BizTalk Server Tips and Tricks: Take control of your environment: Tracking Data

Welcome back to another entry on my blog post series about “BizTalk Server Tips and Tricks” for developers, administrators or business users and I couldn’t resist on speaking about a topic that normally divides BizTalk developers and BizTalk administrators: Tracking Data!

Problem

Normally Developers have in their environments Full tracking Enabled, why? Because it’s easier to debug, troubleshoot, analyze or validate and see if everything is running well or simply, what is happening with their new applications.

The important question is: Do Developers remember to disable tracking before they put the resources in production?

No! And actually… they don’t care about that! Is not their task to do it or control it. And if you ask them, you should always have them enabled! Sometimes, to be fair, they don’t know the right configurations that should be applied to production.

This can be an annoying and time-consuming operation. It will be the same as asking developers to change their way of being, and for them to remember each time they export an application to disable the Tracking data properties can be a big challenge… or even impossible!

Solution (or possible solutions)

My advice is, if you are a BizTalk Administrator, let them be happy thinking they are annoying you and take back the control of your environment by yourself.

These tasks can be easily automated and configured by easily creating or using PowerShell.

You should disable all Tracking or enable just the important settings at the application level. You may lose 1 day developing these scripts, but then you do not need to worry anymore about it.

As an example, with this script: BizTalk DevOps: How to Disable Tracking Settings in BizTalk Server Environment, you can easily disable all tracking settings for all the artefacts (orchestrations, schemas, send ports, receive ports, pipelines) in your BizTalk Server Environment

# Disable tracking settings in orchestrations     
$Application.orchestrations |  
%{ $_.Tracking = [Microsoft.BizTalk.ExplorerOM.OrchestrationTrackingTypes]::None } 
 
# Disable tracking settings in Send ports        
$disablePortsTracking = New-Object Microsoft.BizTalk.ExplorerOM.TrackingTypes 
$Application.SendPorts |  
%{ $_.Tracking = $disablePortsTracking } 
 
# Disable tracking settings in Receive ports 
$Application.ReceivePorts |  
%{ $_.Tracking = $disablePortsTracking } 
 
# Disable tracking settings in pipelines         
$Application.Pipelines |  
%{ $_.Tracking = [Microsoft.BizTalk.ExplorerOM.PipelineTrackingTypes]::None } 
 
# Disable tracking settings in Schemas 
$Application.schemas |  
    ?{ $_ -ne $null } | 
    ?{ $_.type -eq "document" } | 
    %{ $_.AlwaysTrackAllProperties = $false }

This can easily be edited by you to disable only one application or you can configure the right tracking setting that you want for your applications and environment.

If you are working with BizTalk Server 2016…

In previous versions of BizTalk Server, tracking settings were automatically imported with the rest of the application bindings. However, if you are working with BizTalk Server 2016, you have a new feature that allows you to have a better control while importing your BizTalk Applications: Import Tracking Settings.

If you are importing an MSI file, on the “Application Settings” tab, you will have a checkbox “Import Tracking Settings” that allows you to say: I don’t want to import the tracking from DEV or another environment in which the MSI was generated from.

BizTalk Server Import MSI Not Importing racking Data

If you are importing a Binding file you will also have this same option:

BizTalk Server Import Bindings Not Importing racking Data

Of course, if you want to properly define the correct or minimum tracking settings of your application, you need to do it manually or, once again, using a PowerShell script to accomplish that.

Quick, simple and practical.

Stay tuned for new tips and tricks!

Author: Sandro Pereira

Sandro Pereira is an Azure MVP and works as an Integration consultant at DevScope. In the past years, he has been working on implementing Integration scenarios both on-premises and cloud for various clients, each with different scenarios from a technical point of view, size, and criticality, using Microsoft Azure, Microsoft BizTalk Server and different technologies like AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, SAP, TIBCO etc.

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