Introducing BizTalk360 Troubleshooter

|  Posted: May 31, 2013  |  Categories: BizTalk360

A newer version of BizTalk360 Troubleshooter is available now. You can know more about it from here

We automated as much of the installation step as possible in our BizTalk360 MSI file. But there are certain things that will require user input, and a MSI installer shouldn’t modify certain things in your server. Example: Granting rights to the service account for certain tables in BizTalkMgmtDb database, Changing the IIS authentication scheme, adding service account to Administrators group etc.

Ideally the user should follow the installation instructions, but everyone of us are busy and we just want to double click on the MSI and expect the application to work.

There are also challenges in putting complex validation logic’s in MSI. Even though it’s possible to do it, you do not want your MSI to fail, so you try to keep it to the absolute minimum. That’s one of the reasons majority of the vendors will go for 2 phase installation. Installation and then configuration. Example: For BizTalk server, you first install it and use the BizTalk configuration wizard to configure databases, users, groups, etc.

We are introducing BizTalk360 Troubleshooter, which basically contains extensive set of rules to verify all the prerequisite conditions in order to successfully run BizTalk360. As you can see in the below picture, user just enters the password for IIS application pool identity and monitoring service account and clicks the “Troubleshoot BizTalk360” button. The rules will be verified and results will be indicated in the form of RED/GREEN/ORANGE.

biztalk360 troubleshooter

Download

You can download the latest version of BizTalk360 Troubleshooter here. The file is digitally signed by “Kovai Limited”, to make sure the exe is coming from a genuine source. Now lets take a look at various rules that’s been verified and what action the user should take when they see something RED in the UI.

How does it work

You download and install BizTalk360 using the MSI from our download page. If you follow the basic instructions on the download page and if all the prerequisites are met, BizTalk360 should start working automatically. But if you experience any issues during the initial launch of the application (typically an error message will be displayed), then you run the BizTalk360 troubleshooter on the machine, provide the password for the IIS application pool identify and Monitoring service NT account user and click “Troubleshoot” button. After verifying all the rules, the right hand side should show clear indication of problem areas. You can then resolve the errors as explained below. Once everything is green, you can start BizTalk360 again and it should work.

The tool is supported in Windows 2012, 2008, 2008 R2, 8 and 7 (IIS 7.0 and above).

AD Groups Check

BizTalk360 access all the required data from BizTalk environments using the service account under which the BizTalk360 IIS application pool and BizTalk360 monitoring service is running. If this account do not have enough rights to query the underlying BizTalk environments, then it’s going to display errors. In order to retrieve information, the service account must be part of all the required BizTalk NT groups (listed below) in each BizTalk environment added to BizTalk360.

  • Local Administrators Group (in all servers)
  • BizTalk Server Administrators Group
  • BizTalk Application Users Group
  • BizTalk Isolated Host Users Group
  • SSO Administrators Group

If you see any RED for this section, then you simply need to add the service account (shown in the UI under “IIS App Pool Identity” and “Monitoring Service Identity” headings) to relevant groups.

SQL SELECT Permissions Check

From the previous step, being part of all the BizTalk groups the service account will have enough rights to access information from BizTalk databases. But there are certain tables in the BizTalkMgmtDb (BizTalk Management) database that do not provide any SELECT rights to BizTalk NT Groups. BizTalk360 depends on the following tables for proper functioning, hence you need to grant select rights as shown below.

Use BizTalkMgmtDb

GRANT SELECT ON dbo.adm_OtherDatabases TO BTS_ADMIN_USERS
GRANT SELECT ON dbo.adm_Server2HostMapping TO BTS_ADMIN_USERS
GRANT SELECT ON dbo.adm_ServiceClass TO BTS_ADMIN_USERS
GRANT SELECT ON dbo.BizTalkDbVersion TO BTS_ADMIN_USERS
GRANT SELECT ON dbo.adm_BackupHistory TO BTS_ADMIN_USERS

For BizTalk Server 2013 ONLY
GRANT SELECT ON dbo.bts_dynamicport_subids TO BTS_ADMIN_USERS
GRANT SELECT ON dbo.bts_dynamic_sendport_handlers TO BTS_ADMIN_USERS

Once the required permissions are given as above, there should not be any RED under the SQL SELECT permission check category

Configuration File Check

During installation BizTalk360 will create a database on a SQL server instance provided. This database will be used by BizTalk360 for storing all the configuration values, user access polices, collected event log entries etc. If the SQL server instance you have used is configured with “Mixed Mode Security” that allows both Windows and SQL authentication, BizTalk360 default installation will work without any problems. But if the SQL server instance is configured only for “Integrated Security” (only windows authentication), then a manual step is required to successfully configure BizTalk360. Here are the two options

  • You can change the security mode to Mixed in the SQL server instance (may not be appropriate on production systems), or
  • You can change the connections strings in BizTalk360 web.config and BizTalk360.monitor.exe.config file to use Integrated security and make sure the service account have rights to access BizTalk360 database.

The troubleshooter will verify the above setting and will highlight if there is a problem.

IIS Check

BizTalk360 is primarily a web base application running on IIS/ASP.NET/WCF, so for the proper functioning of BizTalk360 it’s important IIS/ASPNET/WCF is configured and working correctly. The troubleshooter will check for whether

  • ASP.NET is Installed
  • Windows Authentication Security enabled
  • Handler Mappings configured for WCF .SVC extensions
  • BizTalk360 Application pool is configured with correct version of .NET
  • BizTalk360 Administration service (AdminService.svc) is accessible, and
  • In Windows 2012 and 8 it will check whether WCF HTTP Activation is enabled.

If you see red for any of the above, then you need to turn those features on using “Turn Windows Features on or off” (Windows 7 and 8) and using Server Manager “Add Roles and Features” in Windows 2008/2012.

internet information services

In BizTalk360 troubleshooter you will notice some links (handlers, groups, etc) in the UI. They basically for information purpose to list the NT groups for service accounts, and handlers for BizTalk360 virtual directory. If you still face problems, just email our support team support@biztalk360.com enviornmentinfo.xml generated by BizTalk360 troubleshooter (will be created on the same folder).

In the future we will be adding more rules based on the type of support calls we receive, and this should be one single tool to tackle any initial installation and launch challenges.

Author: Saravana Kumar

Saravana Kumar is the Founder and CTO of BizTalk360, an enterprise software that acts as an all-in-one solution for better administration, operation, support and monitoring of Microsoft BizTalk Server environments.

  • Great idea to provide this tool. I will let my clients know of it. Keep them coming.

  • Leonid Ganeline

    Great tool, Saravana!
    Looks like the “BizTalk Troubleshooter” will be your next product.

  • elias pardon

    I tried to run this on a windows server 2012R2, but it crashed, is that OS already supported?

    • Daniel Sepp

      It crashed for me as well. I get SQL connection errors before the main application screen appears:

      • Terry Stille

        I get the same error Daniel. Did you find a resolution?

    • Rochelle

      Please ensure the user which you trying to access the BizTalk360 has enough privileges to access the database.(admin Privileges).

      To confirm this open SQL management studio and provide the same credentials which you are trying to access the BizTalk360 application.
      Thanks
      Rochelle
      BizTalk360 Support

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