As usual we are keeping our rhythm and momentum in bringing a new version with valuable features every 3-4 months once. We are delighted to announce the immediate availability of BizTalk360 version 7.5, anyone can just download and try it for free on your own environment. Our existing customer can upgrade to the new version free of charge (if you have support agreement).
We have added 4 new/enhanced feature in this release
- Business Rule Engine Viewer
- Throttling Analyser
- Knowledgebase Repository
- Graphical Message Flow viewer
couple of week ago in our pre-release blog post titled “4 big features added in BizTalk360 version 7.5 to make your life simple” we briefly mentioned about what’s coming. Today we can see bit more details on how these features are going to look like
Business Rule Engine Viewer
The new BizTalk Business Rule Engine viewer will allow support people to visualize all the deployed BRE policies, the rules contained inside the policy, conditions, actions, tracking information, deployment history everything in a single view. This will help people who are working with Business Rules to easily check the rule conditions, instead of opening up the BizTalk Business rules composer to check the rules. In addition we also extended our user access security policy mechanism for BRE viewer, you can control who can have access to rules viewer. There may be scenarios where you do not want all of your support staff to have access to the rules, where things could be sensitive. Example: What logic you are using to calculate a discount, certainly you don’t want your competitor to know about it.
We had throttling analyser in BizTalk360 for a while now in our Silverlight version. But when we decided to implement it in our HTML5 interface, we went back to the drawing board. We know exactly what are the limitations of the original version, we wanted to make it really user friendly in the new version. From the below screen you can see throttling analyser in action, it will take the pain out of understanding the complex BizTalk throttling mechanism. There are lot of thought process gone inside the user experience, filter options (for host, servers), date selection, service status, you can click on each data point to understand what made the system to throttle etc. Also we are now enabling throttling analyser by default, since we improved quite a bit on the backend logic to handle large volume of data.
Graphical Message Flow Viewer
This is another feature where we went to the drawing board again to completely rethink the way graphical message flow viewer should work. The original Silverlight version solved the purpose, there were lot of feedback from customers and community on this and we pretty much have all of them on-board now. You can see graphical flow in action below. If you observe the UI carefully it’s fully interactive. You can click on the ports and orchestration to get service instance information, you can click on each message point (blue, green, yellow) to know exactly the properties of the message, their context, their content etc. The messages are colour coded based on whether it received, sent (internal) or sent (external). You can also notice it clearly differentiates one-way, two-way ports, whether it’s request/response, or response/request (green/blue, blue/green) etc. You can also notice the link to the orchestration, which basically open up the full orchestration or port (receive, send) properties. It’s designed in a way, this single canvas will allow you to understand the runtime message flow end to end. BTW, you don’t need any custom development, you can install it today and visualize your flow out of the box.
Knowledge base repository
Knowledge base repository in BizTalk360 was one of the key features, it helps customers to build up their support knowledge base over a period of time. When KB is present for an error code, it will be clearly displayed in the UI when an error occurs with that specific error code. This is again one of the feature we completely revamped it by providing a brand new management page, ability to tag KB articles with additional parameters like Application, Service Class, Host name etc. So that it can be very context specific and help to solve the problem quickly.
In the above screen we defined a KB article for suspended BizTalk service instance via the management interface for the error code “0xc0c01680“, applicable to specific environment and application. When there are instances getting suspended in the environment and if it matches the KB condition (error code and tags) then the system will show the corresponding KB articles associated with the error code (as shown below, and details when you click it). This will speed up the process of diagnosing and also helps support people not to waste too much time on repeating problems in your environment.
Support for BizTalk Server 2013 R2
One of the reason we delayed the release of version 7.5 is to go through all of our test cases and make sure it’s fully functional in BizTalk Server 2013 R2. We fully support BizTalk Server 2013 R2 now, which indirectly implies we support Windows Server 2012 R2 as well.
Of course the above 4 features are big ones that’s bundled in this release. Apart from that we addressed pretty much every bug reported to us until this point. We made subtle improvements in UI here and there, improved the backend services a bit etc. There is one known issue at the moment, mainly around handling date/time across the board, especially when you are filtering things based on date range, this is something we will start working immediately. For the complete list of items gone into this release you can see the BizTalk360 7.5 release notice here.
We kind of took the big bet to bring 4 major features into this release, our team worked relentlessly for the the past few months in getting this done. With this version we are pretty much going to retire the Silverlight version (plans will be communicated to customers separately), since we migrated all the features to HTML5 interface. The upgrade is also seamless, you can just run it on top of your existing BizTalk360 installation and we will take care of the rest.
There are more stuff coming, we already branched our code for 7.8 version 🙂
Interested to give it in your own BizTalk environment. Please go ahead download and install the free (fully functional) trial version.