Extended Import/Export Configurations

|  Posted: September 4, 2018  |  Categories: BizTalk Server BizTalk360

Introduction

Here is another exciting capability we have added to our existing import and export capability. Curious to know? In this blog post, I would like to highlight what are all the new enhancements in Import/Export Configurations we made for our upcoming version V8.9. These enhancements would ease the BizTalk administrator’s day to day operations, particularly migrating data from one environment to another.

All the newly created BizTalk Server applications are being tested first in the preproduction or UAT and shadow environments to avoid business consequences. Likewise, customers would prefer to test all the functionalities of the BizTalk360 in their non-production environments. Further, they populate necessary data to operate, monitor and find analytical information of their environment.

Admins don’t  need to recreate the data again in their production environment as in such scenarios, our import and export capability plays a major role. Already we have support to export and import,

  1. Alarms
  2. User Access Policies
  3. Saved Queries
  4. Secure SQL queries

New Capabilities

In the version 8.9, we added support for import and export of the following sections:

  1. Knowledge Base
    • Service Instances
    • ESB Exceptions
    • Event Logs
    • Throttling Data
  2. BizTalk Reports
  3. Dashboards
    • Operation (Default & Custom Dashboards)
    • Analytics (Default & Custom Dashboards)
    • EDI Dashboards
    • ESB Dashboards
  4. Custom Widgets

Using this rich capability, one can easily export and import the configuration between environments, thereby reducing the migration effort. This is especially useful in scenarios, where the user tries to carry out testing in a test environment, and upon achieving the desired result, they can import the configuration from the production environment.

What has enhanced in Import/Export Grid Pagination

Previously, BizTalk 360 has a static pagination which is available for the grid by default. In Import/Export, the user can customize the pagination using the “Max Matches” on System Settings sections in BizTalk360. Pagination will be visible for the Import/Export grid once the row count exceeds the max match size.

Set max Match for pagination

For Instance: If the Max Matches size is set to 10 means, then the pagination for each grid in import/export will be visible when the row count exceeds 10.

Exporting configurations

Exporting your data is a great way to make the information more digestible or find patterns that can give your team better insight between different environments. The user can make use of export functionality in two ways:

  • To migrate configuration data between different Environment
  • To archive the configurations in the local system

Exporting the Knowledge Base

The BizTalk360 knowledge base is useful to document the BizTalk issues which administrators encounter on a day-to-day basis. To migrate the BizTalk360 knowledge base it is possible to use the Export functionality.Exporting the knowledge base

The user can export the articles based on the sections Service instances, Event Log, Throttling Data and ESB Exception. The knowledge base section is preselected, the user can deselect and reselect the knowledge base according to their needs. Once the selection has been made, the user can Export the knowledge base articles.

Exporting BizTalk Reports

The BizTalk Reports help organizations to visualize/monitor their business data. Using the Export functionality, the user can archive or export the BizTalk Reports.

Exporting BizTalk Reports

The BizTalk Reports and their associated schedules are preselected. The user can view the associated reports by clicking the arrow on each schedule and they can edit the selection according to their needs.

Importing Configuration

The Import functionality is mainly useful for importing large amounts of data quickly. By importing the configuration, you can replicate the required configuration on the target machine. To import the configurations from a certain environment, you should have already saved and exported those configurations in a Zip file. Import can be used in two ways in BizTalk360

  • To create a new configuration from the source environment to the destination environment
  • To update the existing configuration on the destination environment

Importing Knowledge Base

In BizTalk360, the customer can create KB articles as and when they fix issues in the environment. Over a period of time, they can have a wealth of information ready to fix those repeated issues. Those articles can be imported to another environment using the import knowledge base feature.

For Instance: The organization has Production Environment and they are planning to build a separate QA environment for testing. After creating the new environment, it is a lot of work to manually create the knowledge base article for frequent/repeated issues. Here, the import knowledge base comes into play. The user can easily import the knowledge base articles from the Production environment to QA environment.

Importing knowledge base

The existing articles can be overwritten or else can be ignored. If the article doesn’t exist, it will create a new article in the target environment.

In BizTalk360, the knowledge base articles can be created for a specific environment or globally (without selecting the environment) accessible articles. The BizTalk360 user can create or overwrite the articles.

For specific Environments: The knowledge base articles will be imported to the target environment with the configuration tags (like Host Name, Application name etc.., which is specific for each error code they encounter) for specific articles. If the article is overwritten, then the import process will overwrite the configuration tags on the existing article.

Configuration tags for specific environments

When the configuration tags are not available in the target environment, the article will not be imported and it will throw an exception on result summary.

Result summary for knowledge base

For Global articles: When the global knowledge base is imported, the environment selection will not happen. The articles are accessible to all the available environments.

Configuration tags for global article

Importing BizTalk Reports

In a business environment, the BizTalk reports provide a comprehensive, high-level overview of the performance of their BizTalk environment. The configuration of these reports, can be easily managed using the Import BizTalk Reports feature.

Importing BizTalk Reports

For instance: An organization has deployed BizTalk360 on one of the Development/QA/UAT environment(s) and they want to move all configurations to the Production environment. The BizTalk360 administrator must do the usual practice to set up the configurations manually in a production environment. It is not feasible to configure all the configuration manually, instead BizTalk360 allows you to easily export and import all the BizTalk Reports.

While importing the schedules and the associated reports to another environment, the user can edit the schedule name as per their requirement and the user can enable the schedule after importing by selecting the ON/OFF option available on each schedule. By default, the status of schedule during import, is disabled. The user can also change the Email ID after importing. This will help the user to create/overwrite the schedule and the reports as per their business needs.

Note: The user cannot import the reports without the selecting the associated schedule.

If the user sets the option to “Error or Duplicate”, the import process would not allow duplicate schedules and associated reports to be imported.

Result summary - Error on Duplicate in BizTalk Reports

If the user sets the option to “Overwrite”, the import process will overwrite the existing schedule with the same name. In case the associated reports are not available, the import process will create the reports and associate to the schedule.

Result summary - Overwrite option in BizTalk Reports

If the associated report already exists in another schedule means, it will ignore the report while importing.Result summary - Already existing schedule functionality

Conclusion

By adding the above feature, the Import/Export Configuration has become more versatile. This provides a great option for the administrators who find the migration process intimidating and would like expert help to assure an effortless transition between multiple environments. No matter where your configuration needs to go, BizTalk360 lets you Import/Export data with ease.

Apart from knowledge base and BizTalk reports we have included the Dashboards and Custom widgets for v8.9 release. I will cover those two functionalities on my next blog “Stay tuned!”.

Author: Sowmiya Subramanian

Intern in BizTalk360 QA Team

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