There are two kind of job in BizTalk world.
first is as BizTalk developer where people use to create BizTalk applications with help of VS. In creating of BizTalk application we are mostly use schema, pipeline, orchestration and mapping. After development the project its deploy on BizTalk Admin console.
Second is BizTalk Production support. In Production support we are basically taking care of BizTalk applications in BizTalk Admin console. There are following task should be doing in Production support.
Production Support Activity:
- Monitoring: Every day we need to monitor BizTalk Admin Console that every thing is running as expected or not. Currently in the market there are some tool is available for monitoring but from my point of view we should monitor production server once in a day.
Following point which should check in Monitoring:
- Check Host Instances is running
- Check Application Status is running. Sometimes we need to stop receive location or Send port as per business requirement, in that case we need to check the running status for Receive location, Send port, Send port group, and orchestration
- Check Running instance in BizTalk Group Hub. Running state should be empty or its count should be increase and decrease. If Running state count is only increasing, then it’s problem. It may happen when BizTalk server hang up. its very rare scenario but it can be happen. then we should restart the related and BizTalk default host instances
- Check the Suspended Instances. If message available in this instance then we need to figure out about the exception and ask to development team to work on that. And one more important thing. We should terminate the suspended instance. We should not keep suspended instance for long time e.g. 5-7 days because when Suspended Instances count is increase, then it increase load on Message Box database and its show the BizTalk performance and service. So be care in handling suspended instance
- Do other activity e.g. failed message reprocess as per business, analysis or exception, BizTalk Health monitoring etc.
2. Re-Process Activity
Some times message is failed in BizTalk due to various reason e.g. Destination side server unavailable, timeout or network connection problem or Business validation. In these case we need to re process failed files. When we developing BizTalk then we need to take care of re process activity. We need to create Receive port and receive location to re-process the file.
How to get message from Suspended Instance:
BizTalk Admin Console->BizTalk Group Hub->Suspended Service Instances -> double click on any instance -> Message -> New message pop up open-> Body
3. Exception Management (Incident/Problem management)
BizTalk Application deployment on UAT/Production Server is also part of Production Support Activity.
There are several way for deployment activity, some of as below:
Manual Deployment: In this deployment process we need to deploy MSI, Binding,SSO and others manually one by one.
BTDF: This is automated deployment in which configuration info defined in excel file and all information is wrap up in MSI. Deployment team only needs to run the MSI file with small configuration.
BAT File/Poweshell Script: This is also the automated deployment. Here every thing e.g. MSI,Binding,SSO information (source and destination) set in script and run on the server.
BizTalk Health monitoring
- Health check up for BizTalk Server as well as BizTalk database. In BizTalk 2013 R2 , BizTalk health monitoring tool is added in BizTalk admin console. this tool provides the status of BizTalk Database, MsgDB and MngtDB. how much data use from database. MsgDB database size should be vary from time to time. it should not be increasing.
- need to check spool table and its row count should vary. its row count should not be increasing order day by day. Spool table contains a record for each message in the system (active or waiting to be garbage collected). Monitoring the number of rows in this table, and the number of messages received per second, while increasing system load provides an easy way to measure the maximum.
- BizTalk Server CPU utilization.