BizTalk Server 2020 – Analytics Features

|  Posted: April 9, 2020  |  Categories: BizTalk Server 2020

In the last couple of months, we have brought several blog posts about BizTalk Server 2020. In today’s blog post about the BizTalk Server 2020 features, we will have a look at the Analytics features.

In the “What’s New in BizTalk Server 2020” article, which has been published by Microsoft during the release of the product, under Analytics they mention “Leveraging the power of Azure (Application Insight and Event Hub) for deep data storage and Power BI for reporting and viewing of data”.

To be able to leverage the power of Azure, BizTalk Server 2020 can push different kinds of data to Application Insights, Event Hubs and/or Power BI. As it depends on what kind of data can be pushed to the different Azure storages, let’s have a look at the business-wise possibilities of pushing BizTalk data to Azure. A few possibilities would be:

  • Analyze processed data and execute advanced queries
  • Collect BizTalk metrics for data processing
  • Get visual representations of tracked data

Let’s have a bit more detailed look at each of these scenarios.

Analyze Processed Data and Execute Advanced Queries

With this, you will be able to get all kinds of interesting data about what all becomes processed through your BizTalk environment. Think of statistics around the number of processed messages per port or schema. But it does not end there, as you can also track your promoted properties, you will also be able to get statistics around business entities! Besides querying for such a date, you can also create charts based on the same data.

Execute-Queries

Process-Data-Queries

To get this to work, the following prerequisites apply:

  • In Azure: An Application Insights instance to which the data will be pushed (the Instrumentation key is used for authentication)
  • In BizTalk: Analytics must be enabled and configured at the Group level
  • In BizTalk: In at least one receive/send port or an orchestration, Analytics must have been enabled (don’t forget to restart your Tracking Host)

Documentation on how to set this up can be found here. A much more detailed blog on this topic can be found here.

Collect BizTalk Metrics for Data Processing

Instead of pushing your BizTalk data to Application Insights, you can also push the data to an Event Hub. This enables you to stream the Event Hub data to Azure Blob Storage or Azure Data Lake Storage. This enables you to focus on processing the streamed data, rather than on capturing it.

Alternatively, you could use the new Event Hub adapter to retrieve the tracked data back from the Event Hub and use it for your own purposes. You could think of storing the data in a separate database and use it for reporting or analytic purposes. An advantage of this approach is that you could keep the size of your tracking database limited, while still being able to access the data (via a separate database).

To be able to push tracked data to Event Hubs, the prerequisites are:

  • In Azure: You need an Azure Event Hub namespace and Event Hub. A SAS (namespace-level) or Event Hub-level policy is used to authenticate
  • In BizTalk: Analytics must be enabled and configured at the Group level
  • In BizTalk: In at least one receive/send port or an orchestration, Analytics must have been enabled (don’t forget to restart your Tracking Host)

If you need help to set this up, you can refer to this article.

Get Visual Representations of Tracked Data

You can also push your tracked data to Power BI. By doing so, you can access your operational BizTalk data anywhere and on any device. Your operational data can consist of the following categories:

‘regular’ BizTalk data

  • Application data
  • Instance information
  • Messages
  • Subscriptions
  • Tracked Events

BizTalk EDI data

  • AS2 Status Records
  • Batching information
  • Interchange Aggregations Records
  • Interchange Status Records
  • Transaction reports
  • Transaction sets

After the installation of the prerequisites, you will be able to access the data in Power BI and create dashboards that are based on your operational BizTalk data.

BizTalk Server 2020 contains a pre-defined Power BI template that shows out-of-the-box graphs and charts.

See below for an example of how this looks like.

BizTalk-Server-Tracking-Data

Besides sticking with the pre-defined template, you have abilities like checking data in tabular form (including drill-down), change chart types, select measures and dimensions, and so on.

To be able to access your BizTalk operational data in Power BI, the following prerequisites must have been met:

More information about this can be found at Microsoft Docs. Read about Power BI at its web site.

If you want to read more on how you can set up Power BI to access your BizTalk operational data, check Sandro’s whitepaper.

More Resources on BizTalk Server 2020

Besides the blog posts, we are bringing much more content about BizTalk Server 2020. Check below resources to learn more about these community initiatives:

BizTalk Server 2020 landing page

To start with, you can visit our BizTalk Server 2020 landing page, which not just contains links to articles from ourselves but also from Microsoft and community members all about BizTalk Server 2020! We are frequently revisiting that page ourselves to make sure that it contains the most accurate and useful articles for you.

Whitepapers and e-books

We are in the progress of updating the current set of whitepapers and e-books about earlier versions of the BizTalk Server. Think of papers about installation and configuration of BizTalk Server, and so on. Current and updated papers can be found here.

BizTalk Server 2020 Webinar on April 23rd

In a couple of weeks, we will be hosting a webinar dedicated to BizTalk Server 2020. If you want to more about it, check this link. 

Integration Monday session by Tom Canter

In February, Tom did a session in which he explained the new features in BizTalk Server 2020. You can view the recording of his session on this page.

New LinkedIn group: BizTalk Server (verified)

On LinkedIn, we have initiated a new group that focusses on BizTalk Server. There, we share hand-picked content about BizTalk Server. To be able to join that group, it is important that you are currently working with BizTalk Server. Submitting your interest in being part of that group is required, as that also enables us to keep recruiters away from the group. Do you want to participate? Enter the form here: LinkedIn Group Access.

Conclusion

Since the release of BizTalk Server 2020, over the last couple of months, we have brought several articles about the latest release of BizTalk Server. Besides this new blog post, we are planning to bring even more posts. So, be sure to visit our blog regularly, as you might find more relevant articles for you.

Read more BizTalk Server 2020 resources

Author: Lex Hegt

Lex Hegt works in the IT sector for more than 30 years, mainly in roles as developer and administrator. He works with BizTalk since BizTalk Server 2004. Currently, he is a Technical Lead at BizTalk360.

Back to Top