We are delighted to inform you that BizTalk360 Stop Alerts for maintenance capability is enhanced, and it is renamed as “Schedule Maintenance”. As we know BizTalk360 keeps up its standard by improvising the existing feature and implements new functionality into it in a way that eases the user experience to the next level.
At present in BizTalk360, the user can only set immediate maintenance schedules. In the upcoming release, users will be able to create immediate maintenance, one-time maintenance and recurrence maintenance associating the business holiday calendar. In recurrence maintenance, users can create daily, weekly and monthly recurrence.
Importance of Having Maintenance
Software maintenance is a part of the Software Development Life Cycle. Its main purpose is to modify and update software applications after delivery to correct faults and to improve the performance of the system. It is a very broad activity that takes place soon after the development completed. It optimizes the system’s performance by reducing errors, eliminating useless development and applying advanced development.
In the BizTalk Server, you may have regular maintenance implemented depending on resource availability/skill-set and organizational focus based on the following cases,
- BizTalk Message Box Health Maintenance
- BizTalk Performance Tuning
- Management of BizTalk Server versioning, hotfixes, and service packs
- Verification of source code location and management
- BizTalk Security Lockdown
- BizTalk Source Code Control
- Configuration of BizTalk Test Environment
- Establishment of rules for proper BizTalk Server Administration, Release Management, Operations Management, Development Management, and Database Management
Why Schedule Maintenance is Implemented in BizTalk360?
BizTalk360 allows you to set up monitoring on application artifacts and allows you to auto-correct artifacts that have hit an unexpected state. During day to day operations, it is very helpful to have this monitoring in place as it saves the BizTalk administrator(s) a lot of time because they don’t have to do that monitoring manually. However, there are also times that you don’t want this monitoring to be active. Thinking of the scenario during maintenance windows because of deployments or installation of security patches. In such cases you may need to temporarily stop monitoring, BizTalk360 provides a feature called ‘Stop Alerts for Maintenance’, which enabled the user to set up a single maintenance window.
Enriched Schedule Maintenance Functionality
The latest BizTalk360 will hold the enriched form of stop alerts for maintenance that is nothing but the schedule maintenance. In which you can set the following maintenance,
- Immediate maintenance
- One-Time maintenance
- Recurrence maintenance
Note: Even if the system is set for maintenance you may need to get alerts for any of the configured artifacts. In such case BizTalk360 ease you with the so-called field “Exclude alarm” in the general maintenance configuration part. Select the alarm for which you wanted to receive the alert even under maintenance.
Immediate maintenance is used to set the maintenance from the current time (by enabling the immediate toggle button) till the end date and end time which is set.
Let’s consider a couple of scenarios where the BizTalk Server need immediate maintenance,
- The running BizTalk Server or services go down
- The BizTalk application does not function as expected
In this case, if your infrastructure is unhealthy, then you need to undergo maintenance on a swift to bring the BizTalk environment up and healthy. At the same time, you (based on the business impact there is a customer, who holds 200 plus alarms under an environment) would have configured alarm for monitoring the artifacts in the corresponding environment. So that the alarm will keep triggering the alerts as per the configuration. Since the environment itself is down the alarms will meet the threshold condition and will start sending the violation alerts, as the same health alarm and data monitoring alarm will be sending the alert too.
In addition to it, if an alarm holds Autocorrect then the auto-correct functionality will try to push the artifacts to match the expected state, due to which the down alert will be sent, which may lead to full your inbox with BizTalk360 alerts.
To avoid such a situation, you can set the immediate maintenance just by enabling the toggle and based on the maintenance prominence you can set the end date & time. So that the BizTalk360 monitoring service will no longer perform the autocorrect and will not send. At this point in time, you can set the immediate maintenance which prevents the monitoring service from sending the alerts for the environment.
By using the One-Time maintenance, you can able to schedule/plan your future maintenance period in advance. For scheduling the One-Time maintenance click on the One-Time in the selection bar and set the Start date and start time when you wanted to get the maintenance enabled in BizTalk360 and set the end date and time when you wanted your maintenance to stop.
Say for instance, if your BizTalk server going to progress on a continuous integration approach and effective deployment then this process may take about a day or two based on the impact of the application going to get deployed and it will be a pre-planned approach which BizTalk Server undergoes. For which you can set the maintenance schedule in advance using our One-Time maintenance in BizTalk360.
Note: BizTalk360 will allow you to set the span across days for One-Time and Recurrence maintenance as shown in the below figure.
In general, you might be aware of Administrative Maintenance in BizTalk Server, which is maintenance checks should be performed on a BizTalk Server system on a routine basis as part of a preventive maintenance program. Performing the checks will help you determine whether there are reliability, administration, security, or performance issues with the system.
BizTalk suggest best practices for Administrative Maintenance as below,
- For daily maintenance checks – Reliability check and Administration check (Click here for more details).
- For weekly maintenance checks – Reliability check, Administration check, Security check and Performance check (Click here for more details).
- For monthly maintenance checks – Reliability check, Administration check, Integrity check, Security check and Performance check (Click here for more details).
Considering the Administrative Maintenance in BizTalk Server, Recurrence Maintenance has been implemented as an icing on the cake in Schedule Maintenance. Recurrence maintenance is a type of maintenance which allows you to create maintenance once, and then have it recreated automatically after a designated time interval. You can make any existing maintenance into recurring maintenance by simply using the recurrence button at the top of the task window. It will let the maintenance run in BizTalk360 between the Start Date -Start Time and End Date – End Time set, during which the monitoring service will stop sending the alert for the corresponding environment.
Recurrence maintenance comes with the following maintenance possibilities,
- Monthly- Date of the Month & Day of the Week
Recurrence Maintenance – Daily
Maintenance will be set daily on stipulated the start and end time and based on the recur value set, the maintenance will be running on an alternative day, i.e. if the recurring value is set as 2, the maintenance will run 2 days once and so on.
Let us consider that if BizTalk360 sends an alert message during the non-business hours, the message would get piled up in your inbox. So that you may tend to miss any important alert which may have a huge business impact. As a solution to it, you can set the Daily maintenance during the non-business hours which will relieve you from this great mess.
Recurrence Maintenance – Weekly
Maintenance will be set weekly on stipulated the start and end time and based on the recur value set, the maintenance will be running on the alternative selected week, i.e. if the recurring value is set as 3, the maintenance will run 3 weeks once and so on. Say, for instance, If the recurring value is set to 3 and on days is set to Monday and Thursday, then by calculating the start date checks for the next 3rd occurrence Monday and will set BizTalk360 into maintenance mode. As the same checks for 3rd occurrence Thursday and the next 3rd occurrence Monday from that day on and goes on and on till the end date set.
Recurrence maintenance – Monthly
Maintenance will be set monthly on the desired start and end time. By choosing the monthly recurrence you can set maintenance in the below two combination
- Date of the Month
- Day of the Week
Date of the Month: Maintenance will be running regularly on the corresponding date of month which is chosen in the Date and Months field. Say for instance, if the month field provided with February, April, June and date field is provided with 2, 29 then BizTak360 will calculate the current date (e.g. 25-02-2020) based on which the maintenance will run on February 29 (only for leap year if not it will consider next cycle on April 2) on the maintenance gets completed it will calculate the next cycle April 2 and so on.
Day of the Week: Maintenance will be running regularly on the week of the month that is chosen on the month’s field. Wherein day of the week recurrence, you can able to precisely set the weekly maintenance i.e. if you want to create recurring maintenance repeating on 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month. However, you can select the month FEB, APR and days e.g. 1st & 3rd WED. So that the maintenance will run on every 1st and 3rd WED of the selected month.
Schedule Audit History
Adding a feather to the crown, BizTalk360 provides you audit functionality for Schedule maintenance. Keeping the core impact of the maintenance in concern audit for the below action is provided,
As we know the importance of having maintenance in BizTalk360. It is always a good habit to keep the maintenance in a track so that you can able to know who had set/edited/stop/deleted the maintenance for what cause.
Note: Only the superuser is permitted to take control over the schedule maintenance
Note: When the maintenance is set, BizTalk360 will show the maintenance alert pop up in the operation and monitoring home dashboard and you can able to stop the maintenance from the home screen of operation and monitor section just by clicking on the “Stop Maintenance” button in which you can also provide the reason in the popup for stopping the maintenance same will be audited in the schedule audit history.
We can assure the new improvements in the schedule maintenance capability will give you smooth control over BizTalk360 monitoring during the infrastructure maintenance. Why not, give BizTalk360 a try! It takes about 10 minutes to install on your BizTalk environments and you can witness and check the security and productivity of your own BizTalk Environments.