Microsoft BizTalk Server Seen by the Administrator's Eyes - II

Microsoft BizTalk Server Seen by the Administrator's Eyes - II


Introduction

This is a follow up to the "Microsoft BizTalk Server seen by the programmer’s eyes" There are a lot of different articles here explaining BizTalk, its uses and guidelines for setup etc.

This article is created to show the benefits BizTalk offers the administrators or IT Pros.

What is a BizTalk Administrator?

A BizTalk administrator (also referred to as IT-Pro) in general is responsible of the environments running BizTalk, this may be environments like production, test, QA or some of them. They are responsible for the general health, setup, configuration and maintenance. They may be responsible for installation, deletion and updating applications, maintain the BizTalk server park etc.

The role may include the following or even more:
  • Administration of the BizTalk Environment
  • Administration of the BizTalk Applications
  • Administration of the BizTalk third-party applications and programs
  • Maintain the servers
  • Patching the servers
  • Keeping track of statistics
  • Keeping track of residual errors
  • Documentation
  • Creating and maintaining guidelines
  • etc

Job Market

The job market for BizTalk administrators is somewhat different from company to company the large the use of BizTalk the larger the crew of BizTalk Administrators. BizTalk Administrators are responsible of the environment and applications running on it. Generally most environments starts out with the developer being responsible for the environment and solution and as time goes the entire environment is taken over by one or more BizTalk administrators to maintain stability and availability.

General information about BizTalk is that over the years the product has become a success and is currently market leader when it comes to integration systems, being currently one of most used product in the world in its area also shows the need of competent BizTalk Administrators, as demonstrate the following facts:
  • More than 10,000 customers all over the world
  • 81% of the "Top 100" Fortune Magazine
  • 12 of the 15 largest Retailers in the World run Microsoft BizTalk
  • 5 of 10 largest Hotel Chains in the World with over 2 Million rooms use Microsoft BizTalk
  • 9 of 10 largest U.S. Telecommunications Companies use Microsoft BizTalk
  • 6 of the 8 largest U.S. Pharmaceutical Companies use Microsoft BizTalk
  • 4 of the 5 largest U.S. Electronics Parts Manufacturers use Microsoft BizTalk
  • 9 of the 10 largest Aerospace and Defense Companies in the U.S. run Microsoft BizTalk
  • 5 of the 8 largest U.S. Chemical Companies run Microsoft BizTalk
  • 4 of the 5 largest Railroads in the U.S. run Microsoft BizTalk
  • 9 of the 10 largest Insurance Companies in the World run Microsoft BizTalk
  • 23 of 27 EU member governments use Microsoft BizTalk to provide more efficient government services
With a robust massaging infrastructure, dehydration and rehydration functionalities, more than 25 multi-platform adapters, rules engine (BRE), ability to obtain performance information on critical business processes, debug, persistence, treatment and error recovery, transaction makes BizTalk Server a tool and infrastructure unique, ideal to be used primarily for Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), Business to Business (B2B) Integration and Business Process Management (BPM) solutions.

Features available for administrators

There are many tools being used for BizTalk Administrators, some of the are already built-in as a part of the product, these are
  • BizTalk Administration Console
  • Microsoft SQL Management Studio

There are also numerous other tools available:

  • SCOM
    Scom is the original dedicated monitoring tools for the Microsoft Platform, BizTalk has its own management pack included for monitoring BizTalk, is rather hard to set up but will grant a good overview and quick information when elements fail.
  • BizTalk360
    BizTalk 360 is created by MVP Saravana Kumar and is a Silverlight product to monitor, manage and maintain your BizTalk environment. Easy to setup and use. Grants great auditing possibilities and easy setup for monitoring.
  • MessageBox Viewer
    MessageBox Viewer is a tool created to give a fast and quick health check of your environment to locate and issues or failures you may have in your environment, it also grants you with a lot of best practices and references to solutions to different problems.
  • Terminator tool
    The terminator tool is a tool to clean up your BizTalk database and to resolve different errors like orphaned messages etc.
  • BizTalk Best Practice Analyzer
    BizTalk Best Practice Analyzer tool is created to give you and overview if the environment is set up according to best practices it will also give you some information of errors found in the environment.
  • BizTalk Benchmark Wizard
    The Benchmark Wizard will give a great stress test of your environment and a great way to find any possible bottlenecks.
  • PAL
    PAL is a tool to take out the "unreadable" logs from the performance logs into a readable and predefined set of rules to locate any issues of the setup of your environment.
  • BizTalk Message Decompressor
    This tool enables you to decompress BizTalk messages/context from a screen that looks like SQL Query Analyzer.
    By simple entering a SQL query and some custom functions, you can retrieve (partial) message content and/or context. Handy for administrators/engineers!

There are many more tools available for BizTalk you can read more here.

Benefits to work as a BizTalk Administrator

One of the main personal gains to work as BizTalk administrators is all the different scenarios and cases you may experience. these may be network related, file shares, different adapters and system including many more interesting elements when it comes to different customers and the way they have implemented the use of BizTalk. No environment is the same and almost all applications are unique, this provides you with a great opportunity to expand your knowledge across many areas and learn a lot of different elements within IT. There is also a huge lack of good and competent BizTalk Administrators around the world and work possibilities is not too hard to find.

See Also

Read suggested related topics:

Another important place to find a huge amount of BizTalk related articles is the TechNet Wiki itself. The best entry point is BizTalk Server Resources on the TechNet Wiki.
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Comments
  • Tord G.Nordahl edited Revision 6. Comment: spelling and gram.

  • Awesome

  • Added the BizTalk Message Decompressor. Especially handy for Technical Application Engineers who work with BizTalk systems..

  • Good article Tord, but should be more unbiased and include other 3rd party monitoring tools to make the list a bit more complete.

  • Well Marius if you feel the artikel should be enhanced by describing more 3rd party tools than do so instead of  criticizing the author. Wiki articles are intended to be edited in case one feels it contains error, wrong information or requires more information. I noticed you did so with BizTalk Monitoring Tools!  

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