BizTalk 360 provides a SQL server dashboard to view information that’s relevant to BizTalk Server. The screen shot below shows the SQL Server dashboard.
Why do we need SQL Server information in a BizTalk monitoring and support tool?
The heart of BizTalk server is the message box and it’s supporting databases like tracking, bam, SSO, management, etc. databases are system databases and treated as black boxes. It’s not recommended to change anything in these system databases. It will violate your support agreement.
But from a BizTalk production support and monitoring perspective its vital to keep track of the health of these databases. Often times the support people will use SQL tools like SQL management studio to check this information, to check the size of data and log files they either use the reporting functionality of SQL management studio or check the physical file size in SAN and disks.
These activities posses both security risk by providing access to SQL server and physical boxes, and it also posses risk due to human errors accessing production systems for health monitoring.
BizTalk 360 addresses these challenge by providing a SQL server specific dashboard, where all these required information are readily available without giving any additional permissions to support people. Also, it’s restricted read-only access, make the production environment safe from human errors.
Let’s take a deeper look at the parts of the portal
1.Checking of database data and log files sizes
BizTalk 360 separates the BizTalk databases into two categories. Message box databases and other databases. It got algorithm to calculate the database data and log file sizes and displays it appropriately.
2. Checking whether the SQL jobs are running properly
Health of SQL server jobs installed by BizTalk server is very critical in a production environment. SQL server jobs are responsible for variety of operations like moving historical data from message box database to tracking and bam databases. Taking care of log shipping information for disaster recovery (DR), back up databases etc.
BizTalk 360 lists all the SQL jobs relevant to BizTalk server in the dashboard, so the support person will get visibility directly.
3. Checking the auto-growth setting
Auto growth setting plays an important role in BizTalk configuration for performance reasons. It’s recommended to set this value to a fixed value, so SQL server doesn’t waste is resources expanding the data and log files during heavy processing.
4. Other trivial information
BizTalk 360 also provides some basic information related to SQL server like whether its clustered, the physical server name, version information etc.
In a nutshell, BizTalk 360 avoids monitoring and support teams from accessing the SQL server directly just for checking few information. It bring all the relevant details specific to supporting that BizTalk environment straight to the dashboard. It both speeds up the process and makes it secure.
PS: If in case you haven’t noticed BizTalk 360 is a web based (RIA) application, built using Microsoft SilverLight. The above screens are accessible via browser. There is no necessity to install anything on the client PC except Microsoft SilverLight.