It’s time to upgrade to BizTalk Health Monitoring in BizTalk360

|  Posted: April 20, 2017  |  Categories: BizTalk Server BizTalk360

We are in the final stage of the BizTalk360 v8.4 release. Our QA activities are in full swing to wrap up the testing and release the brand new v8.4 for public use. As usual, we have added bunch of exciting features in this release! Amongst this is BHM Integration (MMC snap-in to monitor for changes, unusual activities of their BizTalk environment). This feature is internally signed off and ready to be shipped.

BHM Test Result

At all times, we love to listen and pay attention to our customer feedback and a separate channel is available to receive feedback. You can access that channel yourself:

http://feedback.biztalk360.com

For every release, features will be selectively chosen based on the feedback. Such a feature is having BizTalk Health monitor Integration which replaces the current Message Box Viewer Integration. Totally we have received 20 votes for this feature, and because of this we have taken this in 8.4 version.

Feedback Forum Vote status

Quick Summary of BHM

Since June 2014 the buzz word is “BizTalk Health Monitoring” aka BHM, instead of “Message Box Viewer” aka MBV. BHM is the successor of the Message Box Viewer, which is no longer used. Integration specialists started using the brand-new monitoring tool to health check their BizTalk Environment. Comparing MBV, new version has more ability in terms of dashboards view, customized queries, profile creations etc. This snap-in can be added to the existing BizTalk administration console but it can also run individually in its own MMC console.

Existing Message box viewer in BizTalk360

Message Box viewer integration is available in BizTalk360 pretty much from its initial version. As I mentioned, MBV is an integral part of BizTalk administrators to investigate their BizTalk environment. BizTalk360 integrated MBV console mainly to avoid context switching between the actual working area and the separate MBV console. Administrators can easily health check their environment by clicking the MBV menu and take a quick look in terms of “Non-critical”,” Critical” and summary reports periodically. You can preset when and what day the MBV run should happen for your environment.

Another core ability BizTalk360 provides is to monitor your Message Box Viewer based on the number of critical and non-critical errors which appear in the last run report. This reduces the considerable time of BizTalk administrators to get the environment status alerts periodically via Email, SMS and other preferred notification channels.

BizTalk Health Check Monitoring Integration

BizTalk Health Check Monitor integration needs profound study before start testing and ensures the end to end functionality is working in the latest version before handing it over to the customer. To keep all the areas in mind first, we concentrated on what is the difference in MBV and BHM report generation and what are the new category added in each section. The comparison sheet has been derived and reviewed with the BizTalk in-house expertise to make sure everything is taking down perfectly to start with actual testing. The below screenshot shows the different new categories added in the BHM Integration.

MBV_BHM Comparison sheet

MBV_BHM Comparison Sheet -2

Once the detailed comparison sheet derived, next test case preparation phase started. It looks like simple integration whereas it needs extensive testing across the application across all the BizTalk360 versions. Totally 113 test cases have been derived! The overall steps to configure the BHM and viewing the report in Operations section, Monitoring notification part is covered in the blog article “BizTalk Health Monitor Integration in BizTalk360” by my colleague Senthil.

Before migration, we often receive the below common queries through our support channel by our customers. I will explain the scenarios in detail one by one in coming section.

What happens during the migration from existing to latest version?

This is a vital part to be taken care. We have concentrated on the migration area very carefully and taken care all the possible scenarios to make sure no data loss and functional break in v8.4 version. The below detailed test cases explain what will happen post migration.

Operation Migration Test cases

BizTalk360 monitors MBV console to notify the user if there are any critical and non-critical errors appears more than the specified threshold condition. During the migration, all the monitoring settings need to be carried over to the latest version and all the alerts and error & warnings need to be converted to the new BHM integration. Following are the migration scenarios we have derived and covered all the permutation and combinations. The below-detailed scenario explains how the changes will be accommodated from MBV to BHM.

Monitoring migration cases

One important scenario

Customers who are migrating from 8.0 onwards might have created a shortcut icon to MBV in the dashboard. Post migration the icon will remain with the same text. We recommend to remove the existing shortcut icon and create a new one.

Licensing Clarification

The existing licensing policy will remain the same. There is no licensing change for this implementation. Customers who have got gold tier of BizTalk360 will enjoy this cool feature. If anybody wants to add this feature to their bronze or silver tier, can purchase a customized license. If you would like to enquire about this in detail, contact our licensing team.

Date time localization

From v7.8 onwards users can view the data based on their user profile time zone. BHM will work based on the system time zone settings in BizTalk360.That information will be shown in the BHM configuration section.

System Settings Screenshot

System Settings Screenshot

We make sure periodic purging for the BHM

For every application purging the data periodically is essential to prevent the data growth and improve the performance of the applications. You can configure the purging of the BHM configuration in Settings->BizTalk360 Health ->Data Purging ->BizTalk Health Monitor Reports. The default purging setting is 5 day. If you wish to change that value, that can be done through this user interface.

BizTalk30 Purging Screenshot

Different BizTalk Server version and installation support

BHM integration will support from BizTalk Server 2010 version onwards.
Many of our customers prefer to install BizTalk360 in a separate server to make sure nothing gets installed in their BizTalk Servers. To make use of the integration of BHM from BizTalk360, BHM must be installed on the server where BizTalk360 installed. Within BHM you can create separate profiles for each BizTalk environment.
Once the profile is created and configuration for report generation is set, BizTalk360 will take care!!!
Happy migrating and try out the fresh installation once the release is announced!!! We are always happy to receive the customers’ feedback. Please write to support@biztalk360.com.

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Author: Mekala Ramesh

Test Lead at BizTalk360 - Software Testing Engineer having diverse exposure in various features and application testing with a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of SDLC. Strong knowledge to establish the testing process from the scratch. Love to test the software product to deliver it with good quality. Strongly believes on "Testing goes beyond just executing the test protocol".

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