Hello BizTalk community !

 

long time I did not write a post on my MBV blog and update the tool ! I was indeed quite busy in my new role helping SharePoint developers but I always kept an eye on the BizTalk business and maintained strong relationships inside MS with BizTalk Support and Field/Consultants engineers.

Some of them reported me some MBV warnings about SQL versions which were not anymore accurate because of new SQL updates.
I also found myself  the need to update rules checking the Cumulative Upates presence for BizTalk itself, BizTalk Adapter Pack, or HIS layer. 
Finally, I received also requests to reduce some latency when opening large MBV report files in IE.

I decided so to work on a new major MBV version, implementing first a mechanism to generate multiple output files, updating its repository (rules and queries), its warning event mechanism , and finally fixing an issue with the MBV MMC Snapin :

1) This new version provides now a global option (in MBV GUI)  allowing to split the output report into sub-reports file and using frames for .HTML files; that option is disabled by default  to keep generating a single report file (like in previous MBV versions).
When that option is enabled , MBV will create a sub-folder for each new collect with the current date/time as name and will generate in that folder several .HTML files (also  .TXT  and .XML if you selected to also produce them).
Each .HTML file corresponds to a section of a single MBV report and they will be loaded in the MAINPAGE.HTML containing 4 frames :

- top left frame to diplay a list of main sub-reports to load in the top right frame
- top right frame which can change depending of which sub-report you selected in the top left frame
- bottom left frame to diplay the query categories list to load in the bottom right frame
- bottom right frame which will contain all the time the queries report.

By default  I display in the top right frame the Warnings sub-report and when we click in a warning to be redirected to a query report, I just expand the corresponding query in the bottom right rame so it is a very fast link and make the analyze more comfortable.
A text status file containing all the collect activity and the errors met.will also be generated in the sub-folder.
Console version of MBV, MBVConsole.exe,  provides now two options, /MRF and /SRF to produce either Multiple Report Files or a Single Report File.
If you need so to generate multiple output files and analyze the output using the frame-based page, just set the global option “Generate Multiple Files” to True in MBV GUI or use MBVConsole with the option /MRF   (Multiple Report File)

2) As requested by a major customer using MBV to monitor their BizTalk group, I updated the MBV rule engine to implement Event IDs for each warning generated as an event.
MBV provides indeed a global option (in its GUI version) to generate Application events for its warnings, but until now all the events generated had 0 as ID value; this MBV update will generate now for each warning raised a unique ID with a base event ID range that you can choose in the GUI version of MBV.

3) Finally I fixed an important issue occuring with the MBV MMC Snapin.
I recall that MBV MMC is an MMC snapin to start the BizTalk "MsgBoxViewer" tool from an MMC console and display directly inside the console the generated reports with their different sections.
MBVMMC would allow for example a BizTalk administrator to have his own custom MMC console (.MSC) integrating both the BizTalk Snap-in and the MBV one.
If yoo look indeed at the file behind the BizTalk Administration console, you can see that it is an .msc file  containing both the Microsoft BizTalk Server MMC Snap-in and the Event Viewer one, so if you add in a same .msc both the Biztalk MMC snapin and the MBV one and save the MMC into the existing file “BTSmmc.msc” in the BizTalk install folder, you will see the MBV MMC in the BizTalk Admin console ;-)

 

This is below so a summary of the main changes made in that MBV version :

-  Possibility now to generate multiple output file and display the reports in a frame-based maain page
-  Updated the BizTalk CUs rule
-  Updated the BizTalk BAP CUs rule
-  Added  rukes to check for  HIS kinstalltion and HIS Cumulative Updates
-  Added more  KB rules in the events query (select the ”Max Events..”  query to see all its rules)
-  The “Max events.. »  query targets now ALL the BTS in the group and not only the  server where MBV is running
-  The “Network drivers »  query targets now also the BTS servers
-  Added a query to get the operation history of BAM
-  Added a rule checking for the failure of the BizTalk monitor job and suggesting to install CU 1 if not installed
-  Updated the query to get versions of important dlls to get version of MQSeries, mqagent2, mqac.sys, etc…
-  Adding two optional queries (in the “BT DBs Details” category)  to get DTA tracking info per orch and per port
-  Generate now a unique ID for each rule raising a warning in the Event log
-  MBV MMC Snapin was fixed

 

 you can find this new version here :

http://blogs.technet.com/b/jpierauc/archive/2007/12/18/msgboxviewer.aspx


 

Even if BizTalk is not anymore my core business, I want to continue updating the tool at least to follow the CUs update cycle and adding some critical rules when needed

As usual, feel free to report me your feedbacks or submit any issues or questions you could have about MBV

Thanks !

 

JP

Jean-Pierre Auconie
EMEA SharePoint Development Escalation Engineer
Former EMEA BizTalk Technical lead &  BizTalk Escalation Engineer
MCROSOFT FRANCE
jpierauc@microsoft.com