dinsdag 17 januari 2012

How to use Traffic Light monitoring

When you have setup a Diagram and some Trackers, you can start tracking by clicking the little green ‘Start’ button in the toolbar. Your Trackers will then become colored and the initial zeros will become larger numbers.
The numbers that appear in your Trackers are the number of messages which are processed since the configured date. This date can be set, before you start tracking, in the toolbar with the ‘Tracking since’ date/time picker.

BPM determines the color of each Tracker, depending on the fact if there was recent activity on that Tracker. By default the following values apply:
  • Green: there was activity less than 5 minutes ago
  • Yellow: there was activity between 5 and 15 minutes ago
  • Orange: there was activity between 15 and 60 minutes ago
  • Red: most recent activity was more than 60 minutes ago
These values can be changed in the 'Options' dialog (Tools > Options) and can be viewed in the 'Legend' dialog (Help > Legend).

This traffic light functionality is used in the following screens:
  • The Diagram View (Ctrl-D)
  • The List View (Ctrl-L)
  • The Details dialog (right click on a Tracker, select ‘Details...’)
  • The Message Types dialog (right click on a Tracker, select ‘Show MessageTypes...’)

Writing no-activity events to the Event Log

If you want to integrate BPM with other monitoring software, you can write no-activity events to the Event Log, to which you can subscribe from that other monitoring software. To realize this, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Create an Event Log source

You need to make sure that you have created the needed Event Log source. If you haven't done this yet, do it now, by executing the following command from a command prompt.

eventcreate /ID 1 /L APPLICATION /T INFORMATION /SO "BizTalk Processing Monitor" /D "My first log"

Step 2: Check the Master switch

Make sure the 'Master' switch is turned on, you can check this in ‘Options’ (Tools > Options) dialog in the 'Warning Levels (min.)' frame. The checkbox 'Write to Event Log' must be turned on.

Step 3: Check your Trackers

Make sure that one or more Trackers are configured to write to the Event Log. You do this by unlocking the Diagram (right click on the Diagram and select ‘Unlock Diagram’) and edit your Trackers. The ports that you monitor, in the left list, contain a column EventLog. Each port that has the checkbox turned on, writes to the Event Log in case of no activity.

Below you find the Warning Levels and the corresponding Event IDs as they are written to the Event Log:

Warning Level
Event ID

This sample shows a Yellow Warning Level as it is logged in the Event Log.

zondag 15 januari 2012

Exporting and importing diagrams

The diagrams you create with BizTalk Processing Monitor are stored in its own database. But, say you have a couple of developers working on a new version of your BizTalk system and they use BPM as well for their developing and testing purposes. If the new version has no new or changed ports, their diagrams will look the same as in the production system.
But if a part of the architecture has changed, resulting in changed ports, you will have to make those changes in your production system as well. Or...

Exporting and importing Diagrams

BizTalk Processing Monitor enables you to export your currently loaded diagram to a XML file. While doing so, your diagrams become portable between your different DTAP environments. After exporting a specific diagram in your Development environment, you can simple import that diagram in your Production environment.

Exporting and importing diagrams is simple. Just follow the steps below.

Exporting a Diagram

Step 1: Export a Diagram

When you have loaded a Diagram, open the File menu and click ‘Export…’, or instead hit Ctrl-E. The ‘Save as…’ dialog appears. The file name already contains the name of the currently loaded Diagram and the XML extension.

Just select an appropriate location to store the XML file and click ‘Save’. Your Diagram is now exported and can be transferred to your other environments.

Import a Diagram

Step 1: Select the Diagram you want to import

Open the File menu and click ‘Import…’ or instead hit Ctrl-I. The ‘Open’ dialog appears and you need to locate the Diagram you want to import and click the ‘Open’ button.

Step 2: Changes any values

After you have hit the ‘Open’ button, the ‘Import this diagram??’ dialog appears. This dialog, which basically is a slightly adapted ‘Diagram properties’ dialog, shows the values as they are stored in the Diagram you are importing and enables you to change any of these values. For example it might be necessary to change the connection settings to the BizTalk Management database or the name of the Diagram.

As Diagram names don’t need to be unique in BPM, resulting in multiple Diagrams with the same name, it is advisable to keep them unique, as this helps you identifying your Diagrams.

Step 3: Hit ‘Yes’, ‘Yes’, ‘Yes’

When you have changed any values, hit the ‘Yes’ button and confirm that you want to save these values, by hitting the ‘Yes’ button again at the following screen.

When the Diagram is imported, you are asked whether you want to open the imported Diagram.

Click the ‘Yes’ button one more time and the imported Diagram will be opened.
By the way: the Export and Import functionality also enables you to bypass the limitation of  having at the most 2 Diagrams in the Trial edition, as after exporting a Diagram you can delete the currently loaded Diagram (in the ‘Open Diagram’ dialog) and import another Diagram.

Getting started with BizTalk Processing Monitor

After you have installed and started BizTalk Processing Monitor (or BPM), you will want to make a Diagram to monitor your BizTalk Group. This will be explained in the following 5 steps. To keep things simple I use my own BizTalk system and pictures. So while using your own system, not all pictures shown below, will look the same at your site. After startup BPM shows this screen:

Step 1: Create a new Diagram
Click the ‘New Diagram’ button in the toolbar. The ‘Add New Diagram’ dialog shows up. Enter a name for your Diagram, for example the name of your system, and hit the ‘OK’ button. For now, we’ll ignore the other options on that dialog.

Step 2: Connect to BizTalk
After you have hit the ‘OK’ button on the ‘Add New Diagram’ dialog, the ‘Diagram Properties’ dialog shows up. In this dialog you can configure and test the connection to your BizTalk Management database and your BizTalk Tracking database.

In the ‘Server Name’ box you type the name of the SQL server that contains your BizTalk Management database, normally called BizTalkMgmtDb. To retrieve the databases on the server, you need to hit the elipsis button (…) to the right of the ‘Database Name’ box. The checkbox ‘Ignore non BizTalk Management databases’ makes sure that databases which could not be identified as a BizTalk Management database, won’t show up in the dropdown list.
By default BPM retrieves the name and the location of your Tracking database from your BizTalk Management database, so you don’t have to configure that. In case that you use another database, you need to configure it, by clicking the ‘Configure Tracking (DTA) database radio button, and enter the server name and the database name where it resides.
Since you now have supplied the most important information to connect to BizTalk, you can now test the connection to it, by clicking the ‘Test Connection’ button in the lower left corner.

If the test was successful, you can proceed by closing the message box and, in the ‘Diagram Properties dialog, by clicking the ‘OK’ button. At that time your Diagram will saved in BPM’s own database and you will be asked if you want to open the Diagram.
After clicking the ‘Yes’ button, the Diagram View shows up. This view is still pretty empty, but at least, now you have a configured and tested connection to your BizTalk Group!
Step 3: Add a picture of your system
Next you’ll have to add a picture from your system to the Diagram View. Do this by clicking on the hyperlink ‘Click here to add a architectural picture of your BizTalk solution’. After the ‘Open’ dialog appeared and you have selected an image of your system, you click the ‘OK’ button to load this picture in the Diagram View.
The picture you select must be in one of the following formats:
·        Jpeg
·        Gif
·        Tiff
·        Png
·        Bmp
Your screen now looks as below.
Step 4: Add counters you want to monitor
Your system will contain a number of endpoints from which you want to see if messages flow through them, so you need to configure those endpoints in BPM. To determine where you want to add a counter, or Tracker in BPM terminology, you just have to right click in the Diagram View where you want that Tracker to become located. Trackers can be moved afterwards by mouse or keyboard as well.
For now, we’ll add a counter in the upper left area of the Diagram View, so right click there. The context menu appears, and after you have selected ‘Add Tracker…’, the ‘Add Tracker’ dialog appears.
Each Tracker must be given a name. Names don’t need to be unique, but it helps in identifying your Trackers. Enter a name in the ‘Tracker Name’ box.
In the right list you can see the endpoints of your BizTalk system. By selecting one or more lines, or better ports, and clicking the ‘<’ button you move them to the left list, stating that you want to monitor the selected ports.
Click the ‘OK’ button to save and close the dialog, click ‘OK’ on the shown message box that states that your Tracker is saved and you will return to the Diagram View, where you’ll see that the just created Tracker is added on the screen.
Step 5: Start monitoring
Although you now have only configured 1 Tracker, this is enough to start monitoring. Just hit the little ‘Play’ button and see if there’s recent activity on that Tracker…