We are very happy to announce the immediate availability of BizTalk360 version 7.10. For nearly 4 years now, we are continuing the trend of being agile and shipping out new versions of BizTalk360 (with new features and improved product experience based on customer feedback) consistently. This is our 41st product release since our inception back in May 2011. If you average 2 to 3 features per release, that is over 100 features focused on improving BizTalk Server operations and monitoring.
In the 7.10 release, we focused on bringing the following 3 core features –
- Auto Healing for BizTalk Environment
- Automation for regular BizTalk Operational activities
- Automation for License activation, deactivation and migration
In addition, we addressed a bunch of issues reported by our customers during this quarter, plus few usability and performance enhancements. You can view the complete release history here – BizTalk360 version 7.10 release history
For the past few weeks, we have already covered some of concepts via blog articles and video tutorials. In this article, we will just have a quick recap of the features.
Auto Healing For BizTalk Environment
Have you ever received a call in the middle of the night when the monitoring system was alerting for an issue in your BizTalk environment that was simply resolved by enabling your “BizTalk Receive Location(s)”? Wouldn’t it be nice if your monitoring system can detect threshold violation conditions and auto recover automatically? That’s exactly the functionality we are bringing in our BizTalk360 7.10 release. We have already covered about this topic in detail in a separate blog article, you can read it here – Introducing Auto Healing for BizTalk Environment.
We also published a short video showcasing this capability.
Automation For Regular BizTalk Operational Activities
It’s about 15 years since I started working with BizTalk server. I worked in pretty much all different kinds of roles in various BizTalk projects — as an architect, developer, administrator, support guy, performance analyst and so on. Generally, most of the exciting things happen during the initial architecture and development stage. Once the application is built and deployed into your environments, then the monotonous (and challenging) operations and support activities start.
Typically the duration of support period is much longer than your development period. I’m aware that some of BizTalk solutions I had built around 2005/2006 is still in production and running smoothly. Thanks to those support guys who look after it very well. Trust me, I haven’t seen anyone getting too excited about supporting your BizTalk applications. Most of the time, they don’t get the credit they deserve – it’s one of those unappreciated jobs!
We have been thinking and analyzing for a while about various points like –
- How can we make life better for those superheroes – BizTalk administrator and operators,
- How can we reduce the monotonous job they are doing day-in/day-out,
- How can we reduce human errors that cost companies lots of money,
- How can we make those superheroes really productive when it comes to fixing problems,
- How can we improve the time-to-react shorter, plus tons of other questions…
The result of these thought processes is the new capability in BizTalk360 called “BizTalk Operational Automation” that we are shipping in this release.
We thought it will be difficult to explain everything in writing, hence put together this 15-minute video to showcase what we have done.
Automation For License Activation, Deactivation And Migration
The final one in the list is our new “License Automation Feature“, which allows our customers to activate, deactivate and migrate license between environments in a self-service fashion.
When you are building a software product, there are tons of non-functional requirements that adds to your to-do list to commercialize your product. Licensing is one such important task. Majority of the time, things like this takes a back seat and never get sorted. You are always focused on adding more and more new features to the product.
Until this point, our license activation process was manual. After installing BizTalk360, you had to generate the request from BizTalk360 and send it via email to our licensing team. Someone from the licensing department will pick up the request and send you the license certificate. We’ve been procrastinating to automate this process for a long period (to be precise, 4 years!!). In the due course, we reached a stage where it started to take pretty much one full-time resource just for license management.
Finally, we took the plunge and decided to automate the whole process. There was substantial work behind the scenes to make this happen. As you can imagine, lot of our back-end systems like license generation engine, CRM, secure gateway etc., all had to work together (faultless).
We’ve put together a short video (about 9 minutes) to showcase how it works end-to-end.
Want To Give It A Try!!
If you haven’t looked into BizTalk360 for a while, this is a good time to give it a spin. Download the free trial and try it on your own environment. I promise it won’t take more than 10 minutes of your time. Are you ready?