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Whats new in BizTalk360

Kevin Morillo

We have a great love for BizTalk 360 here at Tallan, and the many capabilities it affords to the realm of BizTalk monitoring, alerting, and governance.  For those not familiar, BizTalk 360 is a web based portal designed in Microsoft Silverlight which monitors BizTalk environments and is designed to address the the common hurdles enterprises face when managing BizTalk environments.  One great example of this is the fact that by default, there are two windows groups used by BizTalk for the purpose of administering a BizTalk environment, the BizTalk Administrators group, and the BizTalk Operators group.  The problem comes into play when an enterprise tries to control the access that users have to the BizTalk environment and realize that the BizTalk Operators group lacks most of the rights needed to properly administer an environment, and the BizTalk Administrators group has too many permissions necessary for normal day to day operations.  BizTalk 360 solves these issues and more.

The BizTalk 360 blog has a great section giving an overview of the features of BizTalk 360, and they also have many great videos showing how to install,configure, and use BizTalk 360.

Though I want to focus on a few of the new features of the recently released version 6 of BizTalk 360.

Whats New

Search and Action on BizTalk Artifacts

The search and action on BizTalk artifacts feature allows users of BizTalk 360 to quickly query BizTalk artifacts and perform normal administrative actions on the artifacts like starting/stopping/disabling, etc.

In the example above, I have used the ‘Search BizTalk Artifacts’ feature to search for all receive locations with the string ‘Receive Loc’ in the name.  I can then do mass operations like enabling or disabling all of them.  In the below example, I have searched for all orchestrations with the string ‘Tallan.BizTalk’ in the name.

The examples above show the ease of which an administrator can perform actions on groups of BizTalk artifacts and manage an environment with a large number of applications and artifacts.  More information about the Search and Action on BizTalk Artifacts feature can be found at the BizTalk360 site.

ESB Exception Management Portal

Another new feature of BizTalk 360 version 6 is the addition of a new dashboard showing the Microsoft Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) Toolkit error messages logged by BizTalk.  The ESB Toolkit is a collection of tools that extend the service oriented capabilities of BizTalk, though one of the most widely used features of the ESB Toolkit is its centralized exception management capabilities. The toolkit contains an ASP.NET portal and accompanying set of BizTalk applications and assemblies which subscribe to warning and error messages and provide an easy to navigate web site to view and manage the errors. With the newest version of BizTalk 360, the ability to view and manage errors usually shown in the ESB Portal have been added to the BizTalk 360 dashboard. This allows an administrator to easily see any errors through the ESB dashboard functionality, and easily query instances and administer the BizTalk environment from the same interface, a true time saver.

More information about the ESB dashboard withing BizTalk 360 can be found on the BizTalk 360 site.

Updated Custom SQL Query Functionality

A neat feature of previous versions of BizTalk 360 was the ability to create and store custom SQL queries in the BizTalk 360 dashboard.  With the new update, the custom SQL functionality has been redone and is more streamlined, also allowing for easier editing of queries.

The above picture shows a custom SQL query for showing all of the receive locations that are disabled, and also shows the edit window allowing an administrator to edit the query.

SQL Job Outcome monitoring

One of the major components of BizTalk 360 is the ability to add alarms that will fire on certain conditions within the BizTalk environment, and send emails or text messages when the alert conditions were met.  One of the alerts that can be set is an alert monitoring SQL Jobs and ensuring that all of the jobs tied to the alert are at the desired state, enabled etc.  In the newest version of BizTalk 360, not only is the state of jobs able to be monitored, but also the outcome of the last execution.  Now alarms can be set to send an email to an administrator when important jobs do not run, such as a backup job, or the BizTalk archive logs.  The image below is an example of an alarm ‘test’ with one job set to always be enabled, and the last execution executing successful in order for a ‘pass’ condition on the alarm.  You can see that the last execution of my SQL Job failed, thus the status of the alarm is ‘Critical’ and an alert email will be sent to the email addresses specified in the alarm configuration.

For more information about BizTalk 360 check out the BizTalk 360 blog, An evaluation edition of BizTalk 360 can be downloaded from their site as well.

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