In the first part of the 7.8 release article, we covered in detail about BizTalk Server “Advanced Process Monitoring” capabilities we added in 7.8 release. In this part 2 article let’s take a deep look at the other new features we bundled in 7.8
- EDI reporting capabilities inline with BizTalk Admin Console
- System Profile : Ability to remove features you don’t want in BizTalk360
- User Profile: Flexibility to set custom time zone and date/time format for each user
- Removed Orphaned artifacts from Monitoring: Ability to remove old orphaned artifacts like Applications, that no longer exist in the environment.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is one of the key scenarios where Microsoft BizTalk server is used. When you are working with EDI transaction, it’s important to watch out for things like interchange acknowledgment status, batch status, AS2/MDN status etc. In the past, BizTalk360 customers need to rely on BizTalk admin console to access the reports, with 7.8 we brought all the reports in BizTalk360. Now you have the full EDI reporting capabilities right in our web interface. The below screen shot shows the UI.
Following EDI Reports and corresponding filter can be used
|Query Type||Available Filter|
|Transaction Set Details||
|Interchange Aggregate Report||
|Transaction Set Aggregate Report||
You also have the ability to click on the batch status result, which will take you to the corresponding transaction set details, filling up all the required filters as shown in the below picture.
User Access Policy for EDI Reports
We also extended our security mechanism to EDI reports. If in case you do not want certain support people in your organisation to look into the EDI reports, you can simply take away permission for specific user or NT group.
One of the challenges in BizTalk360 at the moment is we are constantly adding more and more features in the product. It’s important we make sure BizTalk360 doesn’t look like a bloated application. Also there is a common scenario with BizTalk Server customers, they do not use all the features that ship with BizTalk Server. Example: Not everyone uses Business Rules, Business Activity Monitoring, EDI etc.
So to tackle this challenge we are bringing in a new concept called System Profiles, once you installed BizTalk360, super user can go and configure what are the features you really need or using in BizTalk Server. Once configured, the system will remove all the unnecessary features from the user interface. The below screen shows the configuration page
In this version we are bringing in a new concept called user profiles. This is mainly to bring the date time handling and date time formatting consistent across the application and also help customers who has BizTalk support people spread across multiple time zones. Example: It’s very common in multination organisations you have support people spread across US, UK and India they all wanted to see the date time in their own time zones and formats. We have already written a detailed blog post on this subject, if you are interested please take a look.
Removing Orphaned Artifacts
When you configure monitoring for certain artifacts like BizTalk applications, receive locations, send ports, SQL jobs etc and later you either rename them or remove them completely in your environments, this will leave those artifacts configured for monitoring in an orphaned state. In the past if you encounter this scenario, the only work around was to manually remove those configuration at the database level as explained in this knowledge base article. Of course this is not a nice user experience, this issue now resolved in this version. When users go to monitoring section, and if there are any orphaned artifacts, there will be option to remove them right in the UI as shown below.
In this two articles we only covered the core new features we have added to 7.8 release, in addition we addressed the bugs reported by customers, made UI/UX improvements in lot of places, improved performance wherever possible and minor tweaks here and there.
We just wanted to make BizTalk360 one of the must have tool for any BizTalk customers out there in-spite of the industry you are in. Just one consolidated tool to get maximum return out of your BizTalk server investment. If you are interested to try out, please contact us.