BizTalk Assessment: PowerShell to check what BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Packs are installed in your Servers got updated

BizTalk Assessment: PowerShell to check what BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Packs are installed in your Servers got updated

In the past, I release this PowerShell in order that any BizTalk Administrator to check and control which BizTalk Server Feature Pack was installed in your BizTalk environment. However, recently Niclas Öberg, another fellow “BizTalker” that I meet in London Integrate event warn me that my script didn’t recognize the existence of FP3… and he was correct

An alternative was to use BHM but the current version of BHM is also not checking for FP3 (only 1 or 2 – this limitation for sure will be fixed in next versions of BHM), you may get a warning messages saying that no CU or FP is installed, or you may get an FP2 warning messages like me:

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Packs: BHM
Nevertheless, I have installed FP3 in my environment.

Of course, once again you can easily check this manually in the “Control PanelProgramsPrograms and Features” and then view the “View Installed Updates”, although this can be a very annoying task.

So, I decided to fix my PowerShell script and release a new version that will solve this problem. Now, if you run the script you will be able to receive the following output describing what FP was or is installed in your environment:

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 1 is installed
Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Update 2 with CU3 [KB4054819]LDR is installed
Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Update 2 with CU4 [KB4077058]LDR is installed
Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Update 3 [KB4103503]LDR is installed

The beauty of this script is that now it is prepared for detecting any other future PF that may be released by Microsoft, without the need for you to change the script.

...
    foreach ($Property in $key.Property) 
    {
        if ($Property -like '*Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Update *') 
        { 
            $findF2 = 1
            Write-Host "$($Property) is installed"
        }
    }
...

This script follows the sequence of scripts that I release in the past to check what Cumulative Updates where installed in the machines.

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

Check which BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Packs installed with PowerShellCheck which BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Packs installed with PowerShell (2 KB)
Microsoft | TechNet Gallery

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. View all posts by Sandro Pereira

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3

In this blog post we will update you on which new capabilities came with BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3. Earlier, we have also written about Feature Pack 1 and 2. You can find these articles here:

Introduction to BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Packs

In 2017, Microsoft started releasing so-called Feature Packs for BizTalk Server 2016. The concept of releasing these Feature Packs is that Microsoft doesn’t want their BizTalk Server customers to wait for new features, until a new release of BizTalk Server arrives. Instead, they want their customers to enjoy these new features, as soon as possible once they have been developed and are ready to go to market. As these Feature Packs contain non-breaking features, there is little risk that a BizTalk customer runs into issues as a result of installing such Feature Packs. These Feature Packs are only available with the Enterprise and Developer edition of BizTalk Server 2016.

Since Microsoft started with this strategy, they have released 3 Feature Packs:

The BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Packs are cumulative. This means that once you installed, for example, Feature Pack 3, you can also enjoy the features which were brought in Feature Pack 1 and 2.

You might have also noticed, that each Feature Update also contains a Cumulative Update. It is also possible to install these Cumulative Updates without the new capabilities which are provided by the Feature Packs. To check the most recent releases of these Cumulative Updates, please check this web site:

What’s new with BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3

This Feature Pack brings improvements in below mentioned areas:

  • Compliance
    • Compliance with US government accessibility standard
    • Privacy – Compliance with FIPS and GDPR
    • SQL Server 2016 SP 2 – Deploy multiple databases per instance of an Availability Group
  • Adapters
    • Office365 Outlook Email – Send and Receive messages using Office365 e-mail
    • Office365 Outlook Calendar – Create appointments using Office365 schedules
    • Office365 Outlook Contact – Create Office365 contacts
    • Web Authentication – Authenticate with Azure AD and OAuth using Microsoft Enterprise Single Sign-On
  • Administration
    • Advanced Scheduling – Set up recurrence on Receive Locations with greater precision

Compliance with FIPS and GDPR

As of this Feature pack, BizTalk Server is compatible with FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

FIPS is a standard developed by the US federal government for use in computer systems by non-military government and agencies. The specification comes with standards for among others:
  • Codes – country, region and state codes, weather conditions, emergency indications
  • Encryption – Data Encryption Standard, Advanced Encryption Standard

In case of BizTalk Server, this relates to how data becomes encrypted and decrypted in SQL Server. FIPS-compliance is enabled in the Operating System, under Local Policies; refer to the screenshot below. Once enabled, SQL Server will enter the FIPS compliant mode, thereby using cryptographic standards as defined in FIPS 140-2.

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3: Local policies

GDPR is a European law on data protection which intends to regulate the privacy of individuals in the European Union. This new law supersedes Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC from 1995.

If you want to read more about BizTalk and GDPR, there are few resources written by Sandro Pereira on this topic:

Multiple databases in Availability Groups SQL instances

Also SQL Server 2016 SP 2 is supported from Feature Pack 3. This is especially good news when you are running SQL Server Availability Groups. Because this allows you to have multiple BizTalk databases in the same SQL instance. As this was not possible earlier, this made setting up BizTalk Server in Availability Groups complex and expensive. The reason for that, is because you needed to have multiple SQL Server instances than without Availability Groups and more expensive as you need to license each SQL Server instance in the Availability Groups.

New Adapters for Office365 connectivity

Few other interesting features of this Feature Pack are the adapters for Office365 Email, Calendar and Contacts. These adapters allow you to use Office365 accounts for receiving and transmitting emails, creating and updating calendar items and creating contacts.

The Office365 Email adapter

This adapter can be uses both for receiving as for transmitting messages. In BizTalk terms, you can use this adapter both on Receive Locations as on Send Ports.

On the receive side the adapter enables you to:

  • Select a folder from which to retrieve email

  • Select a timestamp from which you want to receive emails

  • Retrieve unread emails only

  • Select an action after the email has been read, like marking the email as read or deleting the email

When transmitting emails via a Send Port, you can set the following properties:

  • To – separate email addresses with a semicolon (‘;’), maximum 256 characters

  • CC – separate email addresses with a semicolon (‘;’), maximum 256 characters

  • Subject – enter maximum 256 characters

  • Importance – select Low, Normal or High from the drop down  in the Send Port

Also, it is important to realize that you can only send plain text messages.

Once you receive an email on a Receive Location, the Receive pipeline adds promoted properties, which you can use for routing the emails. These promoted properties are:

  • Importance

  • Subject

  • SenderName

  • SenderAddress

  • HasAttachments

The Office365 Calendar adapter

You can use this adapter both for receiving events as for transmitting events. To be able to receive/send events you need to have the XSD schemas for both operations. You will find these schemas here:

Program Files (x86)Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016SDKSchemas

Related to calendars, this folder contains the following schemas:

The advantage of having these schemas is, that you can determine yourself which elements you will promote for routing purposes.

When you want to receive calendar items, you can select a calendar from an Office365 Outlook account. Next, you can configure that you want to receive events which are starting within a particular time frame.

You can also use the adapter to create events from BizTalk Server. Therefore, you can, populate a message according the above mentioned Send schema. Yet, some event properties can also be set on the Send Port. The properties you can set on a Send Port are:

The Office365 Contact adapter

You can use the Contact Adapter for creating contacts in Office365. For this adapter too, Microsoft has provided a schema. You will find this schema in the same location as the Calendar schemas and has the following name:

Office365OutlookContactSend.xsd

Again, because you can add this schema to your BizTalk solution, you can determine yourself which fields you would like to promote. The Send Port configuration only allows you to sign in with an Office365 account. You cannot configure any contact properties on the Send Port.

Note: To be able to use the Office365 adapters from BizTalk, besides Feature Pack 3, you need to install TMS. This service refreshes the Office OAuth tokens which BizTalk uses. After installation of the Feature Pack, navigate to the installation folder of BizTalk Server (Program Files (x86)Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016).  There you will find BizTalkTMS.msi, which you must install.

Read this article for more details about the Office365 adapters for BizTalk Server 2016.

Advanced Scheduling of Receive Locations 

Scheduling Receive Locations has always been hard with the out-of-the-box capabilities of BizTalk Server. Often people used the open source Scheduled Task Adapter which exists since BizTalk Server 2004. Currently, Sandro Pereira maintains this adapter on GitHub.

The open source Scheduled Task Adapter does a good job. But, organisations might prefer not to go for open source software, but still they might have a need to schedule Receive Location(s). Microsoft has listened to their requests and introduced Advanced Scheduling of Receive Locations with Feature Pack 3!

Below screenshots show how the scheduling capabilities of a Receive Location look like, before and after installation of Feature Pack 3.

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3: Scheduling before Feature Pack 3 BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3: Scheduling with Feature Pack 3


In case of the Feature Pack 3 scenario, the upper part of the screen
is extended with capabilities to select a time zone and to configure automatic adjustment for Daylight Saving Time (DST).

The ability of setting the time zone can help in case your integration partner(s) live in different regions of the world. Using the Time Zone drop down will make it easier to configure when Receive Locations will pick up messages according the partner’s time zone.

Daylight Saving Time, also mentioned Summer Time, is a practice which is done in a number of countries in the Northern and Southern hemisphere. During DST, the clock becomes advanced one hour close to Spring and adjusted backwards in Autumn. This way daylight lasts longer in the evening. These adjustments might effect the proper working of your interfaces. That’s why Microsoft introduced the ability to automatically adjust the schedule of your Receive Locations, according DST.

By the way: did you know that the Data Monitoring features in BizTalk360 are also compliant to Daylight Savings? Our colleague Mekala wrote an article about it. Here you have the link to that article:

Especially the Service Window capability of Receive Locations are improved hugely. The original ability to configure just a Start and a Stop time has been extended with the following recurrence features:

  • Daily – configure the number of recurring days and from which date the recurrence will be active

  • Weekly – configure the number of recurring days, from when the recurrence will be active and on which weekdays the recurrence must be active

    BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3: Weekly Service Window

  • Monthly – configure which months and which days the recurrence should take place
    BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3: Monthly Service Window BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3: Monthly Service Window

Conclusion

With BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3, Microsoft has released many useful features for BizTalk Server 2016. The Office365 adapters, the improved scheduling capabilities and the support of SQL Server 2016 SP2 (because of simplification of  Availability Groups) can be considered as the most useful ones.

Meanwhile, the community is also waiting for the release of BizTalk Server vNext which has been announced recently. This version of BizTalk underlines the on-going commitment of Microsoft in the platform. The new version of BizTalk will, amongst others, contain all the release Feature Packs for BizTalk Server 2016.

You can receive this kind of announcements and many other interesting articles in the Microsoft Integration space directly in your email box, by subscribing to our monthly Integration Newsletter. You can find the August edition of this newsletter, which provides more information about BizTalk vNext, here.
BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3 is publicly available, and I have to try it!

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3 is publicly available, and I have to try it!

Yesterday, June 25, 2016, BizTalk Server team released the new BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3, again, this only can be applied to BizTalk Server 2016, the previous versions of the product don’t support FP and there is nothing on the roadmap to support them. This FP was announced in Integrate 2018 London event and it will include:

  • 3 brand new Office365 adapters:
    • Office 365 Mail Adapter: will allow you to consume (read, mark as read or delete) Outlook e-mail messages through one-way BizTalk Server receive locations or send email messages through one-way static or dynamic send ports.
    • Office 365 Calendar Adapter: that will allow you to get future calendar events through one-way BizTalk Server receive locations or create calendar events through one-way static or dynamic send ports. Personally, I still need to find a good case story for this adapter but is better have than don’t have nothing.
    • Office 365 Contact Adapter: that will allow you to create contacts through one-way static or dynamic send ports. Again, still need to find a good case story for this adapter.
  • Support for Authentication with Azure AD and OAuth using Microsoft Enterprise Single Sign-On – This feature is included, but only consumed by the new Office 365 adapters
  • And compliance with:
    • US government accessibility standard
    • FIPS and GDPR privacy standards
  • Compatibility with SQL Server 2016 SP2: You now can deploy multiple databases per instance of an Availability Group.

And I couldn’t wait for trying it out!

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3: Step-by-step Installation Instructions

After you download the Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3 You should:

  • Run the downloaded .EXE file – BTS2016-KB4103503-ENU.exe – from your hard drive.
  • In the “Welcome to Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Update 3 Installation Wizard” screen, click “Next”

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3: Welcome screen

  • In the “License agreement” screen, select the option “I accept the terms of this license agreement” and then click “Next”

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3: License Agreement Screen

  • In the “Ready to Install”, it will be provided a list of products that will be enhanced, you should click “Next” to continue with the installation.

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3: Ready To Install screen

  • The BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3 installation will prompt a window with the list of services that will be restarted during the installation process, click “Yes” to continue with the installation.

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3: services to be restarted information screen

  • The installation process may take some minutes to complete, and you probably see some “background” windows to appear and to be completed.
    • Important: you should wait until the “Installation Wizard has completed” screen to appear
  • In the “Installation Wizard has completed” screen, click “Finish”

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3: Complete screen

Note: BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3 doesn’t request for you to restart BizTalk Server machine after you finish the FP3 installation process. But I normally like to restart once the installation is complete (this is optional).

Once the installation is complete, you will be able to see and use the new features:

  • New Office 365 adapters

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3: New Office 365 Adapters

Note: Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Update 3 comes with CU5, so once you install this FP you are also updating your BizTalk Server environment with the latest cumulative update. This is not optional.

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. View all posts by Sandro Pereira

BizTalk Assessment: How to check what BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Packs are installed on your Servers with PowerShell

BizTalk Assessment: How to check what BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Packs are installed on your Servers with PowerShell

We cannot rely on documentation if they exist, to be accurate, especially regarding the status of the machines present in the environment that tell us what is installed on the machine or not. This script follows the sequence of scripts that I release in the past to check what Cumulative Updates where installed in the machines.

However, Microsoft introduces a new concept within BizTalk Server 2016, it calls Feature Packs.

BizTalk Server 2016 will use Feature Pack (FP) approach to providing new functionalities to the product at a faster pace. Now new features (or at least non-breaking features) will be delivered when they’re ready we no longer need to wait 2 years for the next major release of the product to have new features!

BizTalk Server uses the feature pack to provide improvements, features, and closer integration with Azure. Feature Pack 1 extends functionality in key areas, such as deployment, analytics, and runtime. – https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt800834.aspx

Feature Pack’s will be available for Software Assurance customers running BizTalk Server 2016 Developer and Enterprise editions or customers running BizTalk Server 2016 in Azure under an Enterprise Agreement

With this, people in charge of monitoring and maintaining BizTalk Server environments will have to not only check if all the Cumulative Updates (nevertheless, this is the most critical operation) but if their organization decide to install FP, they also need to check if and what feature packs are installed in which machine.

Although it seems simple, this operation is just or more painful to perform as the cumulative updates.

Of course, there are some ways to check that, for example:

  • you can do it manually by checking “Control PanelProgramsPrograms and Features” and then view the “View Installed Updates”, however, this can be a very annoying task and sometimes time-consuming.

Programs-and-features-List-BizTalk-Server-2016-feature-packs

  • you can use Windows Registry but still if you only want to check what FPs that are installed this will be an annoying and time-consuming task.

Probably there are other ways, nevertheless, I just want a quick and very easy way, because this is a basic and very simple task, to know what are the BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Packs installed like:

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 1 is installed  
Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2 is installed

How to check what BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Packs

So how can we easily automate tasks? and reuse them whenever necessary and at the same time saving significant time for other tasks?

Using PowerShell is a good option. Windows PowerShell is a Windows command-line shell designed especially for system administrators and can be used by BizTalk administrators to help them in automating repetitive tasks or tasks that are time-consuming to perform manually.

This is a simple script that allows you to configure the template name of the feature packs, that will may change from version to version (FP1, FP2, …), and will give you the list of all Feature Packs installed in your machine:

$keys = Get-ChildItem -Path Registry::'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREWOW6432NodeMicrosoftE-Business Servers Updates'

#...

foreach ($key in $keys) 
{
    if($findF1 -eq $true)
    {
        break
    }

    foreach ($Property in $key.Property) 
    {
        if ($Property -like '*Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 1*') 
        { 
            $findF1 = 1
            Write-Host 'Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 1 is installed'
            break
        }
    }
}

#...

     foreach ($Property in $key.Property) 
    {
        if ($Property -like '*Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Update 2*') 
        { 
            $findF2 = 1
            Write-Host 'Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2 is installed'
            break
        }
    }

#...

if(($findF1 -eq $false) -And ($findF2 -eq $false)) 
{
    Write-Host 'Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack is not installed'
}

PowerShell-List-BizTalk-Server-2016-feature-packs

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

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.

View all posts by Sandro Pereira

What happened in Microsoft Integration space in 2017?

What happened in Microsoft Integration space in 2017?

A new year has just began and at BizTalk360 we are excited to find out what 2018 will bring us as a company. We are delighted that we will release more versions of our flagship product BizTalk360, further evolve ServiceBus360 and bring new products like Atomic Scope and Document360.

Year in review

In this article however, we want to look back at what 2017 brought from a Microsoft Integration space perspective. Although we did not see a new version of BizTalk Server, we did see new features arrive for BizTalk Server 2016, by means of the two feature packs which have been released. Of course, we have also seen new CU’s appear for the currently supported BizTalk Server versions, which are 2013, 2013R2 and 2016.

Note however, that in case you are on BizTalk Server 2013 or 2013 R2, mainstream support will end July 10th, this year! So you should consider upgrading to BizTalk Server 2016. As migrating to another BizTalk platform is not something to take lightly, Microsoft offers the BizTalk Migration tool. Read more about this tool later in this article.

An important move Microsoft made last year, was embracing the Open Source community. Of course, also in the Logic Apps and related technologies a lot has happened. Keep on reading, when you want to read about most important developments in Microsoft Integration space.

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Packs

The concept of Feature Packs is new to BizTalk Server. The idea of bringing Feature Packs is to bring new features once they are ready, instead of having to wait until the next major release.

For BizTalk Server, these packs can be installed on top of (only) BizTalk Server 2016 and bring new functionality, without breaking existing functionality. As far as we know, there are no plans to bring Feature Packs for other BizTalk version than 2016.

Last year Microsoft brought 2 Feature Packs for BizTalk Server 2016. Let’s have a look at both.

Feature Pack 1

This first Feature pack was released on April 26th. It could only be installed on top of the base version of BizTalk Server 2016 (3.12.774.0), so you could not install it after you have applied any CU’s for BizTalk Server 2016. This issue his been fixed on September 21st, when Microsoft released a version of FP1 which was compatible with Cumulative Update 3 (KB4039664), the most recent CU at that time.

Microsoft Integration

Feature Pack 1 added the following features to BizTalk Server 2016:

Deployment

  • Deploy with VSTS – Enable Continuous Integration to automatically deploy and update applications using Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS)
  • New management APIs – Manage your environment remotely using the new REST APIs with full Swagger support

Analytics

  • Application Insights – Tap into the power of Azure for tracking valuable application performance and to better understand your workflow
  • Leverage operational data – View operational data from anywhere and with any device using Power BI

Runtime

  • Support for Always Encrypted – Use the WCF-SQL adapter to connect to SQL Server secure Always Encrypted columns
  • Advanced Scheduling – Set up advanced schedules for Receive Locations using the new capabilities with Feature Pack 1

More information on Feature Pack 1 can be found here:  https://blogs.biztalk360.com/microsoft-biztalk-server-2016-feature-pack-1/

Download Feature Pack 1 here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=55100

Feature Pack 2

This pack was released on November 21st and can be installed immediately on top of the BizTalk Server 2016 Cumulative Updates 1, 2 and 3 and Feature Pack 1.

Microsoft Integration - BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2

In this Feature Pack, the following features were brought:

Deployment and Administration

  • Application Lifecycle Management with VSTS – Using Visual Studio Team Services, you can define multi-server deployments of BizTalk Server 2016, and then maintain those systems throughout the application lifecycle.
  • Backup to Azure Blob Storage – When deploying BizTalk Server to Azure VMs, you can backup BizTalk Server databases to Azure blob storage.

Server Runtime

  • Adapter for Service Bus v2 – When using the Service Bus Adapter, you can utilize Azure Service Bus Premium for enterprise-scale workloads.
  • Transport Layer Security 1.2 – Securely deploy BizTalk Server using industry-standard TLS 1.2 authentication and encryption.
  • API Management – Publish Orchestration endpoints using Azure API Management, enabling organizations to publish APIs to external, partner and internal developers to unlock the potential of their data and services.
  • Event Hubs – 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.

Analytics and Reporting

  • Event Hubs – Send BizTalk Server tracking data to Azure Event Hubs, a hyper-scale telemetry ingestion service that collects, transforms, and stores millions of events.
  • Application Insights – When preparing BizTalk Server to send tracking data to Application Insights, released in FP1, you can use the new Azure sign-in dialog to simplify configuration and named instances of SQL Server.

More information on Feature Pack 2 can be found here:  https://blogs.biztalk360.com/microsoft-biztalk-server-2016-feature-pack-2-released/

Download Feature Pack 2 here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=56262

Cumulative updates

In 2017, Microsoft also brought a number of Cumulative Updates for the different versions of BizTalk Server. See below for an overview which contains links to the download pages:

BizTalk Server 2013

NOTE: this version is going out of mainstream support July 10th, 2018

July 28th, 2017 – Cumulative Update package 6 (build 3.10.359.2) – KB4032678

BizTalk Server 2013 R2

NOTE: this version is going out of mainstream support July 10th, 2018

May 8th, 2017 – Cumulative Update package 6 (build 3.11.280.2) – KB4020020
October 12, 2017 – Cumulative Update package 7 (build 3.11.285.2) – KB4038891

BizTalk Server 2016

January 26, 2017 – Cumulative Update package 1 (build 3.12.796.2) – KB3208238
May 26, 2017 – Cumulative Update package 2 (build 3.12.807.2) – KB4021095
September 1, 2017 – Cumulative Update package 3 (build 3.12.815.2) – KB4039664

Embracing Open Source

In September Microsoft announced that BizTalk Server has joined the Open Source community. This is motivated by the increased commitment that Microsoft wants to provide a better product to their customers.

So far, Microsoft has open sourced the following:

  • all schemas which are shipped with the product. These are over 3500 files, which are divided over the following standards:
    • EANCOM
    • EDIFACT
    • HIPAA
    • HIX
    • X12
  • the BizTalk Migration tool. This tool is developed to simplify the following migrations:
    • BizTalk Server 2010 to BizTalk 2013R2
    • BizTalk Server 2013R2 to BizTalk 2016For Host Integration Server

For Host Integration Server (HIS), Microsoft has provided a PowerShell script that helps creating .hidx files, which are used by the HIS runtime to communicate with the backend systems.

The repository which contains above mentioned stuff, can be found at GitHub:

https://github.com/Microsoft/Integration/

Microsoft’s intention is to continue their open source commitment. Community contributions are more than welcome and can contain artifacts like Schemas, Samples, Adapters, pipeline components or anything else you feel the community can take advantage of.

Azure Integration updates

It is amazing to see what’s all happening on Azure Integration! The Logic Apps team regularly post their updates on YouTube. At our blog, we publish recaps of these updates. Below is a picture of the entire Microsoft Pro Integration team on a bright, sunny Friday morning at Gold Coast, Australia, during #MSAUIgnite.

Microsoft Integration - Logic Apps Live from Australia

See below, just a couple of all the developments which have taken place:

Logic App-adapter – this adapter enables you to receive or send messages from BizTalk Server 2016 to your Logic Apps, via the On-Premise Data Gateway

Numerous improvements to the Logic Apps Designer – just a few which are worth to mention: editing Azure Functions directly from Logic Apps, generating JSON schema from sample payload, Parallel creation in the designer, use of Webhooks in Foreach loops, use of variables, batch processing, advanced scheduling of Logic App execution

Cognitive Vision APIs – to be able to use the OCR capability to understand the characters and text within an image

Azure Event Grid – The newest and hottest kid in town; technical preview version was released by Microsoft on August 16th

Azure Event Grid Connectors for Logic Apps – Of course the Event Grid offering is accompanied with a connector

More than 80 new SaaS adapters – few of the added connectors are: Azure Table Storage, Cognitive Services, Outlook – webhook trigger, SQL – dynamic schema for stored procedures, Azure Container Instances , Pitney Bowes Data Validation, Log Analytics Data Collector, ServiceNow, Skype for Business, LinkedIn, Azure Security Center Trigger, MySQL (R/W)

You can follow the Logic Apps team yourself, via their YouTube channel:  http://aka.ms/logicappslive

The most recent recap of the Logic Apps update can be found here:
https://blogs.biztalk360.com/azure-logic-apps-monthly-update-november-2017/

What can we expect in 2018?

Of course Microsoft will keep on bringing new and exciting features and improvements. What we currently know is that we can expect a new feature pack for BizTalk Server 2016, being Feature Pack 3. But also on the Azure side we can expect new stuff and enhancements of existing features.

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3

During the first half year, we can expect the release of BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 3. What we currently know, is that we can expect multiple Office 365 adapters, with the following capabilities:

  • Send and receive messages using Office 365 e-mail
  • Set and update appointments using Office 365 schedules
  • Define people and groups using Office 365 contacts

Further, we can expect:

  • Web authentication – authenticate with Azure Active Directory and OAuth using Microsoft Enterprise Single Sign-On
  • Advanced Scheduling – Set up recurrence on BizTalk Server receive locations with greater precision using hours, minutes, second

Microsoft Integration - BizTalk Server Roadmap

Besides that, Microsoft will keep on bringing CU’s for the supported BizTalk Server versions, including the final CU’s for BizTalk 2013 and 2013R2.

Further, Microsoft is also working on BizTalk Server vNext, so we can also expect CTP’s (Community Technology Previews), which will lead to a new release of BizTalk Server and more Feature Packs. However, a timeline towards a new release of BizTalk Server is not yet made public.

Azure Integration

In Azure, we can expect of course more adapters. The Logic Apps team has already mentioned amongst others: SOAP Passthrough, Office365 Excel, K2, Kronos, Citrix ShareFile and PostgreSQL.

We’ll also see more improvements in the designer. Features like Complex Conditions within the designer, Configurable lifetime and Degrees of parallelism for split-on and request triggers have already been mentioned by the team.

All in all, we can conclude that 2017 has been an awesome year for Microsoft Integration and we can expect that 2018 will be a fantastic year as well!

INTEGRATE 2018

You can get to know more about these updates directly from the Microsoft Product Group at INTEGRATE 2018. The dates and the venue for the event has been finalized. The website will be going live by this week. Stay tuned!

Author: Lex Hegt

Lex Hegt works in the IT sector for more than 25 years, mainly in roles as developer and administrator. He works with BizTalk since BizTalk Server 2004. Currently he is a Technical Lead at BizTalk360.

View all posts by Lex Hegt

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2

Available now is Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2. This update to BizTalk Server 2016 contains new and improved capabilities for modernizing BizTalk Server workloads in the areas of deployment, runtime and analytics.

Deployment and Administration

  • Application Lifecycle Management with VSTS
    • Using Visual Studio Team Services, you can define multi-server deployments of BizTalk Server 2016, and then maintain those systems throughout the application lifecycle.
  • Backup to Azure Blob Storage
    • When deploying BizTalk Server to Azure VMs, you can backup BizTalk Server databases to Azure blob storage.

Server Runtime

  • Adapter for Service Bus v2
    • When using the Service Bus Adapter, you can utilize Azure Service Bus Premium for enterprise-scale workloads.
  • Transport Layer Security 1.2
    • Securely deploy BizTalk Server using industry-standard TLS 1.2 authentication and encryption.
  • API Management
    • Publish Orchestration endpoints using Azure API Management, enabling organizations to publish APIs to external, partner and internal developers to unlock the potential of their data and services.
  • Event Hubs
    • 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.

Analytics and Reporting

  • Event Hubs
    • Send BizTalk Server tracking data to Azure Event Hubs, a hyper-scale telemetry ingestion service that collects, transforms, and stores millions of events.
  • Application Insights
    • When preparing BizTalk Server to send tracking data to Application Insights, released in FP1, you can use the new Azure sign-in dialog to simplify configuration and named instances of SQL Server.

Licensing

  • Microsoft customers with Software Assurance or Azure Enterprise Agreements are licensed to use Feature Pack 2.
  • BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2 can be installed on Enterprise and Developer editions only.

Software

  • BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2 contains all the functionality of Feature Pack 1, plus all the fixes in Cumulative Update 3.
  • You can install Feature Pack 2 on BizTalk Server 2016 Enterprise and Developer Edition (retail, CU1, CU2, CU3, FP1).
  • Download the software now from the Microsoft Download Center.

Documentation
You can learn more about FP2 by reading the documentation articles. Please contribute to improving our documentation, by joining our BizTalk Server community on GitHub.

Feedback
Contribute to the community by participating in our forum, reading our blog, following us on Twitter (@BizTalk_Server), as well as providing product input using our BizTalk User Voice.

BizTalk Cumulative Update installation error: Cannot proceed with installation Biztalk server pack is installed

BizTalk Cumulative Update installation error: Cannot proceed with installation Biztalk server pack is installed

Cannot proceed with installation. Biztalk server pack is installed.”, it is not the first time that I encounter this problem, the first time was while I was trying to install Cumulative Update 2 for BizTalk Server 2016 ( the error that you can see in the picture below) and more recently while I was trying to install Cumulative Update 3:

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 CU2 [KB 4021095]

Cannot proceed with installation. Biztalk server pack is installed. Please install Cumulative Update for BizTalk Server Feature Pack.

Cannot proceed with installation Biztalk server pack is installed

Cause

There is this new “kid on the block” that was introduced by the BizTalk Server Product group in BizTalk Server 2016 that is call “BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack”.

Microsoft will use feature pack approach as a way to provide new and non-breaking functionalities to the product at a faster pace without the need for you to wait 2 years for the next major release of the product to have new features.

However, until know – Cumulative Update 3 for BizTalk Server 2016 – the Cumulative Updates are not aligned with the feature pack. And when I say: “Cumulative Updates are not aligned with the feature pack” I mean that when Microsoft releases a new BizTalk Server Cumulative Update:

  • it will not be compatible with Feature Pack 1
  • you can only install it on environments without BizTalk Server Feature Pack 1 installed, otherwise you will receive the error described above.
  • you need to wait a few more days/weeks for Microsoft release a new update of BizTalk Server Feature Pack 1 with the Cumulative Update included

At least based on the history until now:

I do not know if this behavior will change in future versions of Cumulative Updates, I hope it does and all the new CU’s will be compatible with FP1.

Important Note: as an additional note, currently if you want to install FP1 you will be forced to install Cumulative Update 3 for BizTalk Server 2016 because it is now part of the Feature Pack… so you cannot install FP1 without it.

Solution

Of course, currently, this is a false issue because Microsoft already released an updated version of Feature Pack 1 with the latest CU. But if this behavior continues to occur in future CU’s versions, you have two options:

  • Abdicate the Feature Pack by uninstalling it. And then you will be able to update your BizTalk Server environment with the latest fixes.
  • Be patient, and wait a few days/weeks until Microsoft release an updated version of the Feature Pack compatible with the latest CU.
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. View all posts by Sandro Pereira

Step by step configuration to publish BizTalk operational data on Power BI whitepaper

Step by step configuration to publish BizTalk operational data on Power BI whitepaper

After some request by the community and after I publish in my blog as a season of blog posts, Step by step configuration to publish BizTalk operational data on Power BI is available as a whitepaper!

Recently, the Microsoft Product team released a first feature pack for BizTalk Server 2016 (only available for Enterprise and Developer edition). This whitepaper will help you understand how to install and configure one of the new features of BizTalk Server 2016:

  • Leverage operational data – View operational data from anywhere and with any device using Power BI, works and how we can configure it.

BizTalk operational data on Power BI whitepaper

What to expect about Step by step configuration to publish BizTalk operational data on Power BI

This whitepaper will give a step-by-step explanation of what component or tools you need to install and configure to enable BizTalk operational data to be published in a Power BI report.

Table of Contents

  1. About the Author
  2. Introduction
  3. What is Operational Data?
  4. System Requirements to Enable BizTalk Server 2016 Operational Data
  5. Step-by-step Configuration to Enable BizTalk Server 2016 Operational Data Feed
    1. First step: Install Microsoft Power BI Desktop
    2. Second step: Enable operational data feed
    3. Third step: Use the BizTalk Server Operational Data Power BI template to publish the report to Power BI
    4. Fourth step: Connect Power BI BizTalkOperationalData dataset with your on-premise BizTalk environment

Where I can download it

You can download the whitepaper here:

I would like to take this opportunity also to say thanks to my amazing team of BizTalk360 for the proofreading and for once again join forces with me to publish for free another white paper.

I hope you enjoy reading this paper and any comments or suggestions are welcome.

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. View all posts by Sandro Pereira

Customer story: BizTalk management through PowerApps

Customer story: BizTalk management through PowerApps

It’s been a month since Feature Pack 1 was released for BizTalk Server 2016 Enterprise and Developer edition. The Feature pack introduced a set of new features, and helped customers leverage new technologies as well as taking advantage of tools they already used in their organization, in this case to enable a more streamlined management of their BizTalk Installation.

One of these customers were FortisAlbert, an energy company located Alberta, Canada. With the new management REST APIs with full Swagger support they were able to take parts of the operational management of the environments out from the BizTalk Servers and Administration Console and build a PowerApp to create and maintain their applications. Making the 24/7 support of their environment easier for the operational teams.

Having the option to add, update and even start existing artifacts directly from the PowerApp has helped FortisAlbert to enhance their productivity and speed of resolving live incidents.

“FortisAlberta has been using BizTalk since 2006 and is currently migrating to BizTalk 2016 due to its versatility, adaptability and ability to integrate disparate systems with ease.”

Anthony See, FortisAlberta

5-23-2017-9-09-14-am

host-instancessend-ports

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 1: How to publish BizTalk operational data on Power BI – Step-by-step configuration (Part 3)

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 1: How to publish BizTalk operational data on Power BI – Step-by-step configuration (Part 3)

To close this sequence of posts about BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 1: How to publish BizTalk operational data on Power BI – Step-by-step configuration, in this post we will see how we can connect Power BI BizTalkOperationalData dataset with our on-premise BizTalk environment.

Step-by-step Configuration to Enable BizTalk Server 2016 Operational Data Feed

Fourth step: Connect Power BI BizTalkOperationalData dataset with your on-premise BizTalk environment

The final step is to install and configure a Power BI Gateway to connect your on-premise BizTalk Server environment.

With the On-premises data gateway, you can keep your data fresh by connecting to your on-premises data sources without the need to move the data. Because it installs and runs on your computer, it is best to install it on a machine that can be left running all the time.

Here are a few things to consider before installing the gateway.

  • If you are installing on a laptop, and your laptop is turned off, not connected to the internet, or asleep the gateway won’t work and the data in the cloud service will not be synchronized with your on-premises data.
  • If your machine is connected to a wireless network, the gateway may perform more slowly which will cause it to take longer to synchronize the data in the cloud service with your on-premises data.

(source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-gateway-onprem/)

To do that we need to:

BizTalk operational data: Power BI Gateway download

  • Run the downloaded .EXE file – PowerBIGatewayInstall.exe – from your hard drive.
  • In the “Security Warning” screen, click “Run”

BizTalk operational data: Power BI Gateway Install

  • In the “Start your on-premises data gateway installation” screen, click “Next”

BizTalk operational data: Power BI Gateway Install Welcome

  • · In the “Choose the type of gateway you need” screen, select “On-premises date gateway (recommended)” and then click “Next”
    • On-premises data gateway: Multiple users can share and reuse a gateway in this mode. This gateway can be used by Power BI, PowerApps, Flow or Logic Apps. For Power BI, this includes support for both schedule refresh and DirectQuery
    • Personal: This is for Power BI only and can be used as an individual without any administrator configuration. This can only be used for on-demand refresh and schedule refresh. This will launch the installation of the personal gateway.

BizTalk operational data: Power BI Gateway Install type of gateway

  • In the “Reminder before you install” screen, click “Next”

BizTalk operational data: Power BI Gateway Install warning

  • In the “Getting ready to install the on-premises data gateway” screen, review or change the installation path, select the option “I accept the terms of use and privacy statement” and then click “Install”

BizTalk operational data: Power BI Gateway Getting ready

  • If the install is successful, then the “Almost done” screen will appear. The next step is to sign into your Power BI account to finish the configuration of the gateway. Enter your email account and then click “Sign in”

BizTalk operational data: Power BI Gateway Almost done

  • The next step is to specify that we want to register a new gateway on our environment.
    • Select the option “Register a new gateway on this computer” and then click “Next”

BizTalk operational data: Power BI Gateway Register new gateway

  • Finally, the last step is to configure the Gateway settings by defining a Gateway name and recovery key. To finalize the configuration, click “Configure”

BizTalk operational data: Power BI Gateway Configure gateway

When we click configure, the Gateway is confirmed and added to the PowerBI setup for our account.

The only thing the is missing to finalize the process is to add a data source to the gateway that we just created previously on https://app.powerbi.com portal. For that we need to:

  • Login in https://app.powerbi.com portal
  • Select the gear icon in the upper-right corner and then click “Manage gateways”.

BizTalk operational data: Power BI manage gateways

  • You can add a new data source by selecting a gateway and click “…” (3 dots) button and then click “Add data source”.

BizTalk operational data: Power BI manage gateways Add Data Source

  • In the “Data Source Setting” panel set the following configuration:
    • Data Source Name: set a name for your data source, example: BizTalkOperationalDataSource
    • Data Source Type: From the Data Source Type list, you must select “OData”.
    • URL: set the URL that we defined on the “BizTalkOperationalData.pbit” template:
      • http://localhost/BizTalkOperationalDataService
    • Authentication Method: This can either be Windows or Basic. You would want to choose Basic if you are going to use SQL Authentication instead of Windows Authentication. Then enter the credentials that will be used for this data source.

BizTalk operational data: Power BI manage gateways Add Data Source information

  • And then click “Add”.

Now let’s associate this gateway and data source with our BizTalkOperationalData dataset. To do that you need to:

  • Select your Workspace, in my case “My workspace” and then select the tab “dataset”

BizTalk operational data: Power BI BizTalkOperationalData dataset

  • On our BizTalkOperationalData dataset, click “…” (3 dots) button and then select “Settings”

BizTalk operational data: Power BI BizTalkOperationalData dataset settings

  • On our BizTalkOperationalData dataset, expand the tab “gateway connection”. There you will be able to already see a gateway available under “Use a data gateway”.
    • Select the option “Use a data gateway” and click “Apply”.

BizTalk operational data: Power BI BizTalkOperationalData dataset use data gateway

And now you will be able to successfully refresh manual your dataset or specify a scheduling refresh mechanism.

BizTalk operational data: Power BI BizTalkOperationalData dataset refresh

Related Links

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. View all posts by Sandro Pereira