How to Install and Configure Microsoft BizTalk 2013 R2 Accelerator for RosettaNet: Important considerations before you install BTARN (Part 1)

This series of post will explain in detail – a step-by-step guide – how to install and configure Microsoft BizTalk 2013 R2 Accelerator for RosettaNet (BTARN) on a standalone environment running Windows Server 2012 R2 and BizTalk Server 2013 R2.

RosettaNet is a business protocol that enables enterprises to conduct business over the Internet. The RosettaNet Consortium (https://resources.gs1us.org/rosettanet) is an independent, nonprofit consortium of major information technology, electronic component, and semiconductor manufacturing companies working to create and implement industry-wide, open process standards. These processes are designed to standardize the electronic business interfaces used between participating supply chain partners. The RosettaNet Implementation Framework (RNIF) specification is a guideline for applications that implement RosettaNet Partner Interface Processes (PIPs). These PIPs are standardized electronic business processes used between trading partners. You can find all the Framework specification and the list of PIPs available, as well the PIPs contract (DTD and documentation) in the RosettaNet Consortium website: https://resources.gs1us.org/rosettanet .

BTARN will extend the existing BizTalk Server capabilities allowing you to run RosettaNet Partner Interface Processes (PIPs) and by doing that, this will allow you to exchange RosettaNet documents with your business partners, by simply providing a set of orchestrations, schemas, tools, and related helper assemblies. BTARN supports the RosettaNet Implementation Framework (RNIF) versions 1.1 and 2.0.01. However, installing the accelerator can be difficult if you do not plan correctly for it.

This guide will provide you comprehensive guidelines that will help you plan the installation and configuration of BTARN.

Assumptions and out of scope

It will be assumed that all the BTARN software requirements already have been installed. This guide will use BizTalk Server 2013 R2 running Windows Server 2012 R2 with all the latest critical Windows updates from Microsoft and latest Cumulative Updates for BizTalk Server installed.

Important considerations before you install the RosettaNet Accelerator

There are some important considerations or suggestions since some of these operations are not mandatory, that we can and should set before starting the installation and configuration Microsoft BizTalk 2013 R2 Accelerator for RosettaNet (BTARN).

Software Requirements

The following table lists the software that BizTalk 2013 R2 Accelerator for RosettaNet (BTARN) requires to run correctly. BTARN has the same software and hardware requirements as BizTalk Server 2013 R2.

Software Required Description Required for/Information
Microsoft Windows· Windows Server 2012 R2· Windows Server 2012

 

· Windows 8.1

· Windows 7 SP1

 
Microsoft BizTalk Server 2013 R2· Enterprise Edition· Standard Edition

 

· Developer Edition

 
Internet Information Services (IIS)The version that comes with the operating system.· IIS version 8.0 and 7.5 are supported. 
Microsoft OfficeOptionalMicrosoft Office Excel 2013 or 2010.

 

BizTalk Server 2013 R2 supports only 32-bit version of Microsoft Office.

(installed on client computers when using BAM)

Required by Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) to display a real-time view of business processes
Microsoft SQL Server· Microsoft SQL Server 2014· Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP1This is required for BTARN Runtime, BizTalk Server Runtime, EDI, and BAM
SQL Server Analysis Services if using BAM aggregations
SQLXML 4.0 with Service Pack 1SQLXML enables XML support for your SQL Server Database. It allows developers to bridge the gap between XML and relational data. You can create XML View of your existing relational data and work with it as if it was an XML file.
Note: You don’t need to worry about installing this because Redistributable CAB File will install this for you if necessary.
This is required for BizTalk Server Runtime, Administrative Tools, and BAM.
Windows Identity FoundationOptional
The official documentation mention that Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services is a requirement.

 

However, I think this is not correct/necessary. Until this date, I don’t see any connection between the accelerator and the SharePoint Service.

SharePoint Services adapter or SharePoint Services Online when used with SharePoint Services Client-Side Object Model (CSOM). It is not needed when using the SharePoint Services Web Service, which is deprecated. Or when you don’t want to use this feature.
Microsoft Visual StudioOptional
Visual Studio 2013
Provides a development environment for building BizTalk Server applications. Ultimate Edition is recommended, but Premium and Professional are also supported. This is required for BizTalk Server Developer Tools and SDK component
 

Things to be taken care

When you are planning to install Microsoft BizTalk 2013 R2 Accelerator for RosettaNet (BTARN), you need to be very careful with certain, documented and non-documented, notes or necessary configuration in your existing BizTalk environment. These are the notes in the official documentation:

  • Both BTARN and BizTalk Server 2013 R2 require Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 as software pre-requisite.
    • If you have multiple versions of .NET Framework installed on your computer, make sure that the BtarnAPP Web application is referencing .NET Framework 2.0. You can configure this by using the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
    • Personal note: Despite the official documentation saying that the BtarnAPP Web application needs to refer to .NET Framework 2.0, what I noticed is that it will work properly in .NET 4.0.
  • The BizTalk Host Instance Account and the BizTalk Isolated Host Instance Account should be the same. Otherwise, BTARN will not function correctly.
  • BTARN allows you to add only individual service accounts, and not groups, to the BizTalk Server Administrators group or the BizTalk Application Users group.
  • You need to create a web service extension for BTSHTTPReceive.dll, configuring the IIS isolation mode.
  • Add your server (http://<server name>) to the Local Internet zone in the Internet Explorer security options.
  • If a remote SQL instance using non-default port is used for configuring BTARN, then the SQL Server Client Tools must be installed locally.
  • A separate group must be used for the role – BizTalk Administrator, BizTalk Host Users, and BizTalk Isolated Host Users during the configuration of BizTalk Server.
  • BTARN does not support the use of alias created for SQL instance to configure the BTARN database.

Unfortunately for us, there are still plenty of notes or the necessity to perform additional settings in our environment so that the minimal conditions are guaranteed for BTARN be able to run properly:

  • Installation
    • RosettaNet requires the IIS_WPG group (group provided by IIS 6.0 that provides the minimum set of user rights and permissions required to run an application) unfortunately for us this group doesn’t exist anymore, so you need to create it manually. Otherwise, BTARN installation will fail.
  • Host Instances
    • The accelerator requires both in-process and isolated host to be marked as “Authentication Trusted” and “32-bit only“. Otherwise, BTARN installation will fail.
      • Very important: The accelerator requires both in-process and isolated host to be marked as “Authentication Trusted” (this setting is off by default when you create a new host) and “32-bit only“.
        • And the reason why the in-process need to be also trusted is that the BizTalk Host Instance Account and the BizTalk Isolated Host Instance Account should be the same and you cannot use the same account for trusted and untrusted hosts. Otherwise, it was only necessary to mark the isolated host as trusted.
    • The BizTalk Host Instance Account and the BizTalk Isolated Host Instance Account should be the same. Otherwise, BTARN will not work correctly.
      • If the service account set for the BTARN application pools is different from the Isolated Host account, BTARN will not be able to process incoming messages correctly. When the receive “.aspx” page calls the pipeline, the pipeline will not have access to the appropriate certificates. Therefore, it will not be able to decrypt the incoming message or validate the signature. It will also not be able to access the MessageBox database.
    • Do never use Full Qualify domain name in the Logon credentials. Otherwise, BTARN will not work correctly.
    • Make sure the BTARN in-process host is the default send handler of HTTP Adapter and the general Default Host in the group
      • Important: Make sure the BTARN in-process host is the default send handler of the HTTP Adapter. When you create a Partner it will create two send ports and it will use the default send handler for the HTTP Adapter: If the BTARN in-process host is not the default handler, the engine will use the default one instead and then you need to stop the BTARN process, unbinding the send ports, reconfigure the send handler and only then start everything again. So, this will induce a small shutting down in our environment.
      • When installing the accelerator, it will install all the assemblies into the default BizTalk Application and will attempt to configure all orchestrations and ports to run in the first host it finds that is marked as “Authentication Trusted”.  To ensure everything is installed to the host instances you need to:
        • Temporarily make the trusted host instance as the default instance (not recommended).
        • Or if you want the assemblies to be in a different application than the default, create a new application in the BizTalk Administration Console and set it as the default during the installation.
  • BAM
    • Microsoft provides a Tracking file with the activity definitions. However: you need to create your custom BAM views
      • BTARN supports enhanced tracking using BizTalk Activity Monitoring (BAM).
        • Right-click the BizTalk Accelerator for RosettaNet node and then click Properties.
        • In the Global Properties dialog box, select Enable BAM Tracking to enable tracking or clear this option to disable it.
      • Microsoft provides a Tracking file with the activity definitions, however:
        • The tracking points are not customizable;
        • Do not change activity definitions.
        • You only can Manage BAM views and deployment.
  • Databases Maintenance
    • BTARN databases are not backed up by default
      • Fortunately for us, Microsoft provides two SQL Scripts that you need to run against this databases in other to extend the standard backup mechanisms but you also need to modify the adm_OtherBackupDatabases table to include a row for each of your custom databases.
        • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft BizTalk Server 2013 R2\Schema
          • Backup_Setup_All_Procs.sql
          • Backup_Setup_All_Tables.sql
        • Also, you need to modify the adm_OtherBackupDatabases table to include a row for each of your custom databases
    • There are no maintenance processes to clean up BTARN databases so you need to create these maintenance processes according to the legal requirements of your company/organization, be aware that:
      • BTARN databases can grow quickly because they contain the PIP XML that you are processing
      • They can affect the performance of your environment
      • They are important

Related links:

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.

3 thoughts on “How to Install and Configure Microsoft BizTalk 2013 R2 Accelerator for RosettaNet: Important considerations before you install BTARN (Part 1)”

  1. The configuration of BTARN will not work unless the IIS_WPG is created and the same accounts (service accounts) are added to BOTH groups. This is not included in the documentation.

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