BizTalk Server 2006 R3

April 29, 2008

So you may have heard about OSLO. If not, you can read more about it here http://www.microsoft.com/soa/products/oslo.aspx

Since its announcement at the SOA conference October 2007, the rumor was that it wouldn’t be available for a couple few years.  As such, expected needs for a service pack, updates to play well with Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2008, etc suggested an interim release might be needed. As suspected, R3 was announced.

BizTalk Server 2006 R3 will provide us with a number of updates. Since this is not considered a major release, it has taken on the name of R3 to follow the current release version named R2. It is expected to provide operability for Windows 2008, SQL Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and.NET 3.5 further promoting next-generation web and service oriented applications, virtualization, scalability and office interoperability.

Additionally, the long awaited UDDI Version 3.0 support for web service registry functionality, new adapters for LOB application, enhancements to industry protocols and additional patterns and best practices can all be expected.

We should see a CTP release sometime during the summer of 2008 with an RTM sometime in H1 2009.

Additional information about this announcement can be found on Steven Martin’s blog located here: http://blogs.msdn.com/stevemar/archive/2008/04/23/biztalk-server-platform-updates.aspx


BizTalk Server Best Practices Analyzer v1.1

April 5, 2008

Recently, a close knit group of folks inside of Microsoft have been working real hard collaborating on enhancements to the BizTalk Server Best Practice Analyzer V1.1 (BPA) tool. They have recently released Version 1.1 and has been posted up on Microsoft Downloads.

Overview
The BizTalk Server Best Practices Analyzer performs configuration-level verification by reading and reporting only. The Best Practices Analyzer gathers data from different information sources, such as Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) classes, SQL Server databases, and registry entries. The Best Practices Analyzer uses the data to evaluate the deployment configuration. The Best Practices Analyzer does not modify any system settings, and is not a self-tuning tool.

What’s new:
The followings rules are relevant to the current PSS Top Issues in the area of Orchestration, Configuration and SQL/DTC. Even though BizTalk BPA is only one of the solutions that can help to resolve the Top Issues, having these rules shows a step to the right direction. We have doubled the rules. V1.0 has 77 rules, v1.1 has 220 with 143 new rules added! 

Here are some rules that are relevant to PSS Top Issues:

  1. Added a warning rule for stopped orchestrations
  2. A check on MaxLogSize MSDTC
  3. Verify that TempDB and BizTalkMsgBoxDb data and log files are placed on separate drives
  4. Check that the Max Degree of Parallelism setting is set to 0 in all other BizTalk databases
  5. Verify that the MaxWorkerThreads in the SQL Server UMS configuration setting is set to XXX
  6. Check that the Maximum Server Memory is set to XXX GB
  7. System Time Diff between SQL and BizTalk Machines
  8. Orphaned SPIDs
  9. SQL Server Service Pack Installed for DB : xxxxxx
  10. Ignore Duplicate Key check
  11. Check Biztalk SQL Server Jobs running or not

Other Best Practice Analyzers

  1. BizTalk Server Best Practice Analyzer
  2. Best Practice Analyzer for ASP.NET
  3. SQL Server 2005 Best Practice Analyzer
  4. Exchange Server Best Practice Analyzers
  5. SharePoint Services and Office Best Practice
  6. patterns & practices Guidance Explorer

All must haves for your tool bag of tricks!