How to integrate BizTalk Health Monitor with BizTalk360 v8.0 (workaround)

Posted: March 2, 2016  |  Categories: BizTalk Tools

Quite a long time that Message Box Viewer in fully integrated with BizTalk360, which is awesome, because MBV is, or was, the perfect tool to analyze and identify potential issues in the BizTalk environment.

MBV had over 400 rules that we’re able to verify different configurations/settings on your BizTalk Server environment, gathering the results in order to provide information about the general health of the environment to the administrations’ teams, like:

  • Whether backup jobs or any BizTalk Job, are configured and running properly
  • Whether default throttling settings are changed or custom adapters are added to your environment
  • Whether the BizTalk databases are at their optimum levels in terms of size
  • Performance issues
  • And so on…

BizTalk 360 took advantage of the power of MBV and integrated it, in past versions of the product, n its architecture to the present day. By integrating MBV, BizTalk360 was capable of offering the following additional values to the users:

  • The ability to perform scheduled execution of MBV
  • Show reports categorized in a nicer way
  • Have a single platform to monitor and analyze BizTalk Server environments

BizTalk360 V8.0 has the same capabilities, however, Message Box Viewer (aka MBV) is currently deprecated, and it was replaced by BizTalk Health Monitor (aka BHM) and it is no longer available for download. Of course, if you are using BizTalk Server 2013 or higher you may know that MBV was included in BizTalk Server 2013 and you will find it in your BizTalk installation directory:

  • Normally at “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft BizTalk Server 2013\SDK\Utilities\Support Tools\MsgBoxViewer”
  • Or “…\Microsoft BizTalk Server 2013 R2\SDK\Utilities\Support Tools\MsgBoxViewer” folder

I know that the BizTalk360 team has already planned and working to fix it and integrate BizTalk Health Monitor (aka BHM) with BizTalk360 tool replacing the currently MBV.

However, BHM is based on the same engine as MBV, what happen was that the MBV project team, after releasing MBV as a standalone tool for several years, decided to integrate it more closely with the BizTalk Administration Console providing this way a quick and complete dashboard of a BizTalk group that will help BizTalk administrators to monitor the health of their BizTalk platform more effectively.

Previous MBV had an execution file call “MBVConsole.exe” (Console MBV Client tool) that allowed users to automatically schedule (via PowerShell or windows scheduler Task) and generate reports, the same tool that BizTalk360 uses.

BHM no longer has this console tool (“MBVConsole.exe”). The tool was renamed to “BHMCollect.exe” but it is “exactly the same” as “MBVConsole.exe” in MBV… so I decided to give it a shot and see if I was able to use the last version of the tool inside BizTalk360.

I when to “Config and Schedule Message Box Viewer Integration” page inside BizTalk360:

  • Click the “Settings” icon at the top of the page and then selecting “Message Box Viewer” option from the left menu bar.

On “Config and Schedule Message Box Viewer Integration” panel, instead of configuring the path to the MBV directory in the “Message Box Viewer Download Directory” property, I set the path to the Health Monitor BizTalk, in my case:

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\BizTalk Support Tools\BHMv3.1
MessageBox Viewer BizTalk360 integration configurations

Of course, this just is not enough, because as I told before, BizTalk360 is trying to use “MBVConsole.exe”. So, as a workaround, if you want to use the BHM integrated with BizTalk360 you need to:

  • Go to the BHM installation directory;
  • Make a copy of “BHMCollect.exe” and rename it to “MBVConsole.exe”
    • Important: do not rename the original file! You still need it as it is!
    • You will then have to files: “BHMCollect.exe” and “MBVConsole.exe” witch is exactly the same file!
BHM integrated BizTalk360 installation folder

Now if you try to run it manually inside BizTalk360, you will see that it was able to execute and provide the reports in the same nice and beautiful way than using MBV.

BizTalk Health Monitor BizTalk360 integration

Again, this solution is a workaround that you can use for now, because, BizTalk360 team already plans and is working to fix it and integrate BizTalk Health Monitor (aka BHM), replacing the currently MBV, in next versions of the product.

This is not really a critical problem because BHM is practically equal to MBV, but BHM may have some new improvements/hotfixes that you can use that MBV doesn’t have it.

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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