BizTalk360 a monitoring and support tool for BizTalk Server environments (Part 7)

Posted: December 31, 2012  |  Categories: Administration BizTalk Tools

Governance and Auditing Capabilities

I leave it to the end, which in my opinion is perhaps one of the main and important functionalities of this tool and that no other on the market enables: the ability to bring auditing functionalities to BizTalk Server platform.

The same way as it is imperative for organizations to be able to manage access permissions to the several resources on Microsoft BizTalk Server platform, they must also have the ability, often by regulatory requirements or simply good practice to know who’s doing what on the platform, to following and monitor all the users activities from support or administration team in their environments, mainly in production environments.

Have you ever thought that, for example, someone accidentally or purposely terminate several critical business messages (like order messages)? How will you find out who made this operation? With the tools included in the product, this operation or audit degree is simply impossible, yet it is extremely critical in organizations.

BizTalk360 provides comprehensive auditing capabilities, Taking note (or tracking) of normal operating activities for the following areas:

  • Audit Service Instance Operations: From time to time we’ll see BizTalk service instances getting suspended in BizTalk server for a variety of reasons like unhandled exceptions, environment issues and so on. The support or administration team way have to make a business decision whether to resume/retry the instance or terminate it completely and they could take a wrong decision, costing the business a potential transaction, for that reason (and many more) it’s important to identify such activities in the system for future auditing and governance purpose. BizTalk360 addresses this problem by register all activities over the Service instances such as: suspend, resume or terminate instances.
BizTalk360 Governance Auditing Capabilities
  • Audit Host Instance Operations: All the BizTalk artifacts like Receive ports, Orchestrations and Send Ports runs within the boundary of a host/host instance, they are the runtime engine. BizTalk Server provides the capability to start, stop, enable and disable a host instance and any operation that the operator performs on them can have serious consequences. BizTalk360 address this problem by register all activities about who stops the host instances and what’s the reason for this operation, who starts or who enables/disables Host Instances.
BizTalk360 Governance Auditing Capabilities
  • Audit Application Operations: There are three main pillars in this architecture i.e. Receive section, Processing section and Send section. All three of them are isolated from one another, and BizTalk provides us with great flexibility in controlling each one of them individually. If we disabling or stop one of them it way has great consequences to your business, for example, if we disable a receive location the messages won’t be polled and processed. BizTalk360 address this problem by register all activities at the applications level such as start, stop, enlisted and unenlisted send ports or orchestrations; or enable/disable receive locations.
BizTalk360 Governance Auditing Capabilities

BizTalk 360 also provides a consolidated Governance/Audit Dashboard to help a superuser see all the recent activities in the system. The dashboard shows the last 5 activities from the audited areas of the system.

BizTalk360 Governance Auditing Capabilities Dashboard

Conclusion

There are several products on the market that allow you to perform monitoring in BizTalk Server environments, such as System Center Operation Manager, HP OpenView, Minotaur, Moesion, BizTalk Processing Monitor and much more. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but none of them can make complete monitoring in accordance with the real needs of customers, which forces us to use a combination of tools to achieve our goals.

BizTalk360 is one of the most complete tools in the market for performing support and monitoring BizTalk Server environments, one of the few that focused its efforts to fill all the gaps left by Microsoft in this area and most importantly, always focused on the real needs of customers.

However, there are many more features in this tool that were not described in this series of post and that you can discover using the beta trial version here: http://www.biztalk360.com/Content/beta. You may also find prices information about this tool here: http://www.biztalk360.com/pricing/enterprise.

Author: Sandro Pereira

Sandro Pereira lives in Portugal and works as a consultant at DevScope. In the past years, he has been working on implementing Integration scenarios both on-premises and cloud for various clients, each with different scenarios from a technical point of view, size, and criticality, using Microsoft Azure, Microsoft BizTalk Server and different technologies like AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, SAP, TIBCO etc. He is a regular blogger, international speaker, and technical reviewer of several BizTalk books all focused on Integration. He is also the author of the book “BizTalk Mapping Patterns & Best Practices”. He has been awarded MVP since 2011 for his contributions to the integration community.

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