What is Receive Location/Send Ports service window in BizTalk Server?
One of the core capabilities of Microsoft BizTalk server is to configure services windows for your receive locations and send ports. If you configure schedule/service window for your receive locations, messages will be accepted only during that time window, all other times BizTalk either won’t pick up messages (if it’s a polling based adapter like File, FTP etc), or throws an exceptions (if it’s listening based adapter like HTTP). The same applies to send ports, message won’t be transmitted outside the service window.
The below picture shows the configuration, when you are actually creating a receive location.
This feature is very useful for variety of use cases. Example:
- You wanted to poll data from your SQL/Oracle database only during certain period
- You want to send messages to your partner only during specific timings, example 6pm after their business hours.
- You may want to process messages received from your partner via FTP after midnight etc
Lot of customers take advantage of this capability, since it really solves a key integration requirement.
Challenges with BizTalk administration console
There are two challenges with BizTalk administration console and service window.
- It’s bit difficult to identify the receive locations (RL) and send ports (SP) that got schedule/service window enabled. and
- There is no clear visibility of whether the receive locations/send ports service window is currently active/inactive to process messages.
If you got too many ports in your environment, then it becomes more complicated.
BizTalk360 solution to the problem
To tackle the challenges and make life easy for the support person, BizTalk360 clearly show two visual icons in the list. as shown in the below screen shots (Receive Locations/Send Ports)
The first Icon will be displayed if the RL/SP got schedule/service window configured. It helps to differentiate between the normal RL/SP’s and the one with schedule.
The second warning icon is displayed when the RL/SP is not active. i.e it’s not within the range of it’s processing window and the messages won’t be either received or transmitted.
Example: If you server time is 17:50, and the RL service window is configured like this
Then the warning icon won’t be displayed, whereas if the server time is either less than 17:30:25 or greater than 21:45:30 the icon will be displayed, hinting the support person messages won’t be processed.
The users can hover the mouse over and get the tips as shown in the above picture.