- 14 minutes to read

Configuring the Microsoft BizTalk Server Monitoring Agent

This agent has a plethora of features to help you get alerts and provides remote actions so you can deal with problems with your BizTalk environment. Due to the substantial number of features, the configuration may seem complex at first sight since there are many options available. Do try to configure them one at a time so you learn as you go.

In this section, you will learn how to configure the Microsoft BizTalk Server Monitoring Agent.

Note: Before any monitoring and remote configuration can be performed, you must first install and create a Monitoring Agent Configuration for the Microsoft BizTalk Server Monitoring Agent. First-time users start here

Remote Configuration of BizTalk Servers

As a Nodinite Administrator, click on the 'Configuration' button to open a modal to configure the agent:

RemoteConfiguration
Click on the 'Configuration' button to open a modal to configure the agent

Many specific configurations can also be made directly on the Resource using the Action button if the Monitor View allows for Actions.

You must be a Nodinite Administrator to Add or Manage the Microsoft BizTalk Server options to monitor

Applications

All artifacts from your BizTalk Server are automatically populated as Resources. These are further grouped by the concept of Applications and Categories. Depending on BizTalk Server edition there might be a limit on the number of applications. For Branch/Standard editions this may pose a configuration (partitioning) problem. To overcome this limit the agent can be configured to create virtual applications based on the names for your BizTalk artifacts.

png_BizTalkServerApplication

BizTalk

From the BizTalk tab first-time users must configure which BizTalk Server group to monitor. You can also provide one or more filters to exclude BizTalk artifacts from monitoring.

Enable monitoring

To enable monitoring, the agents needs to be configured with information (which management database to use) about which BizTalk Server group to monitor.

  • Connection String - You must provide a connection string with details about how to connect with the BizTalk management database (usually BizTalkMgmtDb) for the BizTalk group to monitor.
Server=.;Database=BizTalkMgmtDb;Trusted_Connection=True;Connection Timeout=5

http://www.connectionstrings.com/

png_BizTalkConnectionString - Site with different database connection examples

You must manually restart the monitoring agent if you change the connection string information

Filter

For some environments, it makes sense to exclude either (or both) Applications and Resources. The agent has support for setting multiple regular expressions to filter out unwanted Resources.

Example resource filter: Remove all BizTalk artifacts that start with the letter '_'

^[_].*

png_BizTalkExcludeFilter

Do test these filters one at a time since we have had support tickets about missing resources because of this filter feature

Health Check

In the Health Check tab, you find the additional tabs, managing many very useful features to keep your BizTalk environment healthy:

  • Misc - General health check related settings
  • Assemblies & Files - Compare options for your BizTalk Environment
  • Spool - Settings for monitoring the Spool table in the BizTalk message box including metrics support
  • Tracking Data - Settings for monitoring the TrackingData table in the BizTalk message box including metrics support

Misc

In the Misc tab, you can manage general settings for monitoring the BizTalk group.

Misc

  • Orphaned DTA service instances - Warning threshold - The number of Orphaned DTA Service Instances required to trigger a Warning alert
  • Orphaned DTA service instances - Error threshold - The number of Orphaned DTA Service Instances required to trigger an Error alert

Examples of usage and further reading can be found in the 'Orphaned DTA Service Instances' user guide

  • Messages with Negative Ref Count - Warning threshold - The number of messages with negative ref count required to trigger a Warning alert
  • Messages with Negative Ref Count - Error threshold - The number of messages with negative ref count required to trigger an Error alert

Examples of usage and further reading can be found in the 'Messages with negative ref count' user guide

  • Messages without Ref Count - Warning threshold - The number of messages without ref count required to trigger a Warning alert
  • Messages without Ref Count - Error threshold - The number of messages without ref count required to trigger an Error alert

Examples of usage and further reading can be found in the 'Messages without ref count' user guide

  • Throttling limit - Warning threshold - The throttling limit in minutes before a Warning is triggered

Examples of usage and further reading can be found in the 'Throttling ' user guide

Assemblies & Files

In the Assemblies & Files tab, you can manage settings for monitoring and comparing the BizTalk and SQL environment

  • BizTalk

    • Same configuration file?
    • Same binaries on all nodes?
    • Same binaries as deployed to the database?
    • Same binaries in the installation path? (e.g. same SP/CU/Fix pack)
    • Same binaries in the Pipeline Components folder?
  • SQL

    • Source for binaries as binaries must be Deployed before they can be used. Acts as the master for information.
  • Enabled - When enabled, the agent compares assemblies and configuration files between BizTalk Servers for consistency

  • Include BizTalk Server installation folder - Include the BizTalk Server installation folder in the assemblies check

  • Include BizTalk Server Pipeline Components folder - Include the BizTalk Server Pipeline Components folder in the assemblies check

  • BizTalk Server configuration - When enabled, compare BizTalk configuration files between servers

  • BizTalk Assemblies exclude filter - Exclusion filter options

Assemblies and files tab

If your BizTalk environment produces different outputs what seems random can be due to different binaries being installed on the different BizTalk processing nodes. Use this feature to keep you BizTalk environment reliable

Examples of usage and further reading can be found in the 'Run-time configuration comparison' user guide

BizTalk Assemblies exclude filter

You can opt to remove assemblies according to provided RegEx filters. Click on the Add button to enter the filter to be applied. Any number of filters can be added.

Assembly filter

Spool

From the Spool tab, you control monitoring options for the 'Spool' table in the BizTalk message box.

Spool Table options

  • Enabled - When enabled, the agent monitors and evaluates the count of the BizTalk Message Box Spool
  • Spool count - Warning threshold - The number of posts in the BizTalk Message Box Spool required to trigger a Warning alert
  • Spool count - Error threshold - The number of posts in the BizTalk Message Box Spool to trigger an Error alert
  • Warning grace time span - The grace time before a Warning alert will be raised. Format (days.hours:minutes:seconds e.g. 7.12:30:59)
  • Error grace time span - The grace time before an Error alert will be raised. Format (days.hours:minutes:seconds e.g. 7.12:30:59)

Examples of usage and further reading can be found in the 'Spool count' user guide

Tracking Data

From the Tracking Data tab, you control monitoring options for the 'TrackingData' table in the BizTalk message box. TrackingData Table options

  • Enabled - When enabled, the agent monitors and evaluates the count of BizTalk Message Box Tracking Data
  • Tracking Data count - Warning threshold - The number of posts in the BizTalk Message Box Tracking Data required to trigger a Warning alert
  • Tracking Data count - Error threshold - The number of posts in the BizTalk Message Box Tracking Data to trigger an Error alert
  • Warning grace time span - The grace time before a Warning alert will be raised. Format (days.hours:minutes:seconds e.g. 7.12:30:59)
  • Error grace time span - The grace time before an Error alert will be raised. Format (days.hours:minutes:seconds e.g. 7.12:30:59)

Examples of usage and further reading can be found in the 'Tracking Data count' user guide

Instances

Suspended Instances Thresholds

From the Suspended Instances Thresholds tab, you control monitoring options for Suspended Instances either globally or specific by BizTalk Application Suspended Instances Thresholds

  • Warning count - If the number of suspended instances is higher than the specified value, a Warning alert will be raised
  • Error count - If the number of suspended instances is higher than the specified value, an Error alert will be raised
  • Warning time span - The longest allowed time for instances to be suspended before a Warning alert will be raised. Format (days.hours:minutes:seconds e.g. 7.12:30:59)
  • Error time span - The longest allowed time for instances to be suspended before an Error alert will be raised. (days.hours:minutes:seconds e.g. 7.12:30:59)
  • Specific configurations

Examples of usage and further reading can be found in the 'Suspended Instances' user guide

Specific configurations

You can opt to provide settings that are unique for named BizTalk Application. Click on the Add button to enter the filter to be applied. Any number of filters can be added.

The fields are virtually a repetition of the global ones but are applied on provided name for BizTalk Application Name Specific settings for suspended instances by application

Active Instances Thresholds

From the Active tab, you control monitoring options for Active Instances either globally or specific by BizTalk Application

Active Instances

  • Active instances - Warning threshold - The number of active instances required to trigger Warning alert
  • Active instances - Error threshold - The number of active instances required to trigger Error alert
  • Specific configurations

Examples of usage and further reading can be found in the 'Active Instances' user guide

Specific configurations

Configuration options for Active instances unique by BizTalk Application name

You can opt to provide settings that are unique for named BizTalk Application. Click on the Add button to enter filter to be applied. Any number of filters can be added.

The fields are virtually a repetition of the global ones but are applied on named BizTalk Application

Dehydrated thresholds

From the Dehydrated tab, you control monitoring options for Dehydrated Instances either globally or specific by BizTalk Application Dehydrated Instances Thresholds

  • Warning count - If the number of suspended instances is higher than the specified value, a Warning alert will be raised
  • Error count - If the number of suspended instances is higher than the specified value, an Error alert will be raised
  • Warning time span - The longest allowed time for instances to be suspended before a Warning alert will be raised. Format (days.hours:minutes:seconds e.g. 7.12:30:59)
  • Error time span - The longest allowed time for instances to be suspended before an Error alert will be raised. (days.hours:minutes:seconds e.g. 7.12:30:59)
  • Specific configurations

Examples of usage and further reading can be found in the 'Dehydrated Instances' user guide

Scheduled thresholds

From the Scheduled tab, you control monitoring options for Scheduled Instances either globally or specific by BizTalk Application Scheduled Instances Thresholds

  • Warning count - If the number of suspended instances is higher than the specified value, a Warning alert will be raised
  • Error count - If the number of suspended instances is higher than the specified value, an Error alert will be raised
  • Warning time span - The longest allowed time for instances to be suspended before a Warning alert will be raised. Format (days.hours:minutes:seconds e.g. 7.12:30:59)
  • Error time span - The longest allowed time for instances to be suspended before an Error alert will be raised. (days.hours:minutes:seconds e.g. 7.12:30:59)
  • Specific configurations

Examples of usage and further reading can be found in the 'Scheduled Instances' user guide

Retrying thresholds

From the Retrying tab, you control monitoring options for Retrying Instances either globally or specific by BizTalk Application Retrying Instances Thresholds

  • Warning count - If the number of suspended instances is higher than the specified value, a Warning alert will be raised
  • Error count - If the number of suspended instances is higher than the specified value, an Error alert will be raised
  • Warning time span - The longest allowed time for instances to be suspended before a Warning alert will be raised. Format (days.hours:minutes:seconds e.g. 7.12:30:59)
  • Error time span - The longest allowed time for instances to be suspended before an Error alert will be raised. (days.hours:minutes:seconds e.g. 7.12:30:59)
  • Specific configurations

Examples of usage and further reading can be found in the 'Retrying Instances' user guide

Ready to Run thresholds

From the Ready to Run tab, you control monitoring options for Ready to Run Instances either globally or specific by BizTalk Application Ready to Run Instances Thresholds

  • Warning count - If the number of suspended instances is higher than the specified value, a Warning alert will be raised
  • Error count - If the number of suspended instances is higher than the specified value, an Error alert will be raised
  • Warning time span - The longest allowed time for instances to be suspended before a Warning alert will be raised. Format (days.hours:minutes:seconds e.g. 7.12:30:59)
  • Error time span - The longest allowed time for instances to be suspended before an Error alert will be raised. (days.hours:minutes:seconds e.g. 7.12:30:59)
  • Specific configurations

Examples of usage and further reading can be found in the 'Ready Instances' user guide

Tracking

These options help you have the proper tracking configuration for pipelines at all times

From the Tracking tab, you control monitoring options for currently BizTalk Pipelines.

Please also review the Recommended tracking settings for default pipelines user guide! There is a BUG in BizTalk that Nodinite can tackle.

Tracking tab

  • Warn for 'Track Events' disabled - When enabled, the agent evaluates tracking settings for pipelines and warns when 'Port start and end events' and 'Message send and receive events' is disabled
  • Warn for 'Track Message Bodies' enabled - When enabled, the agent evaluates tracking settings for pipelines and warns when 'Message before pipeline processing' and/or 'Message after pipeline processing' is enabled
These options should be all checked to help you have the proper tracking configuration for pipelines at all times

Examples of usage and further reading can be found in the 'Tracking for Default Pipelines' user guide

Settings tab

There are some general settings for the agent available in the Settings tab.

  • Environment - A name used to describe the type of environment being monitored, for example Test, Prod, QA

  • Debug - Enabled when Checked or Disabled Unchecked, in a production environment this should be Unchecked

  • Culture Information - Select appropriate culture to format the output of date and time in your preferred format

  • Use Monitor Agent Database - When enabled (mandatory when the agent is clustered )

    • The agent will keep statistic information about suspended instances and enables the 'View history for suspended messages' and the report for 'Suspended instances' from the 'Health Check' category
    • When clustered the agent also keeps the configuration in the database instead of in the Settings.json file
  • Monitor Agent Database Connection String - Connection String to the database where the Monitor Agent can store historical information

for example: Server=%servername%;Database=%Nodinite_MonitorAgent_BizTalk_TEST%;Integrated Security=SSPI;Connection Timeout=60

Installing and updating the Monitoring database is described in the following shared user guide

  • Include detailed description - The 'Include detailed description' setting determines whether the agent should add a detailed description of Resources. This increases the amount of data sent between BizTalk Agent and Nodinite. Default is unchecked.

  • List suspended instances by service name - The 'List suspended instances by service name' option should in most cases only be used for non-enterprise versions of BizTalk Server. This is due to the 1 or 5 application limit (depending on BizTalk edition like branch and standard). Default is unchecked (as most Nodinite customers are using the Enterprise edition of BizTalk).

  • Enable download and visibility of body for suspended messages - To be used when granting access to the suspended message body

  • Enable download and visibility of context for suspended messages - To be used when granting access to the suspended message context

png_BizTalkServerSettings

Save

You must click Save for changes to be written to the agent and take effect.
png_SaveAndClose

Note: Depending on the synchronization interval set for the agent, there might be a delay before the Web Client reflects upon the change. You can choose to force the agent to synchronize from the configuration of the Monitoring Agent Configuration.

Save and close, saves and closes the dialogue. Cancel Close the dialogue without saving any changes.


Add BizTalk Monitoring Agent Configuration

After successful installation: of the Microsoft BizTalk Server Monitoring Agent you must provide Nodinite with connection details so the Monitoring Service knows there's a new guy in town.

No monitoring or other configuration of the Microsoft BizTalk Server Monitoring Agent is available until the steps below has been followed

Configuration Steps

  1. Add and configure a new Monitoring Agent Configuration

    • Connection information is available in the README.txt file in the installation folder

  2. Use the Remote Configuration feature to configure the agent. Detailed at the beginning of this user guide.

  3. Create one or more self-service enabled Monitor Views that includes selected Resources provided by the Microsoft BizTalk Server Monitoring Agent according to business needs.

  4. Fine-tune specific settings directly on Resources using Remote Actions


Next Step