BizTalk360 is the one-stop monitoring tool for monitoring BizTalk server. It is possible to configure more than one BizTalk environments and monitor them in a single instance of BizTalk360. Recently in BizTalk360 technical product support, we received quite a few tickets regarding the BizTalk Server upgrade process. Some of the customers would like to test if their newly configured BizTalk environment is working as excepted and running without any issues. Also, the customer would like to test the new server using BizTalk360 as they like to monitor in future.
The customer scenario:
Most of the customers have a dedicated BizTalk360 server for their BizTalk environments. The scenario what customer required in the support ticket was to have two different environments configured on the same BizTalk360 machine for some days and then switch them when they go live onto the new environment. They just wanted to check if it is possible to setup two environments on the same BizTalk360 installation. And if possible, they requested us to provide a temporary license for migration.
One of the common queries from the customers is that, is it possible to monitor two different BizTalk environments in a single instance of BizTalk360. For example, the customer would like to monitor the old BizTalk Server 2013R2 environment and new BizTalk Server 2016 environment within a single BizTalk360 installation.
What happens in BizTalk server?
It is not possible to monitor non-identical versions of BizTalk environments like BizTalk Server 2013 R2 and BizTalk Server 2016 within a single BizTalk360 installation. This cannot be achieved even within the BizTalk server. When you try to connect the existing database of BizTalk server 2013 R2 from the BizTalk server 2016, you may face the below exception.
In the above error message, the 5th point explains the current scenario. It says the database is not compatible with the version of BizTalk server currently running. This message clearly tells the mismatch between the different BizTalk versions installed. The database of BizTalk server 2016 would not be compatible with BizTalk server 2013 R2.
At the same time when you connect to the BizTalk server 2013R2, you will not face any problem in connecting to the existing database.
The reason behind this is, when you try to connect the existing database, it will verify the table BizTalkDBVersion in BizTalkMgmtDb database to confirm if the database version and the application version are same. If there is a difference it will throw an exception while connecting.
This is what happens in BizTalk360:
Let’s take a brief look within BizTalk360. During the installation of BizTalk360, one of the primary prerequisites is to install BizTalk Server components on BizTalk360 server. Once after the installation of these components, BizTalk360 installer allows you to proceed the installation on top of it. BizTalk360 directly calls the ExplorerOM to take any action against the BizTalk server artefacts. When you install BizTalk server components inside the BizTalk360 machine it will behave in the same way as the BizTalk server.
When you are trying to add another environment with different BizTalk Server version you will face the same exception and BizTalk360 will convey the exact problem with the below exception message.
When you have multiple environments configured in BizTalk360 and if you are upgrading the BizTalk server, you must upgrade BizTalk servers in all the environments with the same version. If any machine is missed without upgrading, the below exception will appear while launching BizTalk360 UI.
BizTalk360 works with any BizTalk version but it requires the Administration Tools from BizTalk to access the BizTalk API’s and since you cannot install multiple BizTalk version in one server you need to have separate BizTalk360 installations for each BizTalk version that you need to target.
What about the BizTalk admin components:
As mentioned earlier, BizTalk360 contacts BizTalk server through ExplorerOM with the help of the BizTalk admin components installed. Hence when we upgrade the BizTalk server in the server machines, we must also upgrade BizTalk admin components in the BizTalk360 machine. In BizTalk360 database, there are two tables in which the BizTalk version is stored, namely
- b360_admin_BizTalkEnvironment -> BizTalk Version
- b360_admin_GlobalProperties -> MS_BIZTALK_VERSION & MS_BIZTALK_INSTALL_LOCATION
So, when the BizTalk server and admin components are upgraded, the above-mentioned values must be changed manually in the BizTalk360 database for the new version to come into effect. The steps to be followed are:
1.We must deactivate the BizTalk360 license.
- Then upgrade BTS server & then admin components on the BT360 server (if it is standalone).
- Then if we activate BizTalk360 license it should pick up the new BTS version.
- Then update the BizTalk server version details in the two BizTalk360 database tables.
But however, BizTalk360 can monitor multiple BizTalk environments with the same BizTalk server version. Hence, if you want to monitor different BizTalk server versions, there must be different installations of BizTalk360 for each BizTalk version with the respective BizTalk version components installed on the BizTalk360 machine. This way the database incompatibility error will be avoided. But we can monitor multiple BizTalk environments of the same version within the single instance of BizTalk360.