the ASP.NET. This tool will install the ASP.NET and update the script maps of all existing ASP.NET applications and updates both classic mode and integrate mode handlers in the IIS metabase. Hence, we suggested the below command to reregister the ASP.NET.

“%WINDIR%Microsoft.NetFrameworkv4.0.30319aspnet_regiis” –i –enable

The “ServiceModelReg.exe” tool provides an ability to manage the registering of WCF and WF components on a single machine. Since we are experiencing the problem with Service activation, we have suggested registering the components using the “Service modelReg.exe” tool by executing the below command.

“%WINDIR%Microsoft.NetFrameworkv4.0.30319ServiceModelReg.exe” -iru

Even after performing the above steps the problem still appeared in the browser while loading the BizTalk360.

Application pool Configuration verification:

It is important to make the value “true” for the property “Enable 32-bit Applications” as the machine is running on a 64-bit and it is important to access a 32-bit application running under IIS. This is because, by default, IIS launched CGI applications on 64-bit work process if you’re running it under a 64-bit Windows.

This option was set to “True” as well.

webHTTP issue in BizTalk360

Active Execution of the chosen Solution:

Always while resolving the customer solution, we shouldn’t worry about the failure. We need to concentrate on the journey that will lead you to resolve the issue. As we tried all the possible solutions to make it work, we turned our focus on the configuration files.

BizTalk360 Web.config File Investigation:

As per the default settings, all the necessary service model extensions were added as expected and they were not manipulated as shown in the below screenshot.

webHTTP issue in BizTalk360

ASP.NET 4.0 machine.config File Investigation:

We were confident, usually the machine.config file is not altered unless otherwise if there is any specific policy from the business. However, we thought of taking a look at the machine.config file for the .NET version v4.0 in the location “C:WindowsMicrosoft.NETFramework64v4.0.30319Config”.

This Final investigation made a trick and solved the problem.

How?

The “WebHttp” service model extension was manipulated with some other values than the default value in the machine.config file as highlighted in the below screenshot. After removing the additional letters. BizTalk360 loaded properly 😊!!!

webHTTP issue in BizTalk360

PS: We recommend keeping the default machine.config file as such by default. If there is any necessity to make changes in the “Machine.config” file as per any specific internal policy or rules, we recommend installing BizTalk360 on a separate server with default ASP.NET settings. So that, BizTalk360 will get loaded without any issues.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at support@biztalk360.com. We are happy to assist you.

Author: Mekala Ramesh

Test Lead at BizTalk360 – Software Testing Engineer having diverse exposure in various features and application testing with a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of SDLC. Strong knowledge to establish the testing process from the scratch. Love to test the software product to deliver it with good quality. Strongly believes on “Testing goes beyond just executing the test protocol”. View all posts by Mekala Ramesh

Alarm Configuration Changes in BizTalk360 v8.4

Alarm Configuration Changes in BizTalk360 v8.4

Here comes BizTalk360 version 8.4 with a bunch of exciting new features and enhancements as usual. As per the below quotes,

Customers often know more about your products than you do. Use them as a source of inspiration and ideas for product development. – David J. Greer

we always listen to the ideas of our customers and implement them for the product development. We make sure their suggestions are addressed and update them in the feedback portal. Based on the priority of the voting by the customers, the features are added to the product in the upcoming releases.

The Monitoring capability is the key feature of BizTalk360. Setting up monitoring is a very easy and quick task with two step process, create an alarm and map the artefact to be monitored. We can configure three different types of alarms namely Threshold, Health check and Data monitoring alarms.

In BizTalk360 v8.4, there are certain enhancements done as part of the alarms. The following are the features as part of the alarm configuration.

  • Alarm renaming capability
  • Segregation of Data monitoring alarms
  • Alarm bulk status update.

In this article, we will have a look into each one of them.

Alarm renaming capability

Prior to v8.4, we cannot rename an alarm and it would be grayed when we edit an alarm. As per the feedback from many of the customers, we have included this ability in our latest release. So now you can rename the alarm as per the business requirement. This renaming applies to Data monitoring alarms also. Once the data monitor alarm is renamed, it will be reflected in the Data monitoring section as well.

With respect to the database changes, earlier, only the Alarm Name was referred in all the places and now AlarmId is being referred everywhere.

Limitation:

  • You cannot have same names for two different alarms in the same environment. The alarms can have the same names across the environments.

Segregation of Data Monitoring alarms

In BizTalk360 v7.9 the Data Monitoring functionality was introduced. This also came as a requirement from the customers. It was designed to monitor the data transfer happening in the BizTalk server and trigger alerts based on the conditions set.

In the monitoring home dashboard screen, all the alarms are displayed in a drop down. There might be a chance of unintendingly mapping an artefact to the wrong data monitoring. This confusion can be avoided if the data monitoring alarms are separated from the other alarms. Hence the data monitoring alarms are now segregated and they will be available only in the Data Monitoring section. They will no more be available in the Monitoring home dashboard section and under the Manage Mapping drop-down.

Alarm bulk status update

Under Settings -> Stop alert for maintenance, BizTalk360 has the capability to stop all the alarms from triggering emails. This was as per the feedback from the customer for which we received many votes.

From a business perspective, customers can have created many alarms and a situation might arise that they want to disable certain alarms for maintenance purposes, instead of stopping all of them at once.

In this version of BizTalk360, we can select multiple alarms and enable/disable them at once by clicking on the “Status” button. This is a newly added option for alarm status update. It might look like a small improvement done, but it will be very helpful when doing large implementations and transitions.

What happens during the migration?

Migration scenarios occur when a customer upgrades from a lower version to the latest one. Lot of testing efforts is required to ensure that all the information is retained after migrating from a lower version to higher one. We need to take care that all the data gets migrated without any problem and there is no data loss happening from each of the versions. Also, new changes must get reflected. Extensive testing efforts need to be put to see that this is taken care of and we have assured this.

When the customers migrate from the old versions to the latest one, the ability to edit the alarm name will be shown. The following picture contains some of the migration scenarios that were tested.

One important thing to be noted is the listing of data monitoring alarms. In the older versions, we can see the data monitoring alarms getting listed along with the other types of alarms. Now in the new version, they will get displayed only in the data monitoring section. However, we can edit the names of those alarms in the Manage Alarms page.

Conclusion

Apart from the alarm configuration changes, we have a lot of new features like Logic Apps Data monitoring, IBM MQ monitoring and folder monitoring. We always hear the feedback and suggestions from the customers and try hard to fulfill them to make our product better and at the same time to achieve 100% customer satisfaction.

You can write to us at support@biztalk360.com. Have a try at our latest version by downloading a 14-day free trial of BizTalk360.

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.” View all posts by Praveena Jayanarayanan

Alarm Configuration Changes in BizTalk360 v8.4

Alarm Configuration Changes in BizTalk360 v8.4

Here comes BizTalk360 version 8.4 with a bunch of exciting new features and enhancements as usual. As per the below quotes,

Customers often know more about your products than you do. Use them as a source of inspiration and ideas for product development. – David J. Greer

we always listen to the ideas of our customers and implement them for the product development. We make sure their suggestions are addressed and update them in the feedback portal. Based on the priority of the voting by the customers, the features are added to the product in the upcoming releases.

The Monitoring capability is the key feature of BizTalk360. Setting up monitoring is a very easy and quick task with two step process, create an alarm and map the artefact to be monitored. We can configure three different types of alarms namely Threshold, Health check and Data monitoring alarms.

In BizTalk360 v8.4, there are certain enhancements done as part of the alarms. The following are the features as part of the alarm configuration.

  • Alarm renaming capability
  • Segregation of Data monitoring alarms
  • Alarm bulk status update.

In this article, we will have a look into each one of them.

Alarm renaming capability

Prior to v8.4, we cannot rename an alarm and it would be grayed when we edit an alarm. As per the feedback from many of the customers, we have included this ability in our latest release. So now you can rename the alarm as per the business requirement. This renaming applies to Data monitoring alarms also. Once the data monitor alarm is renamed, it will be reflected in the Data monitoring section as well.

With respect to the database changes, earlier, only the Alarm Name was referred in all the places and now AlarmId is being referred everywhere.

Limitation:

  • You cannot have same names for two different alarms in the same environment. The alarms can have the same names across the environments.

Segregation of Data Monitoring alarms

In BizTalk360 v7.9 the Data Monitoring functionality was introduced. This also came as a requirement from the customers. It was designed to monitor the data transfer happening in the BizTalk server and trigger alerts based on the conditions set.

In the monitoring home dashboard screen, all the alarms are displayed in a drop down. There might be a chance of unintendingly mapping an artefact to the wrong data monitoring. This confusion can be avoided if the data monitoring alarms are separated from the other alarms. Hence the data monitoring alarms are now segregated and they will be available only in the Data Monitoring section. They will no more be available in the Monitoring home dashboard section and under the Manage Mapping drop-down.

Alarm bulk status update

Under Settings -> Stop alert for maintenance, BizTalk360 has the capability to stop all the alarms from triggering emails. This was as per the feedback from the customer for which we received many votes.

From a business perspective, customers can have created many alarms and a situation might arise that they want to disable certain alarms for maintenance purposes, instead of stopping all of them at once.

In this version of BizTalk360, we can select multiple alarms and enable/disable them at once by clicking on the “Status” button. This is a newly added option for alarm status update. It might look like a small improvement done, but it will be very helpful when doing large implementations and transitions.

What happens during the migration?

Migration scenarios occur when a customer upgrades from a lower version to the latest one. Lot of testing efforts is required to ensure that all the information is retained after migrating from a lower version to higher one. We need to take care that all the data gets migrated without any problem and there is no data loss happening from each of the versions. Also, new changes must get reflected. Extensive testing efforts need to be put to see that this is taken care of and we have assured this.

When the customers migrate from the old versions to the latest one, the ability to edit the alarm name will be shown. The following picture contains some of the migration scenarios that were tested.

One important thing to be noted is the listing of data monitoring alarms. In the older versions, we can see the data monitoring alarms getting listed along with the other types of alarms. Now in the new version, they will get displayed only in the data monitoring section. However, we can edit the names of those alarms in the Manage Alarms page.

Conclusion

Apart from the alarm configuration changes, we have a lot of new features like Logic Apps Data monitoring, IBM MQ monitoring and folder monitoring. We always hear the feedback and suggestions from the customers and try hard to fulfill them to make our product better and at the same time to achieve 100% customer satisfaction.

You can write to us at support@biztalk360.com. Have a try at our latest version by downloading a 14-day free trial of BizTalk360.

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.” View all posts by Praveena Jayanarayanan

Alarm Configuration Changes in BizTalk360 v8.4

Alarm Configuration Changes in BizTalk360 v8.4

Here comes BizTalk360 version 8.4 with a bunch of exciting new features and enhancements as usual. As per the below quotes,

Customers often know more about your products than you do. Use them as a source of inspiration and ideas for product development. – David J. Greer

we always listen to the ideas of our customers and implement them for the product development. We make sure their suggestions are addressed and update them in the feedback portal. Based on the priority of the voting by the customers, the features are added to the product in the upcoming releases.

The Monitoring capability is the key feature of BizTalk360. Setting up monitoring is a very easy and quick task with two step process, create an alarm and map the artefact to be monitored. We can configure three different types of alarms namely Threshold, Health check and Data monitoring alarms.

In BizTalk360 v8.4, there are certain enhancements done as part of the alarms. The following are the features as part of the alarm configuration.

  • Alarm renaming capability
  • Segregation of Data monitoring alarms
  • Alarm bulk status update.

In this article, we will have a look into each one of them.

Alarm renaming capability

Prior to v8.4, we cannot rename an alarm and it would be grayed when we edit an alarm. As per the feedback from many of the customers, we have included this ability in our latest release. So now you can rename the alarm as per the business requirement. This renaming applies to Data monitoring alarms also. Once the data monitor alarm is renamed, it will be reflected in the Data monitoring section as well.

With respect to the database changes, earlier, only the Alarm Name was referred in all the places and now AlarmId is being referred everywhere.

Limitation:

  • You cannot have same names for two different alarms in the same environment. The alarms can have the same names across the environments.

Segregation of Data Monitoring alarms

In BizTalk360 v7.9 the Data Monitoring functionality was introduced. This also came as a requirement from the customers. It was designed to monitor the data transfer happening in the BizTalk server and trigger alerts based on the conditions set.

In the monitoring home dashboard screen, all the alarms are displayed in a drop down. There might be a chance of unintendingly mapping an artefact to the wrong data monitoring. This confusion can be avoided if the data monitoring alarms are separated from the other alarms. Hence the data monitoring alarms are now segregated and they will be available only in the Data Monitoring section. They will no more be available in the Monitoring home dashboard section and under the Manage Mapping drop-down.

Alarm bulk status update

Under Settings -> Stop alert for maintenance, BizTalk360 has the capability to stop all the alarms from triggering emails. This was as per the feedback from the customer for which we received many votes.

From a business perspective, customers can have created many alarms and a situation might arise that they want to disable certain alarms for maintenance purposes, instead of stopping all of them at once.

In this version of BizTalk360, we can select multiple alarms and enable/disable them at once by clicking on the “Status” button. This is a newly added option for alarm status update. It might look like a small improvement done, but it will be very helpful when doing large implementations and transitions.

What happens during the migration?

Migration scenarios occur when a customer upgrades from a lower version to the latest one. Lot of testing efforts is required to ensure that all the information is retained after migrating from a lower version to higher one. We need to take care that all the data gets migrated without any problem and there is no data loss happening from each of the versions. Also, new changes must get reflected. Extensive testing efforts need to be put to see that this is taken care of and we have assured this.

When the customers migrate from the old versions to the latest one, the ability to edit the alarm name will be shown. The following picture contains some of the migration scenarios that were tested.

One important thing to be noted is the listing of data monitoring alarms. In the older versions, we can see the data monitoring alarms getting listed along with the other types of alarms. Now in the new version, they will get displayed only in the data monitoring section. However, we can edit the names of those alarms in the Manage Alarms page.

Conclusion

Apart from the alarm configuration changes, we have a lot of new features like Logic Apps Data monitoring, IBM MQ monitoring and folder monitoring. We always hear the feedback and suggestions from the customers and try hard to fulfill them to make our product better and at the same time to achieve 100% customer satisfaction.

You can write to us at support@biztalk360.com. Have a try at our latest version by downloading a 14-day free trial of BizTalk360.

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.” View all posts by Praveena Jayanarayanan