We are continuing our moment as always, with our first big release for 2015 BizTalk360 version 7.9. In this release we focused on adding 4 core areas to the product to strengthen BizTalk360 even further.
- Data Monitoring
- Export-Import Monitoring Configuration
- EDI Parties and Agreements access
- ESB edit/resubmit, bulk resubmit messages
Today we will take a brief look at each one of these features at very high level, we will cover in detail each aspect in upcoming blog articles.
In a typical BizTalk environment, data is spread in multiple forms, your live message box data, historical tracking data, business activity monitoring data, EDI data and ESB exceptions data. From time to time it becomes inevitable to monitor and keep an eye on these data points and notify relevant users. Out of box the standard BizTalk server tools do not give such capabilities consistently (except BAM notification and ESB exceptions alerting). To solve this problem we built this new capability called “Data Monitoring”.
This opens up room for solving variety of situation and it also open up opportunity for automating some boring/monotonous tasks performed by BizTalk administrators/operators every day. Example: Looking into suspended instances, checking the error descriptions and taking actions like resuming or terminating the instances is one of the common tasks performed by every BizTalk application support person. This task can now be automated using the BizTalk360 data monitoring & action component.
We also built a custom data monitoring dashboard, which gives users a calendar view to visualize all the activities (checks and actions), performed by the data monitoring component.
Export – Import Monitoring Configuration
Even though we have top of the range user experience in configuring monitoring and notifications for BizTalk environments, it was bit of a challenge for people to configure monitoring in one environment (ex: UAT, System Testing etc) and later move those configurations into Production or some other environments. We are addressing this problem in this 7.9 version. Now users can seamlessly export the monitoring configuration from one environment and move it to different environment. We made the experience seamless, we addressed some of the challenges that comes in this area like mapping artifacts between environments. Example: The BizTalk/SQL server names in UAT will be different to the one in Production, very robust exception handling while doing mass imports (100’s of alarms), good user experience to deal with bulk operations.
EDI Parties and Agreements access
In the previous version of BizTalk360 we brought the ability to view all the EDI reports in BizTalk360, example Interchange report, batch status report, AS2/MDN reports etc. One of the big ask from our customer who uses EDI was the ability to view all the parties and agreements configurations directly using BizTalk360 instead of going to BizTalk Admin console. As part of 7.9 release we are bringing this capability into the product.
ESB exceptions edit/resubmit/bulk resubmit failed messages
By default BizTalk server doesn’t come with the ability to edit and resubmit failed messages. This gap was addressed by the ESB Tool exception management portal. But the challenge is, the ESB portal is just a sample application that shipped with ESB tool kit and it’s not robust enough. Even setting up the portal takes lot of tweaks and fixes and make it run. It also lacks certain features like bulk resubmit.
We addressed all these limitations in 7.9 release by enhancing our previous ESB exception management feature. In the previous versions of BizTalk360 users were only able to view the ESB exception fault messages, but from 7.9 onwards you have the ability to edit/resubmit messages (ex: changing the wrongly formatted date, some junk characters in message etc), user can also perform bulk operations, like bulk resubmit messages.
We also tightly integrated ESB exception’s into our security mechanism. For example, you can restrict users from accessing the ESB data, or you can restrict users from resubmitting the messages etc. In addition to security restrictions, all the user activities are also audited as part of our governance/audit capabilities. Ex: If a user resubmit a message that action will be logged against that user.
In addition to the above 4 key new features we also addressed the bugs reported by our customers/community, we improved the user experience in few places to make the process simple (Ex: alarm creation, searching alarms for large implementations etc). We wanted to continue building/enhancing the value of BizTalk360 both for our current customers as well as future customers. We are under the mission to make BizTalk360 a must have tool for every single BizTalk customer in the world, to make most out of their existing BizTalk server investment.
You can download and try the new version in your own environment completely free for 14 days. Visit our BizTalk360 download trial page