I have been worked with customers using BizTalk as shared infrastructure in the enterprise, where we have two or more BizTalk apps running on it for different Business groups. Also these customers are not using BizTalk ESB portal even though they are using BizTalk ESB exception framework. So main issue with all these Business groups are they don’t have visibility into the BizTalk apps running in prod, even though they are using SCOM and other monitoring stuff in place. So I am trying to address few issues I am going to list below and how I try to mitigate them, first one on the list is how to get visibility into prod, how to provision those access to the BizTalk resources with minimal activity and how can we take advantage of the resources we have today.
So I was working on creating REST data services for BizTalk RFID a year ago and available on codeplex. I thought to extend that idea to take advantage of BizTalk Data Services available in codeplex. I extended the BizTalk data services I will upload the updated service soon. So let me start thru how my solution works, so first step I am using the BizTalk data service (REST service) which expose most of the BizTalk artifacts as resources such as Applications, Orchestrations, Send ports, Receive ports, Host instances and In process instances etc.
BizTalk Server Monitoring – SharePoint Web Part
I am hosting the BizTalk data service in IIS with application pool configured to run under BizTalk administrator credentials. So with this setup I am making the service to make accessible anonymous. Next step of this solution I have created a SharePoint Visual web part which consumes the BizTalk data service and display all the BizTalk Application and Platform settings in read only mode. Even though BizTalk data services offers to browse resources as well perform actions like starting, stopping Orchestrations, Send ports, Receive locations, Host instances etc.
BizTalk Running / Suspended Instances
So having this BizTalk Monitoring SharePoint web part, will be added to the SharePoint. This eliminates the need for granting access to the BizTalk users explicitly, so when you have BizTalk contractor or BizTalk application user need to have access to the BizTalk environment all the need is have access to the SharePoint website. You can configure the web part point to different end point based on your environment. I am making this as read only as part of this to make easier for the users and in terms of provisioning. This removes the dependency of BizTalk admin at least for viewing the BizTalk application status and errors etc. If we need to make any changes to the BizTalk application then its application owner responsibility to co-ordinate with BizTalk admins. There are options like BizTalk ESB portal, BizTalk 360 etc… but this one of the approach to reduce number of steps required to give access to BizTalk application users and also to maximize the resource we have in enterprise today. Also you can expose this data service thru Azure Service Bus and access from other apps like mobile devices or create a web site hosted in Azure etc. One last thing I have tested only with BizTalk Server 2010 on x64 VM only, but it should work on other version. I will try to upload the code shortly with instructions how to setup etc.… I welcome thoughts and suggestions… Hope this helps….