"The 80/20 rule"
Monitoring a BizTalk application or group is about 80% or more of its entire life-cycle. Installing, configuring, implementation will consume around 20% or less. Therefore keeping a BizTalk environment healthy and stable is one of the most important tasks of a (BizTalk) administrator. It requires a lot of knowledge about BizTalk group itself, the applications and the infrastructure. So this post will tell you what the TechNet Wiki has to offer, what articles have been written and what the authors, experienced BizTalk professionals and administrators have to say.
"The administration console is not enough"
Managing of a BizTalk group and its applications can be done with the out of the box Administration Console. This is a part of BizTalk Server that focuses on the BizTalk Group itself, providing the:
- ability to manage applications,
- configure adapters,
- troubleshoot issues.
However it is not suitable for monitoring BizTalk, generating alerts or sending notifications to administrators. A tool or product that provides kind of capabilities and features is required, see BizTalk Monitoring Tools TechNet Wiki article.
"Community is the driving force of the TechNet Wiki"
To monitor BizTalk an administrator will need tools, guidelines and knowledge. Information about tools, guidelines, best practices, checklists, and so on can all be found here on the TechNet Wiki. Articles written by the following community members, Microsoft Integration MVP's and Microsoft:
- El Bo
- Lex Hegt
- Saravana Kumar
- Tord G.Nordahl
- Mandi Anez Ohlinger [MSFT]
- Sandro Pereira
- Steef-Jan Wiggers
- Trace Young
The authors listed above have been contributing to the TechNet Wiki on BizTalk Administration for the last two years.
"TechNet Wiki is the MSDN on steroids"
Below you will find statements on the TechNet Wiki from some of the authors with years of experience in BizTalk administration:
"More than 2 years ago the TechNet Wiki has been embraced by a number of leading BizTalk community members. Since that time the number of Wiki articles and Gallery contributions, which mostly contains all kind of BizTalk related SQL and PowerShell scripts, has grown vastly. The TechNet Wiki contains many articles which can be used/applied directly in the daily operation of BizTalk Administration. But you´ll also find articles on topics like Architecture and Development. All in all, when it comes to BizTalk, I consider TechNet Wiki as one of the most valuable resources on the internet!"
"All platforms have their purpose, but unlike other platforms like blogs, community sites or magazines that can reach maybe a few thousand people and that express the point of view of the author (they are closed platforms), the TechNet Wiki is a live and open platform that anyone can pick up an article, fix it or add relevant content, making it always up to date. By being always up to date this makes TechNet Wiki as a most value asset to all the readers, especially in small articles with focus in one topic, articles that are cross-reference for other sources or knowledge bases. However in my opinion not everything should be published in the TechNet Wiki as an article, instead of re-creating thousands of articles that already are available you can create an article that is a cross-reference to other platforms a good example is BizTalk Server: List of Errors and Warnings, Causes and Solutions."
"TechNet Wiki will be my prime resource for BizTalk Administration"
Here lists of articles categorized on topics/theme's written by the listed authors, some of them even won the TechNet Guru of the Month medal or were in the weekly spotlight:
- Recommendations for Installing, Sizing, Deploying, and Maintaining a BizTalk Server Solution
- BizTalk Server: White Paper Gallery
- BizTalk Server: List of Errors and Warnings, Causes and Solutions (Tuesday ArticleSpotlight)
- BizTalk Roles
- BizTalk - Setting up a Technology Infrastructure Team (TIS)
- BizTalk Monitoring Tools
- BizTalk: Troubleshooting with Performance Monitor
- BizTalk: Monitoring and Automatically Starting Host Instances Via A Scheduled Task (TechNet Guru Gold Medal Winner June)
- BizTalk Administrator's Checklist Compiled by Microsoft BizTalk Support
- BizTalk Health Check
- BizTalk Server installation and configuration checklist (TechNet Guru Gold Medal Winner August)
- Training Resources for BizTalk Administrators
- BizTalk Administrator Interview Questions and Answers
- BizTalk Administrator Interview Questions and Answers (50 Q&A) (Tuesday ArticleSpotlight)
- Microsoft BizTalk Server seen by the administrator's eyes
In case you are responsible for monitoring BizTalk within your enterprise, or stepping into a role as a BizTalk administrator, or curious to learn more about guidelines or best practices. You can read about it in any of the listed articles above. In case you find something worth sharing with the BizTalk community on these topics or other please feel free to write a TechNet Wiki article about it!