Recap of the BizTalk Sessions during Integrate 2019

|  Posted: June 6, 2019  |  Categories: BizTalk Server Integrate 2019

It was again time for the most awaited conference in the Microsoft Integration space and the execution happened successfully! INTEGRATE is a global annual conference organized by BizTalk360 for people working in the Microsoft Integration space. Here, we bring the highlights of all the BizTalk sessions at the #INTEGRATE 2019 UK. 

The Value of Hybrid integration – Paul Larsen

Paul Larsen, a Principal Program Manager for the Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, presented the session “The Value of Hybrid Integration” by explaining about the legacy of BizTalk Server and he gave meaning to the word Hybrid with some examples. He made the big announcement “BizTalk Server 2020” and confirmed that it will be released at the end of 2019. 

Paul announced the important feature updates in BizTalk Server 2020:

This version of BizTalk Server will have capabilities to deploy BizTalk Server applications using VSTS, make backups to Blob Storage and so on. It will also have integration with App Insights, Event Hubs, Power BI, etc. 

Migration Tool

Paul talks about the BizTalk Server Migration tool and Host Integration Server 2020. This Migration tool will be helpful on dehydrating our configuration on old BizTalk Server environments and rehydrate that configuration to new Azure IaaS VM’s or local VM’s. Microsoft IT developed the BizTalk Server Migration tool which they use to migrate their own BizTalk environments. Because the architecture of BizTalk Server is kept common between BizTalk Server 2010, 2013, 2013 R2 and 2016, the migration does not affect the underlying layer of BizTalk Components.

Logic Apps IBM 3270 Connector

Next, Paul made an announcement on the Logic Apps connectors for 3270 screen scraping which is available in preview. During an entertaining demo, Paul explained how the 3270 screens are used and how the 3270 Logic Apps connectors can be used.

 

BizTalk Server Fast & Loud Part II: Optimizing BizTalk – Sandro Pereira

Sandro Pereira, as usual, sets the scene of the session by comparing BizTalk Server Performance to different types of cars like Formula 1 cars, BMW cars, and Truck Cars. He explained the different parameters that affect the performance of BizTalk Server with the functioning of a car (Memory, Network, Disk Space, BizTalk Server, SQL Server).

Next, Sandro provided different tips to optimize the performance:

  1. What is your requirement? 
    To improve the performance of the BizTalk environment, choose the right set of infrastructure to manage your business requirement
  2. Message Processing (Slowing Down) 
    BizTalk message processing can be slowed down when there are quite huge volumes of messages. In that case, use queues to process the messages
  3. Techniques to optimize the performance 
    Sandro explained the different techniques which can be used to fix the performance issue  
      • Observation 
      • Analysis 
      • Apply Fixes
  1. Redesign the system 
    If an existing BizTalk solution is a bottleneck in the performance, you can suggest redesigning the solution to meet the business requirement and space, to scale the solution for future challenges.

  2. Move to Historic Data (Tracking) 
    Sandro explained how to manage historical data. Storing the data is important, but use the minimum tracking necessary, to avoid database and disk performance issues.
  3. SQL Server Memory optimization 
    Use SQL Server memory configuration to optimize the performance of the message processing. 


    Sandro then explained two real-time solutions in which performance improvement was achieved;

Cock Sector World Leader 

Sandro told about how the BizTalk Team scaled the solution when the performance was hit in one of the manufacturing sections; 

  1. Follow the sequences based on the number of messages (5 million messages) 
  2. Dividing the process – Parallel process (Queues) 
  3. Scaling up the SQL Server Tier 
  4. Move data to Historic (Enable the Minimum tracking) 

Banking System

Sandro explained how his team provided the solution with a Banking system, with an example of opening a Banking Account scenario. He gave various techniques used in the Banking Solution;

      1. Azure 
      2. API Management 
      3. Composite Orchestrations 

To process the data to open a banking account takes more than 1 min to process the data. Sandro explained the factors that affect the performance;

      1. Network/LDAP 
      2. Composite Orchestration Expression shape  
      3. Resources Unload (Slow First hit) 

He continued to be telling about fine-tuning the performance to process the creating bank account by;

      1. Improving warming up by Recycling BizTalk and IIS 
      2. Memory  
      3. IIS Application Pool 
      4. MQ Agent Recycling 

 He then explains various solutions to optimize performance; 

      1. BizTalk Polling Intervals in MQ Agent (Careful on the set the polling) 
      2. Tune the performance with multiple configurations 
      3. Orchestration Dehydration (Composite Orchestration) 
      4. SQL Affinity – Maximum amount of memory usage
      5. Priority in BizTalk: Set Priority Send port priority (10 lowest – 1 Faster) 

Scripting a BizTalk Server installation – Samuel Kastberg

Installing and configuring BizTalk server is not straightforward, and it can take a lot of time. It is useful to have scripts to run in a different environment and get everything in place. Samuel, Senior Premier Field Engineer at Microsoft, explains the importance of scripting BizTalk Server installation and during his session, he provides all kind of tips and tricks for scripting such an installation.

He listed what you should script:

    1. Things you can control
    2. Things you want to do it repeatedly
    3. Good Candidates
    • Windows Features
    • Provision VM’s in Azure (if the environment needs to be created in Azure)
    • BizTalk features and group configurations
    • MSDTC settings, Hosts, Host Instances
    • Visual Studio, SQL server
    • Your  favorite Monitoring tool
    • Bad candidate-Things which are going to change over time

Samuel advised considering below points before you start scripting;

    1. Decide what your main drivers are, repetition and control are the drivers to automate, standardized developer machines, disaster recovery preparation, and test environments
    2. Decide what your baseline is and document it, think what could change in 6 months or a year
    3. Document the execution process, scripting is not a replacement for the documentation
    4. Set a timeframe for your work

Reference – https://skastberg.wordpress.com/2019/04/13/automating-biztalk-server-installation-and-configuration/

Windows feature installation

  1. Choose different tools of your taste
  2. Use the Server Manager to check for the installed features

Ensure the features and configurations you need are in place and use PowerShell cmdlets to install the required Windows features.

BizTalk Server Feature Installation

Setting up the BizTalk Server product consists of installation and configuration. Installation adds the binaries to the system, while configuration enables you to create or join a BizTalk Group and enable/configure other features as Rules Engine, BAM and EDI.

Setup/Add Local – Export configuration .xml file (select the required features).

Installing CU/Adapter pack – More complex

Configuration File – Used for providing the required parameters

    1. Consists of feature element – Each one maps to specific sections in the configuration tool
    2. Each feature contains one or more questions – Answer attribute selected = True
    3. Export from config.exe
    4. Edit the export to be a template- Replace the real values at configuration time. You need one file while creating a group

Configure Host and instances – Use WMI or PowerShell provider

Create handlers – Use WMI and PowerShell

Handling secrets – Use KeyPass, Key Vault. KeyPass to use when no internet access is available.

Before using it in the real world: Test the Script in your environment!!!

Conclusion

Do you want to hear about the latest and greatest in Microsoft Integration? It’s not yet too late! By the end of the month, Integrate also comes to the USA and there are still tickets available! Check the web site!

 

Author: Saranya Ramakrishnan

Currently working as a QA Lead in BizTalk360.

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