BizTalk Health Monitor Dashboards Customization: Monitoring BizTalk Host Instances Status

BizTalk Health Monitor Dashboards Customization: Monitoring BizTalk Host Instances Status

Have you noticed that the default BizTalk Health Monitor Dashboard doesn’t monitor/report the status of the BizTalk Server Host Instances?

A few weeks ago, while delivering a BizTalk Server training course, I was presenting and playing around with the BizTalk Health Monitor with my “students” and explaining the importance of actively monitoring your BizTalk Server platform. Because my developer environment is a machine that doesn’t have many errors and is properly configured, like a production environment, it is difficult to show the BizTalk Health Monitor presenting problems, so I decided to stop some of the Host Instances! It is an easy way to “emulate” a problem:

However, when I ran the BizTalk Health Monitor, I realized the Host Instance tile was green!

Notice also that the information provided states that I have 10 Host Instances, and only 8 were running. I was surprised by that behavior. I confirmed with the Microsoft Engineering team, and this is not a bug. Actually, by default, the Host Instances dashboard tile is NOT supposed to report a warning if some Host Instances are stopped. this tile reports, in fact, what MSFT has in the category “BizTalk Host Instance” of the KPI view:

Each default Dashboard tile normally reports the content of one or more categories of different views (Warnings, Summary, Key indicators, Queries Output…); However, the choice of content of these tiles cannot be changed by us.

Now the main question is: Can we put the BizTalk Server Health Monitor “watching” the status of the Host Instances and raising some alerts?

Luckily for us, the answer is yes, and it is not that difficult. The tool allows us to:

  • Add custom rules that will allow us to query the environment.
  • And add our own custom tiles in our profile Dashboard view.

That also means that each profile can have there own monitoring customizations.

To create some custom rules to monitor the status of the Host Instances, assuming that you have the BizTalk Health monitor tool open, we need to:

  • Right-click over the Default profile, and select the Profile settings… option from the context menu.
  • From the Default profile – Profile settings window, select the Rules tab and then click on New rule.
  • From the New Rule – Select Query window, expand the Important target category, then select the BizTalk Host Instances sub-category, and click Ok.
  • On the New Rule (Query: BizTalk Host Instances) window, select the My Rule option from the left tree and:
    • On the Caption property, give a name to the rule: Stopped Host Instances.
    • On the Comment property, provide a small description: Monitoring BizTalk Server Host Instances status.
    • On the Trigger Actions panel, select the Each time a row validated all the Rule conditions option.
    • And click Commit changes.
  • On the New Rule (Query: BizTalk Host Instances) window, select the Condition 1 option from the left tree and:
    • On the Column to Check property, leave the default value: %GLOBALPROP_REPORTVALUE:Running%.
    • On the Operator property, from dropbox, select the option: IS DIFFERENT OF.
    • On the Comparison value property, type Yes.
    • And click Commit changes.
  • On the New Rule (Query: BizTalk Host Instances) window, on the Condition option from the left tree, right-click and select the option New Condition:
  • On the New Rule (Query: BizTalk Host Instances) window, select the Condition 2 option from the left tree and:
    • On the Column to Check property, leave the default value: %GLOBALPROP_REPORTVALUE:Running%.
    • On the Operator property, from dropbox, select the option: IS DIFFERENT OF.
    • On the Comparison value property, type Not Applicable.
    • And click Commit changes.
  • On the New Rule (Query: BizTalk Host Instances) window, select the Add Summary or Warning Entry option from the left tree under the Actions option and:
    • On the Category property, type: Host Instances.
    • On the Severity property dropbox, select the Red Warning option.
    • On the Caption property, type: Host Instances Status.
    • On the Value property, type: Is %GLOBALPROP_REPORTVALUE:Name% running: %GLOBALPROP_REPORTVALUE:Running%
    • And click Commit changes.
  • Finally, click Ok.

You can always try the custom rule by clicking Test.

This rule will gather information about Host Instances that are not running. Now we are going to create another rule to gather information about Host Instances that are running. To do that, we need to:

  • From the Default profile – Profile settings window, select the Rules tab and then click on New rule.
  • From the New Rule – Select Query window, expand the Important target category, then select the BizTalk Host Instances sub-category, and click Ok.
  • On the New Rule (Query: BizTalk Host Instances) window, select the My Rule option from the left tree and:
    • On the Caption property, give a name to the rule: Running Host Instances.
    • On the Comment property, provide a small description: Monitor Running Host Instances status.
    • On the Trigger Actions panel, select the Each time a row validated all the Rule conditions option.
    • And click Commit changes.
  • On the New Rule (Query: BizTalk Host Instances) window, select the Condition 1 option from the left tree and:
    • On the Column to Check property, leave the default value: %GLOBALPROP_REPORTVALUE:Running%.
    • On the Operator property, from dropbox, select the option: IS EQUAL TO.
    • On the Comparison value property, type Yes.
    • And click Commit changes.
  • On the New Rule (Query: BizTalk Host Instances) window, select the Add Summary or Warning Entry option from the left tree under the Actions option and:
    • On the Category property, type: Host Instances.
    • On the Severity property dropbox, select the Information option.
    • On the Caption property, type: Host Instances Status.
    • On the Value property, type: Is %GLOBALPROP_REPORTVALUE:Name% running: %GLOBALPROP_REPORTVALUE:Running%
    • And click Commit changes.
  • Finally, click Ok.

Make sure that the two custom rules are selected, and then perform another analysis of your platform.

Now, what we need to do is to create a custom tile to pin to our dashboard. A custom tile can be indeed created easily from any entry or category of the Warning view, Summary view, Key indicators view, or query output view. And to do that, we need to:

  • After analyzing our BizTalk Server environment, expand the report and then select the Summary option.
  • On the Summary report page, scroll down until you find the Host Instances summary, right-click on Host Instances and select the option Pin to the dashboard and then .
  • A new window will appear, saying that a new item was added to the dashboard. Click Ok.
  • If we now click on the Default profile, we will see that the Favorite tile was added to the dashboard.
  • We can customize the name of that tile by right-clicking and selecting the Edit option.
  • On the Favorite Tile – Favorite window:
    • On the Caption property, type: Host Instances Status.
    • On the Comment property, type: Host Instances Status.
    • And click Ok.

And finally, test it by doing another analysis of the environment.

How amazing is this!

Thanks to all that helped me document this feature. You know how you are!

Hope you find this useful! So, if you liked the content or found it useful and want to help me write more content, you can buy (or help buy) my son a Star Wars Lego! 

Author: Sandro Pereira

Sandro Pereira lives in Portugal and works as a consultant at DevScope. In the past years, he has been working on implementing Integration scenarios both on-premises and cloud for various clients, each with different scenarios from a technical point of view, size, and criticality, using Microsoft Azure, Microsoft BizTalk Server and different technologies like AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, SAP, TIBCO etc.

He is a regular blogger, international speaker, and technical reviewer of several BizTalk books all focused on Integration. He is also the author of the book “BizTalk Mapping Patterns & Best Practices”. He has been awarded MVP since 2011 for his contributions to the integration community.

BizTalk Documenter Tool: How to customize the cover page

BizTalk Documenter Tool: How to customize the cover page

The BizTalk Documenter has been available for many years and different
BizTalk versions, starting with 2004 to the latest one: BizTalk Server 2016. And once again, without a doubt
for me, BizTalk Documenter is my favorite documentation tool, and I do think that if each
product had a tool like for the generation of technical documentation, it would
be simpler to do, as the existing documentation significantly improved.

However, the default cover page is quite simple
and looks old fashion:

biztalk documenter 2016: default cover style

CHM files are the HTML Help 1.0 specification witch
is quite pretty old. Basically, It is a complete HTML based Help system that
uses a Help Viewer that internally uses Internet Explorer to render the HTML
Help content that was introduced somewhere in 1997 when Internet Explorer 4 was
also introduced.

Nevertheless, CHM continues to be a popular
help format because it is very easy to produce content for it, using plain HTML,
which is quite interactive and because it works with many Windows application
platforms out of the box.

And I normally like to personalize my documentation
according to the client like:

  • Using
    the Logotype and there name on the cover;
  • Using
    their color pattern;
  • Sometimes
    using some cover picture;

So, the question here is: Can we customize
the cover page produce by BizTalk Documenter?

And the answer is obviously: yes, of course,
you can.

And I been doing that in my client for a long
time, however, and this also serves me as a personal reminder, because each time
I’m going to a new client I’m always:

  • Forgetting how to do it;
    • What king of resources do I need to have? And what are there names? if they are mandatory;
  • Taking a long time to format the HTML according to my requirements;

And don’t get me wrong there are several blog
posts guiding you on how to do it. But most of them do not provide you the
resources for you to download and:

  • use
    it as a template;

    • Where
      you can easily modify the pictures, colors and so on;
  • Or
    use it as an inspiration, tutorial or sample to your custom cover;

How to customize the BizTalk
Documenter cover page

What is really necessary to transform
your cover page from the default one presented in the picture above to something
like this:

biztalk documenter 2016: custom cover style

That contains:

  • 1-
    Logotype of BizTalk Server version;
  • 2-
    Header title and subtitle;

    • That
      can be your platform code name like “<client name> ESB”;
  • 3-
    Logotype of the client organization;
  • 4-
    Name of the documentation;
  • 5-
    Other pictures like for example project logotype;
  • 6-
    Disclaimer;
  • 7-
    background color;
  • 8-
    Copyright;

Or something like this with a background
picture:

biztalk documenter 2016: custom cover style

And in fact, this is a quite simple task. Fortunately for us, BizTalk Documenter allows us to specify a Resource Folder on the Output Options screen:

BizTalk Documenter 2016 output options: resource folder

For the sake
of simplicity, let’s call it Resources (but it can be other as you see
in the picture Resource V1). In the root of this folder, you should:

  • Add
    a custom HTM page that you mandatory need to called it: titlePage.htm

    • If
      you give it another name it will not work. The file will be ignored and the
      default cover will be generated;
  • And
    you should, once again for the sake of simplicity, add all the necessary
    picture files on the folder or sub-folder;

This is the content/aspect of my titlePage.htm file for the first sample provide it here:

<HTML>
	<HEAD>
		<META http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8"/>
		<TITLE>BizTalk Configuration</TITLE>
		<LINK href="CommenTReport.css" type="text/css" rel="stylesheet"/>
	</HEAD>
	<BODY style="background-color:#7FB4C4; PADDING-BOTTOM:20px; PADDING-LEFT:20px; PADDING-RIGHT:20px; PADDING-TOP:20px;">
		<TABLE cellspacing="0" width="100%" height="100%">
			<TR bgcolor="#0072C6">
				<TD style="PADDING-BOTTOM:20px; PADDING-LEFT:20px; PADDING-RIGHT:20px; PADDING-TOP:20px;">
					<IMG SRC="bts.png"/>
				</TD>
				<TD width="100%">
					<p style="COLOR:#FFFFFF;TEXT-ALIGN:left;FONT-FAMILY:Calibri,Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;FONT-SIZE:40;"><b>BizTalk Server 2016</b><br>Solution Technical Documentation</p>
				</TD>
				<TD align="right" style="PADDING-BOTTOM:20px; PADDING-LEFT:20px; PADDING-RIGHT:20px; PADDING-TOP:20px;">
					<IMG SRC="logotype.png"/>
				</TD>
			</TR>
			<TR>
				<TD colspan="3" height="150">
					<BR/>
					<BR/>
					<BR/>
				</TD>
			</TR>
			<TR style="background-color: #0072C6;">
				<TD colspan="2" style="PADDING-LEFT:20px; PADDING-RIGHT:20px;">
					<BR/>
					<BR/>
					<BR/>
					<SPAN style="COLOR:#FFFFFF;TEXT-ALIGN:right;FONT-FAMILY:Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;FONT-SIZE:18;FONT-WEIGHT:bold;PADDING-LEFT:5px;PADDING-RIGHT:5px;">Name: #APPLICATION#</SPAN>
					<BR/>
					<BR/>
					<SPAN style="COLOR:#FFFFFF;TEXT-ALIGN:right;FONT-FAMILY:Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;FONT-SIZE:18;FONT-WEIGHT:bold;PADDING-LEFT:5px;PADDING-RIGHT:5px;">Installation Server: #SERVER#</SPAN>
					<BR/>
					<SPAN style="COLOR:#FFFFFF;TEXT-ALIGN:right;FONT-FAMILY:Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;FONT-SIZE:18;FONT-WEIGHT:bold;PADDING-LEFT:5px;PADDING-RIGHT:5px;">Installation Database: #DATABASE#</SPAN>
					<BR/>
					<BR/>
					<BR/>
					<BR/>
					<SPAN style="COLOR:#FFFFFF;TEXT-ALIGN:right;FONT-FAMILY:Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;FONT-SIZE:11;">All information in this document is confidential and for Sandro Pereira exclusive access. Access to this document by any other entity is not permitted without prior permission.</SPAN>
					<BR/>
					<SPAN style="COLOR:#FFFFFF;TEXT-ALIGN:right;FONT-FAMILY:Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;FONT-SIZE:11;">Any entity with access to this document is bound by its confidentiality.</SPAN>
					<BR/>
					<BR/>
					<BR/>
				</TD>
				<TD style="PADDING-BOTTOM:20px; PADDING-LEFT:20px; PADDING-RIGHT:20px; PADDING-TOP:20px;">
					<IMG SRC="documentation.png"/>
				</TD>
			</TR>
			<TR>
				<TD colspan="3" height="100%">
					<BR/>
					<BR/>
					<BR/>
				</TD>
			</TR>
			<TR>
				<TD colspan="3" align="right">
					<P style="COLOR:#FFFFFF;TEXT-ALIGN:right;FONT-FAMILY:Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;FONT-SIZE:10;">Generated on: #GENDATE#<BR/>Copyright © Sandro Pereira 2019</P>
				</TD>
			</TR>
		</TABLE>
	</BODY>
</HTML>

Resources

THIS IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY
OF ANY KIND.

You can download BizTalk Documenter tool: Cover Customization Resources from:

BizTalk Documenter tool: Cover Customization Resources
Microsoft | TechNet Gallery

The post BizTalk Documenter Tool: How to customize the cover page appeared first on SANDRO PEREIRA BIZTALK BLOG.