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

Posted: March 2, 2016 in BizTalk
Tags: , , , , ,

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 identifying potential issues in the BizTalk environment.

MBV had over 400 rules that were 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 to offer 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 BizTalk360 team is already plan 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, 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 configure 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 is already plan and 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.

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