BizTalk360 – The past, present and the future

|  Posted: June 3, 2020  |  Categories: BizTalk360

This blog is an extraction of the session “BizTalk360 – The past, the present, and the future” presented by the CEO of Kovai.co, Saravana Kumar at Integrate 2020.

This blog gives an overview of how BizTalk360 started and how the challenges have been enhanced and what will be future of BizTalk360.

About Saravana

He is a hard-core technical person and Microsoft MVP since 2007. As he was working in the BizTalk Server integration space for a decade. He found himself challenging to while work with BizTalk Server projects to manage and monitor the applications and other components. Hence the birth of BizTalk360.

The origin story of BizTalk360

BizTalk360 was founded in 2011. It’s almost 10 years now. Saravana started this as a hobby project, an idea evolved in one of the MVP summit in 2010. The birth of BizTalk360 started and from there, and now it is an essential tool for enterprises that uses Microsoft BizTalk Server.BizTalk360 is completely a web-based admin console that provides a solution to Operations, Monitoring, and Analytics your BizTalk Server environment.

Interesting topics Covered

BizTalk360 – 10 years Journey (Past)

New Features (Present)

What’s next? BizTalk360 – v10 (Future)What is BizTalk360?

 The business that uses BizTalk Server usually relies on standard admin console to manage their day to day activities but that won’t sufficient to do complete operational, Monitoring, and Analytical activities. Other third-party solutions like SCOM and custom development solutions are not matured enough to fill the gaps in BizTalk Server. Moreover, in an analytics perspective, BizTalk admins doesn’t have any clue about what is happening in the system? Our tool BizTalk360 is a single operational, Monitoring, and Analytics for the Microsoft BizTalk Server.

what is BizTalk360

A single tool to improve your productivityBizTalk360 addresses some of the key features. Consider if you don’t have a BizTalk360 environment and the way you manage the BizTalk server environment is by using at least seven of the below productivity tools. Such as

  • BizTalk admin Console
  • SQL Management Studio
  • Event viewer
  • Performance Monitor
  • BAM portal
  • ESB Portal
  • BizTalk Health Monitor
  • Monitoring Consoles

Dashboard

Dashboard

The main challenge in the admin console is that there is not an efficient way to get an overview of their BizTalk server environment status. Whereas in BizTalk360, a customized dashboard is available in order to view the overall health of your BizTalk Server in a single view In this way, you can bring in your business people to support your BizTalk environments.

Event Viewer

When it comes to troubleshooting operational problems in the BizTalk Server, the first-place admins/support person will look is the admin console. If they can’t find anything obvious, their next point of search is the Event Viewer. To address these challenges, “Advanced Event Viewer“  came into existence where all the events from all the BizTalk/ SQL server are stored in a central database.

Performance Tools

BizTalk360 aims to offer an out of box tool with similar capabilities as the Performance Monitor tool in Windows servers. Analytics offers a visual display of the most important performance counters in a consolidated way and arranged on a single screen so that the information can be monitored in a glance.

Business Activity Monitoring (BAM)

BizTalk360 comes with an integrated BAM portal that allows the business users to query BAM views, perform activity search, view the user permissions, and the activities time window.

ESB exception management framework

Even though the Exception management framework itself is a stable offering and fully supported by Microsoft still it is missing some important capabilities like

  1. Bulk Edit/Resubmit – It is very important since when there is a failure you will typically have 10’s-100’s of failed messages for the same reason.
  2. Auditing – There is no ability to trace all the activities like edit, resubmit actions.

To address all those challenges as highlighted

Our tool provides a rich ESB exception dashboard with a full search/filter/display of exception details.

BizTalk Health Monitor

BHM is a tool that can be used to analyze and fix issues in the BizTalk server environment. The predecessor of the BHM tool, Message Box Viewer (MBV), was initially built as a hobby project by one of the Microsoft Support Persons.

User Access Policy

On the left-hand side of the image is the standard admin console. Basically standard admin console doesn’t provide any access/security. There is no restriction on users. Once the user gets control of the BizTalk admin console. Users will be able to view the entire admin console.

User Access Policy

In the shown example,

Tom is our BizTalk360 admin who has all access to all the integrations in the BizTalk server but John from HR and Claire from finance altogether from different teams. They must not be provided with the same permission as Tom.

This sort of application isolation security has been provided in BizTalk360.

Governance and Audit

Governance and audit

The standard BizTalk server Admin console doesn’t come with any in-built auditing capabilities for user activities. Once someone has access to BizTalk Admin Console that is, pretty much entire BizTalk support team, they are free to perform any activities without a traceIn the BizTalk server, if any of the host instances is in stop state or if any of the host instances goes down, such activity has not been traced. In BizTalk360, the auditing section comes as an in-built tool to trace what’s been done in the BizTalk server console.

Advanced Tooling

Some of the advanced tools that have been developed in BizTalk360 in the past 10 years.

  • Throttling Analyser
  • EDI Manager
  • Graphical Message Flow
  • Backup/DR visualizer
  • ESB manager
  • BAM Portal
  • Rules Composer
  • Tracking Manager

Throttling analyzer

The idea behind the BizTalk360 throttling analyzer is to simplify the complexity in understanding the BizTalk throttling mechanism and provide a simple dashboard view. This helps people to understand the throttling conditions in their BizTalk environment, even when they do not have very deep technical expertise

Graphical Message Flow

In standard admin console, it is time-consuming as everything is stored in a flat-file format. Especially, if you got a more complex, very loosely coupled system the challenges get worse diagnosing/understanding the message flow. And another disadvantage is, when somebody has access to the tracking queries, confidential information might be revealed to unauthorized people.

In BizTalk360, it assists to visualize the entire message flow in a single view where it encapsulates

  1. All service instances
  2. Send port
  3. Orchestration
  4. Receive port details

Rules Composer

For example, if users want to roll out rule dynamically on Christmas, users need to seek help from development and this can be time consuming process as well. BRE is a simplified tool that will empower business user to manage business rules in a complex business process

Advanced tooling

Monitoring

Another key capability of BizTalk360 is Monitoring. The tool provides extensive monitoring which ensure your health of the BizTalk server environment. BizTalk being a middleware, it is always connected to various systems, we make sure that all the connected systems are in a healthy state.IBizTalk360 comes with integrated systems like

  • SQL
  • MSMQ
  • IBMMQ
  • Web End Points
  • Azure Service Bus
  • Web Jobs
  • SFTP locations
  • Disks

We are super proud to convey that no other product provides a complete monitoring tool for the BizTalk server.

BizTalk

Over 20 years of experience in field and that has been covered in Monitoring which meets up the customer requirements.

On a confident note, there is no other product in the market which serves 100% BizTalk Server monitoring.

Biztalk360 can be integrated with your current Enterprise Monitoring Stack

  • Service now
  • AppDynamics
  • Dynatrace
  • New Relic

BizTalk360- 10 years of innovationFor the last 9 years, consistently there will be 4-5 releases happening every year. For more information regarding release taken in every year.

Consistently, we are filling in the gaps Microsoft has left for the global BizTalk server Customers.

To align with the latest migration of Biztalk application in the cloud, the same has been brought in BizTalk360.

BizTalk360 has become the de-facto tool for BizTalk server customers. Used by over 600 large enterprises including Microsoft.  

The Future

One of the biggest change its been take up is rewriting the entire UI in a new way. Backend API are pretty solid, but front end its initially started with silver light. In the upcoming years, UI will be complete change to Angular 8

UI technology stack upgrade

Currently, the development team is working on the up-gradation of UI in BizTalk360.

UI in BizTalk360

Continued Innovation

continued Innovation

The above mentioned is the user forum and based on the customer’s feedback, if it is appropriate it’s been added to the product for every release.

Wrap Up

In this blog post, we discussed, what is the past, present, and future of BizTalk360. Still, there are lots of announcements and feature enhancements that are yet to come. Stay tuned for further updates. Happy Learning!

Author: Christhini

Junior Product Consultant at Kovai.co - A passionate software professional with a high degree of problem-solving, organizational and analytical skills; Able to leverage data/analytics to make decisions to improve the product performance so as to provide optimal product.

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