BizTalk360 aims to offer capabilities out-of-the-box from tools like the Windows Performance Monitor. The BizTalk360 Analytics service collects the performance data for the various server types like BizTalk, SQL, IIS, and Windows. Based on the server type selection, the Analytics service will start collecting the performance data and that can be visualized in BizTalk360 Analytics widgets or the user can push that data to third-party APM’s (Application Performance Monitoring) like New Relic, AppDynamics or Dynatrace.
BizTalk360 also allows administrators to automatically execute queries against the Tracking database, at a specific interval, to view, analyze and troubleshoot the tracked data. For the Tracking data, BizTalk360 provides a similar user experience to the performance data collection. This allows the user to pick the metrics they want to collect.
In this article we will look into detailed information about:
- Performance Data Collection of each type (BizTalk, Windows, SQL, IIS)
- Tracking Data Collection
- Analytics Custom widgets in BizTalk360
Performance Data Collection
To analyze the performance of a BizTalk environment, BizTalk360 is equipped with Performance Data Collection in the Analytics section. Once the user enabled any one of the server types (BizTalk, SQL, IIS, and Windows) in any selected environment, the BizTalk360 Analytics service will start to collect all the related counters.
For enabling the performance data, navigate to the Settings section of BizTalk360. In the Analytics configuration, you can manage the performance data collection in the Manage Analytics section.
Once the performance data collection is enabled for a server, the Analytics service will start to collect counter data on the next polling cycle.
For a larger environment, the Analytics service may need to collect multiple counter data, but the user might not require all those data. For instance, if a user wants only the BizTalk message related counter data to analyze the performance of the BizTalk environment, the Analytics service collects all the BizTalk related counters.
Performance Data Collection Optimization
To address this challenge, BizTalk360 allows the user to manage the metrics collection from the v9.0 phase 2. To narrow down the data collection at a server level, the user can optimize the data collection using the “Manage Metrics” option for each server in an environment.
With the “Manage Metrics” option, the user can choose the required performance metrics based on types, so that BizTalk360 Analytics will start collecting data only for those metrics.
Let’s take a deep dive on how a user can manage the metrics collection at the server level.
In BizTalk360, each server’s counter is segregated into 4 types:
Most of the BizTalk environments will be in a multi-server setup where at least BizTalk Server and SQL Server are configured in different machines. A user may expect BizTalk related counters from BizTalk Server or SQL related counters from SQL Server. A user may not want SQL/IIS related performance metrics data in a BizTalk server machine. By using the “Manage Metrics” option in each server, the user can choose the metrics needed for each server. This improves the overall performance of the Analytics service and avoids the growth of the database.
Tracking Data Collection
BizTalk360 allows the user to run queries against the Tracking database and display the result in a widget. In some scenarios, retaining the tracking data longer than the actually required duration, causes the database to grow exponentially. In other scenarios, the environment doesn’t follow a strict purging policy. For both cases, it is hard to query against the Tracking database due to its size.
In a larger database, querying against the Tracking database and displaying the data, results in a graphical form in the widget. This could degrade the performance of the queries and impact on the user experience of the Analytics dashboard.
To overcome these challenges, we created a service in v8.3 that collects the tracking data periodically in small chunks and avoiding expensive queries on the Tracking database, and metrics are collected rather than pulling all the tracking data into BizTalk360 database.
Once decided to go with new this data collection method, BizTalk360 provides a customizable interface where user can pick the metrics they wanted to collect. A similar user experience to the performance data collection in BizTalk360 allows the user to fine-tune the data collection at an environment level.
Analytics Custom Widget in BizTalk360
BizTalk360 is loaded with customizable information and a variety of widgets to choose from, which can be added to your dashboards. The BizTalk360 Analytics dashboard is loaded with performance data widgets and tracking database widgets, like the Messaging performance and transmission failure rate widgets.
Users can add custom widgets to both the Analytics dashboard and custom dashboards in BizTalk360. The product provides rich options for adding widgets in these dashboards. Users can choose
- Date Range (24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, custom date range)
- Comparing data with previously generated data
- Graph type (line, column, area)
Based on the selected date range, the performance data gets collected from the BizTalk servers.
Once the analytics components, for which the data needs to be collected, are enabled, the different metrics for the custom widgets will get enabled. With the custom widgets, you can choose different metrics for which you want to view the data. Users can choose messaging performance/transmission failure of tracking data or performance data from the drop-down.
Do you wish to see more information on the widgets or from the product itself? Then, please put in your suggestions and feedback in our user voice portal. The existing ideas can also be voted for. We at BizTalk360 aim at providing the features that fulfill the customer requirements. It is from this feedback portal that the features get picked up for every release.
For more information about how these widgets work, check our Documentation Portal.