Hello BizTalk users !
long time I did not write a post on my MBV blog ! 😉
Indeed, as mentioned in my previous blog I moved one year ago to SharePoint development business assisting my customers in their development around SharePoint, and also debugging and interacting with our SharePoint Product group to push for some hotfixes when needed, and I was very busy with that new job . Another wide product so for me to learn but the same type of challenges than for BizTalk ! 😉
Coming back to MBV blog and this post, I thought it was needed to update more frequently my blog and talk for example today about the way to automate or schedule MBV reports, and also discuss about its possible integration with other products.
Schedule MBV reports
Maybe you don't know but MBV is provided in two modes : a GUI mode and a console one.
The filename for the GUI application is MsgBoxViewer.exe, just like the name of my tool, and the filename for the Console application is MBVConsole.exe and, as the name implies, represents the console version of MBV tool.
Knowing that the console version starts immediatelty by executing its queries and rules (without so pressing any button or validation process), you can realize that it is easy to spawn or trigger MBV from another tool, or even to schedule MBV to start it periodically using for example the Windows Scheduler or any other scheduler tool.
MBVConsole.exed provides some optional parameters to specify for example the output directory, or if you want also generate .XML file,etc...
Just type "MBVConsole /?" to display the list of possible options.
Let me clarify now the way MBV manages its settings :
MBV is keeping all its settings (global options) and also the list of selected queries and rules in a file named MBVSettings.xml.
Both Console and GUI applications will generate this file on their exit but only the GUI MBV application allows in its UI interface to modify MBV options (listed in the tab "global properties") and allows to choose the query and rules to execute.
Open that file to give you an idea of the type of properties MBV is keeping there.
Because both the Console version and the GUI one load the same settings file when found in the MBV folder, you can use so GUI application to configure the options and select the queries you want and updating the MBVSettings.xl file, and then MBVConsole can reuse it to run only the queries you selected 😉 just be sure howeever that the MBVSettings.xml file is present in the same folder than MBVConsole.exe so it can find and load it.
As I said above, you can so now start MBV from a parent tool or include MBV execution in some batch file, or even schedule it.
Read for example the interesting blog of Richard Hallgren http://www.richardhallgren.com/receiving-scheduled-msgboxviewer-reports-via-e-mail/ to receive scheduled MBV reports via e-mail.
At the time Richard wrote his post, MBV console filename was btsdbcollect.exe so you will have to replace it with its new name MBVConsole.exe
Integrate MBV reports
I notice that there is some more and more demand to integrate MBV output (the Warning sections of its html report for example) in other tools.
- If you don't use already that option, I would like to let you know that MBV offers you the posibility to generate all its warnings in the Application Event log of the server executing MBV, just read one of my previous posts detailing that option :
HOW TO use MBV as a periodic Monitoring tool alerting user of warnings
- Using the "Generate XML" global option of MBV, you can ask MBV (in both the GUI and Console Applications) to generate also its reports in .XML format using a specific schema, and you can then develop any parsing tools you want to parse the .XML and produce the output you want in your own tool.
If you want to see now a great example of a such nice integration of MBV reports in another tool, I would personnally recommend to have a look on BizTalk360 product : http://www.biztalk360.com and read specially this article from Saravana :
Message Box Viewer - BizTalk360 Integration
Well, I finished that post and I hope that it can help you or give you some idea in some possible MBV integration or MBV automation.
I admit that I did not touch my blog for a while but keep an eye on it as I will inform you there of an upcoming next build of MBV with some additional rules