With the release of BizTalk360 version8.0, we are keeping our rhythm and momentum flowing to solve the day to day challenges faced by BizTalk users. We have a made some huge UI transformations and added exciting new features like BizTalk360 Analytics in this v8.0 release. Recently, we released a patch version for v8.0 (8.0.4024.0525) which had a major restructuring in the way we collect performance data in BizTalk360. This way, we have improved the application performance by far to make life easy for the users.
The Need for BizTalk360 Analytics
Today, most business processes happen in a real time environment. When these real-time processes get stalled or interrupted due to a slow system response, they create a chain of reactions that cost productivity. As a BizTalk Administrator, you probably know first-hand that manually analyzing these performance issues is a time-consuming process, and it requires both a deep-level knowledge of performance counters and familiarity with BizTalk architecture.
During such situations, non-BizTalk personnel including business users often lack the critical information or there’s too much information for them to really understand what’s going on.
Quick Fixes and Custom Tools
Some organizations choose a quick fix or even invest in building their own custom tools to solve such problems. Very often, these custom tools will not provide the expected solution nor will they present their analysis in a business context. Instead, the business user actually needs proactive and real-time visibility to see their business processes running in their BizTalk environment— any time, any place, anywhere.
To solve this issue, we have separated monitoring and analytics in BizTalk360. This means, it is now possible for you to visualize the important metrics in your BizTalk environment with the new BizTalk360 Analytics feature. You can understand the various messaging patterns, construct various dashboards to understand different metrics like transaction volume for specific message type, failure rate at ports, performance characteristics of BizTalk and SQL servers, understand CPU/Memory utilization at process level (rules, EDI, SSO, host instances), etc.
In version 8.0, we have empowered users with a separate dashboard for Analytics. The default analytics dashboard in every new environment is pre-loaded with 6 basic widgets with options to customize, add more static, and custom widgets to the dashboard.
While you add a new dashboard, you have the option to personalize your experience and even share the dashboards globally with your team members. Let’s say, you wanted to analyse some specific data by creating a new analytics dashboard. In this scenario, you can just toggle off the ‘Global Dashboard’ option so that the dashboard is visible only to you or just toggle on the Global Dashboard option to share the dashboard globally with all the users in the system. Similarly you can toggle on the ‘Do you want to fill default widgets? ‘ to fill the 6 default widgets in the new dashboard.
When you select Add Widget from Analytics Home, you will see the add widget blade to the right of your dashboard screen. By just clicking the (+) icon against the widget to you can add the widget to your dashboard, and with options to customize like edit, resize, rearrange, and delete the widgets.
Correlate Metrics Across the Stack
Similarly, you can add a custom widget to correlate different metrics in the stack. Sometimes it’s difficult to get the thorough picture of your performance counters with a single metric. To compare multiple metrics across a date range you can navigate via “Add Widget”> “Add Custom Widget”.
With a lot of thought going into this new feature that we thought is really important in a BizTalk user’s daily life. BizTalk environments are complex; it has the ability to process several messages within the system or integrate with multiple disparate systems to handle the message transfer from one point to another. It could be a simple direct transfer between the two ports, or through a complex messaging route passing through orchestrations to perform certain validations, etc. In this case, each unique message route is considered to be a messaging patterns. BizTalk360 has the ability to visualize the unique messaging patterns in the environment.
There are few backend services that are responsible for keeping track of these unique message flows from the various messages that pass through the system every day. For more information about these services, we recommend you to read this article.
We said, we have put a lot of thought into this feature! We know showing only the unique messaging patterns will be a short-sighted information for the users. In addition to this unique message patterns, you can also see message count and average execution time of the messages that passed through your system. While you visualize the message patterns, BizTalk360 also has the capability to display the transaction volume at each port level (receive port, orchestration, send port) in the message flow.
We had Throttling Analyser in the earlier versions of BizTalk360 but now it is clubbed under BizTalk360 Analytics to make it more meaningful. We have revamped the Throttling Analyser with some new nifty features and enriched UI to make it really user friendly. In addition to the option of selecting date and time range to display the data for interested time period, filter options (for host, servers), service status, you can click on each data point to understand what made the system to throttle etc.
Learn more to know what it takes to add the BizTalk360 Analytics feature to your arsenal.