Introduction

BizTalk application management is an important part of maintaining a healthy BizTalk envrionment. Ensuring good quality integration applications and problem free deployment of them is critical. One step is to make this process consistent for all applications. When repeating a process several times, there is need for good checklists. This article will provide such checklists for BizTalk administrators.

The first three apply to the actual development process, and the last two during installation/removal of them. Note that these checklists are meant for administrators. Separate peer-review checklists should be made for developers.

  • Solution Design Approval Checklist
  • Pre-QA Checklist
  • Pre-Prod Checklist
  • BizTalk Application Installation Checklist
  • BizTalk Application Removal Checklist

Each checklist will be described in more detail below. When using these checklists with several customers, new customer-specific items can be added as desired. They may also need more details. The checklists below are meant to be baselines. Each checklist item must be approved before proceeding to next stage. Deviations can of course be approved.

Solution Design Approval Checklist

This checklist is performed after the developer has created an overall architecture and design of a new application (or major redesign of an existing one). No actual development has started at this point. The developer, a senior developer/architect/tech lead and an administrator participate. The goal is to have an overview of what's coming, ensure the application is up to par concerning technology choices, and required documentation at this stage exists. The Operations team should be able to plan capacity etc. after this stage.

The first column describes the actual item to be verified. The second is a boolean Yes/No, and the last is a comment in cases where items are failed.

 Item Approved?  Comment 
Is the proposed design approved? Is the correct technology used (BizTalk/SSIS/Azure etc.)?    
Is the required documentation in place (system diagram, specifications, expected load etc.)?    
Have test cases been defined?    

Pre-QA Checklist

This checklist is performed before the application is installed in QA environment. This is an environment where developers do not have access. Note there is no Pre-Test Checklist. Developers should be able to deploy their applications in a Test environment several times without passing a checklist repeatedly. The developer and an administrator participate here. The goal is to ensure good enough quality, and proper installation instructions are in place.

Item Approved?  Comment 
Is the application naming consistent (HUB, TFS, BAM, documentation)?    
Do installation instructions and -scripts look OK?    
Are source artifacts separated by environment, and do not contain temp-files?    
Does QA binding file look OK?
(Updates to existing applications must only contain changed artifacts)
   

Pre-Prod Checklist

This checklist is performed before the application is installed in Prod environment. This is also an environment where developers do not have access. The developer and an administrator participate here. The goal is to ensure good enough quality for a Prod environment.

Item Approved?  Comment 
Has the application run successfully in QA?    
Do installation instructions and -scripts look OK?    
Are source artifacts separated by environment, and do not contain temp-files?    
Does Prod binding file look OK?
(Updates to existing applications must only contain changed artifacts)
   
Is the required documentation in place?    
Usernames and password secured, but available for Operations?    
Security requirements OK?    

BizTalk Application Installation Checklist

This checklist is meant for administrators when installing an application (in any environment).

  • Your client computer is set up for deployments (applicable when using PowerShell scripts on a client computer)
  • All required reviews approved?
  • ITSM requirements OK?
  • All required BizTalk hosts ready?
  • Deploy application according to instructions
  • Select correct BizTalk host before starting the application
  • Disable tracking unless specifically required (Production)
  • Add application monitoring in BizTalk360/SCOM etc. if applicable
  • Perform post-installation ITSM tasks
  • Update documentation

BizTalk Application Removal Checklist

This checklist is meant for administrators when removing an application (in any environment).

  • Is the application in use? Get business customer approval
  • ITSM requirements OK?
  • Remove monitoring in BizTalk360/SCOM etc. if applicable
  • Disable the application
  • A couple of weeks after the previous item, remove/delete the application. Make sure all artifacts are removed (database/SSO variables, file folders, IIS services, parties, BRE, scheduled tasks, SQL agent jobs, 3rd party tools). Undeploy BAM before removing the application in BizTalk. Be careful about shared artifacts
  • IMPORTANT: Restart applicable hosts
  • Remove application specific hosts if applicable
  • Perform same steps in all environments
  • Perform post-installation ITSM tasks
  • Update documentation

See also

Read suggested related topics:

  • Understanding BizTalk Application Deployment and Management on MSDN
Another important place to find an extensive amount of BizTalk related articles is the TechNet Wiki itself. The best entry point is BizTalk Server Resources on the TechNet Wiki.