BizTalk 2016: New Options in the Admin Console
Last week Microsoft released a new version of BizTalk, and they’ve added some exciting new features. A comprehensive list of changes has been provided by Microsoft here, but we’ll take a closer look at a few of the changes in the admin console which make life a lot easier for BizTalk users.
Configure Settings for Multiple Hosts and Host Instances Simultaneously
We can now configure the settings of multiple hosts and host instances at the same time, making it easier to keep them consistent in a more complicated environment.
Selecting multiple hosts at the same time as shown above and entering the settings dialog will allow us to test out this feature. In earlier versions, this same action would open up a dialog with a dropdown window to allow the user the ability to switch between hosts.
In BizTalk 2016, however, we can change both of the selected host instances at the same time. The image below shows this in action. As you can see, the Host drop-down is greyed out and unselectable, because the selected hosts for this settings change have already been chosen. Changing any of these settings will propagate the changes down to all of the selected hosts. This example is a little more simplistic, but this feature will definitely save time when used in an environment with several hosts and host instances to choose from.
As mentioned, the same change has been implemented for host instances, and you can see this in the images below:
Search Capability for BizTalk Artifacts
Another useful change Microsoft has made here is providing Administration Console users with an easy way to find specific artifacts once they have been deployed. Previously, users would have to scroll through the list of artifacts, which can be quite time consuming in a large application. Now, there is a search box in the top-right corner which allows for easy filtering. Below you can see this change on the “Schemas” tab, but the new search bar can be found on all of the other artifact tabs as well.
Saving Multiple Suspended Messages Simultaneously
This feature has been a desired commodity at many Tallan clients, so it’s very appreciated here that it is available with BizTalk 2016. In earlier versions of BizTalk, a user would have to individually select suspended messages and click “Save to File” in order to extract them from the Administration Console for debugging or other purposes. In a scenario where there are hundreds or thousands of messages which could potentially be useful, this can become quite a nightmare.
Instead, as we can see above, selecting multiple messages and right-clicking opens a context menu which contains the option to “Save to File”. In earlier versions of BizTalk this option would only be available if one message was selected. Clicking it opens up a new dialog prompting the user to select a save location:
Finding an appropriate location and clicking “OK” here saves all of the selected messages to the selected folder. As we can see below, both of the messages have been saved to the appropriate location, in addition to a context file for one of them.
Again, using this feature for two messages isn’t incredibly impressive, but add in even twenty more messages and the value increases tremendously.
As we’ve mentioned above, BizTalk 2016 is out, and there’s a lot of useful new functionality. Microsoft is boasting a number of improvements to every aspect of the platform; support for the latest development tools and hosting services, updated adapters and accelerators, complete SHA-2 hash function support, and more! With all of these new changes coming, it’s nice to know that they still spent some time improving the Administration Console to make everyday life easier for developers and administrators.