Introduction to File Locations Monitoring in BizTalk360

|  Posted: May 2, 2017  |  Categories: BizTalk360

Introduction

File Locations Monitoring is one of the new Monitoring capabilities introduced in BizTalk360 v8.4. From our customers, we received many requests to introduce the ability to monitor Folder Level into BizTalk360. We are happy to announce that in BizTalk360’s upcoming release 8.4, we are bringing a feature to monitor file count for File Locations (File, FTP and SFTP), configured in BizTalk receive locations and send ports.

Need for File Locations Monitoring

Messaging or data exchange between business can be done in various ways. Frequent data communication process is done through for example File and FTP with XML or EDI as the message format. From BizTalk 2013 onwards, SFTP is also included in BizTalk Server which was available as Out-of-box feature in prior versions. Even though BizTalk works seamlessly with File Adapters, it has some known issues which occur due to incorrect configurations.

The BizTalk File Location Adapters (File, FTP, SFTP) fail to perform the operations on following scenarios:

  • The File receive adapter cannot access the receive location on the file system or network share because the specified path does not exist. For a network share, the File receive adapter disables the receive location after all retry attempts have been exhausted.
  • The File receive adapter cannot access the receive location on the file system or network share because the account used by the associated host instance does not have read-write permission for that location. For a network share, the File receive adapter disables the receive location after all retry attempts have been exhausted
  • Files with names longer than 256 characters are encountered in the receive location

To resolve the above issues, we need to ensure that the specified path or share exists and the account used as the Logon should have read-write access. Additional to this, if you configure schedule/service window for your receive locations, messages will be accepted only during that time window, all other times BizTalk won’t pick up messages. Any violation to this scenario also needs to be monitored.

We often experience that organizations facing these kinds of challenges used custom solutions for this kind of monitoring. To overcome this, BizTalk360 added the File Locations Monitoring capabilities out of the box.

File Locations (File, FTP, SFTP)

In BizTalk360 v8.4, we are introducing support to monitor the File, FTP and SFTP servers under File Location Monitoring Section. File Location Monitoring will list all the locations configured in the BizTalk Artifacts (Send Ports and Receive Locations) for the Transport Types (File, FTP, SFTP) respectively, which helps users to monitor all the File Locations mapped with Receive Locations/Send Ports.

File Locations Monitoring in BizTalk server

File Locations Monitoring in BizTalk Server

File Monitoring

To get familiar with File Adapter configuration, kindly refer below link:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa559105.aspx

In BizTalk360 File Monitoring Configuration contains three sections: Basic Information, Authentication, and File Monitoring Configurations.

  • The Basic Information Section contains Folder Location and File Mask configured in BizTalk.
  • The Authentication section is Optional. By default, authentication could be processed by the BizTalk360 Monitoring Service account, when credentials are not given.
  • In the File Configurations Section, we can configure the Thresholds with the metric File Count to monitor

File Locations Monitoring in Microsoft BizTalk

File Locations Monitoring in BizTalk

When a File Location is in the Orphaned State, BizTalk360 would let the users know about the cause of the failure on hovering the warning icon

File Locations Monitoring in Microsoft BizTalk Server

FTP Monitoring:

To get familiar with FTP Adapter configuration, kindly refer to below link:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa561032.aspx

The FTP Configuration UI is categorized into three sections: FTP Details, Firewall Details and FTP Monitoring Configurations

  • The FTP Details Section contains the details about the FTP Location, Authentication, and SSL
  • The Firewall Details contains the configurations to connect FTP Server through a Firewall
  • In the FTP Monitoring Config section, we can configure the monitor with Threshold Conditions for the metric File Count

File Locations Monitoring in BizTalk Server

File Locations Monitoring

SFTP Monitoring:

To get familiar with the SFTP Adapter Configuration in BizTalk, kindly refer the below link

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj684551.aspx

The SFTP Monitor Tab in BizTalk360 lists the SFTP Locations which are configured in BizTalk. It contains four sections:

  • SSH Server Section has the details about the SFTP Location
  • The Proxy Details Section is optional to connect SFTP Server behind a firewall

Note: In BizTalk, Proxy details are available from BizTalk 2013 R2

  • Security Details Section has the authentication details
  • In the SFTP Monitoring Config Section, we can configure the monitor with threshold conditions for the metric File Count

File Locations Monitoring

BizTalk Server File Locations Monitoring

Conclusion

With this latest release 8.4, BizTalk360 brings the File Locations Monitoring with the ability to monitor the File Count. In the future, we will be adding support to monitor Folder Size and Access permissions. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please write to us at support@biztalk360.com.

  • Will Alber

    This is going to prove very useful. Is this functionality limited only to receive- and send- locations – or can arbitrary paths also be monitored?

    • kishore

      Hi will Alber ,File Locations Monitoring is limited to BizTalk Artifact Locations

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