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Overview

  • Updated on 28 May 2018
  • 9 minutes to read
  • Contributors

Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) can be used by managers as it provides a complete overview of the business processes across the environment. BAM is a collection of tools that monitor business milestones and key metrics throughout a process in the BizTalk Server environment. The business users can set up specific data points during the business process that will give them an insight to what is happening during the process. The key aspect of BAM is that it can help you to view the business information in almost as real-time as possible. This is referred to as 'Zero latency'.

Advantages of BAM for IT Managers:

  1. Gain insight on the status of different business processes
  2. Up-to-date information available through portal/alerts
  3. Streamline business operations - escalate issues at the earliest

BizTalk360 comes with an integrated BAM portal that allows the business users to query BAM views, perform activity search, view the user permissions, and the activities time window. BizTalk360 picks up the configurations automatically if you have used the BizTalk Server BAM functionality and displays them in the portal. The reason BizTalk360 incorporates the BAM portal is to give seamless access to all information for the support people and minimize their efforts to jump between multiple tools to get different data related to the same application/environment.

BAM Views

A BAM activity represents a specific business process in the business, say for example, handling a purchase order. As a business user, you can create BAM activities to define information that you want to monitor in the business process with BAM. Business users can use the BAM Excel add-in to define the data that BAM needs to collect. BAM View is a representation of the data that is tracked in the BAM activity.

BizTalk360 lists all the BAM views configured in the environment under the BAM Views tab. When the BAM View is clicked, the drop down in the Build Query Expression section will display the list of BAM Activities. A BAM View can have one or more BAM Activities. When the BAM activity is selected from the drop-down, the available columns in the BAM activity are automatically populated under the 'Available Columns' section. You have the option to move the items from the available columns section to the Selected Columns list. Once the items are moved from the available columns section to selected columns section, you can optionally move them to the Order By section to tell the query builder how to sort the results and display them in the Query Results section.

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  1. Select Activity - Select the BAM Activity from the drop-down. All the activities associated with the BAM view will be listed.
  2. Available Columns - Once the activity is selected from the drop-down, all the available columns in that activity are automatically populated
  3. Selected Columns - The user can move the required column from the available column to the selected column by clicking the -> (arrow mark). The user can select multiple columns from the available column and move them at once to the selected columns section. Based on the values selected in the Selected Columns section, the result values will be populated when the query is executed. You can move the columns from the Selected columns to Available Columns section by clicking the <- (left arrow mark). The values can be moved up and down by clicking the downward and upward arrows.
  4. Order By - Moving from Selected Columns to Order By section is completely optional. The user can move the items to Order By section to tell the query builder how to sort the results and display them in the Query Results section. Move the columns between 'Selected Columns' and 'Order By' by clicking the -> and <- buttons.
  5. Descending - Click the checkbox to view the query results in the descending order
  6. Max Matches - Select the number of records to be fetched. Ex. 10, 25, 50, 100, ....
  7. Execute Query - Once all the values are selected, click Execute Query to view the query results. Depending on the values selected in the 'Selected Columns' and the order in which they have to be displayed (as per the 'Order By' section), the query results section will display the results.
  8. Add a Filter - To filter the results based on different parameters. Once the filter criteria are selected, you will automatically see the values for the filter getting listed in the drop down.
  9. The operator in most cases is 'Is Equal To'. But in the case of the date/time fields, the operator will be 'On or Before', 'On or Later', 'On', 'Before', 'Later', and so on. Once a filter item is chosen from the drop down and while adding a new filter, the previously selected item will not be visible in the drop down.

The integrated BAM portal comes with a powerful query builder that allows the support people to query the BAM data seamlessly. Follow the steps as shown below to build a query and perform the activity search:

  • Log into the BizTalk360 application
  • Click the 'Operations' tab in the navigation panel
  • Click the expand button against 'Data Access' tab and select 'Business Activity Monitoring' link
  • In the BAM Portal page, click on the 'BAM View Name'
  • In the Activity Search tab, select the BAM Activity name from the drop down under Build Query Expression section
  • Depending on the BAM Activity name selected, the Available Columns section will be populated with the column information. Select the required columns and click the -> (right arrow mark) to move them to the Selected Columns section.

You can select and move multiple items from the Available Column by pressing the Ctrl key and clicking the column names.

  • Follow the same procedure as in the previous step to move the columns from Available Column to Order By section. The purpose of Order By section is to let the system know how to sort the results when the query is executed.
  • Once the columns are set, select the Max Matches value from the drop down to filter the number of results in the Build Query Expression section
  • Click 'Add Filter' and select the required options if you wish to add complex filter criteria while building the query expression
  • Once the query is built, click 'Execute Query' to run the query and generate the results. The Query Results section will display the results based on the values selected in the Selected Column, Order By, and the filter criteria applied in the Build Query Expression section.

3a1036f-BAM-Activity-Search.gif This example shows you to perform an Activity Search for a Test activity.

Viewing BAM Database information in BizTalk360

The BAM databases screen displays the list of BAM databases for the environment and some properties of the database such as data file size, log file size and so on. The BAM databases information will be useful to the BizTalk Administrator to get an insight into the database information. From a monitoring perspective, it is important to keep an eye on the size of database data and log files. BizTalk360 eases this process by displaying them on the home screen under BAM Databases tab.

  • Log into the BizTalk360 application
  • Click the 'Operations' tab in the navigation panel
  • Click the expand button next to the 'Data Access' tab and select 'Business Activity Monitoring' link
  • In the BAM Portal page, click on the 'BAM Databases' tab
  • The BAM databases section displays the following information:
    1. Database Name
      
    2. Server Name
      
    3. Instance Name
      
    4. Auto Growth (Data)
      
    5. Auto Growth (Log)
      
    6. Data File Size (MB)
      
    7. Log File Size (MB)
      

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BAM Time Zone Implementation

The BAM Portal which, comes with BizTalk Server, shows the results of BAM Activities by default in Coordinated universal time zone (UTC). This might create some difficulty for users from different Time Zone, to ease their view of BAM. BizTalk360 comes with a better solution, by implementing the BAM Time Zone in BizTalk360. Using this, the user can set their System Time Zone in the BAM time Zone drop down. It will retrieve the time from the BAMPrimaryImport Database and then convert it to the respective User profile Time Zone set in BizTalk360.

BizTalk360-BAM-Portal-Customizable-Time-Zones.png

The available time zones will be displayed in the dropdown and the user can select and save the respective zone according to their system time. By default, UTC time is set for BAM views.

Selected time Zone will be applied to all the available views, and the result will be displayed according to the set Time zone. Only the Super User has the permission to set the BAM Time Zone. Normal users and Group users do not have the permission, but they can view the selected Time zone as below.

BAM related activities represent the atomic information of the Business milestones and Business Data. These activities can be accessed in BizTalk360 from the Activities Search screen under the BAM Views. Business milestones are the specific data which represent the state of the business processes and the data that represents data types are the Business Data. Being able to the get to the activities and documents within the BizTalk360 application reduces considerable time for BizTalk administrators.

BAM holds the concepts of Continuations and Relationships which are used to enhance the relational activity model. A Relationships model is used when the activity file contains more than one activity, i.e., in a real-time scenario, there may be multiple responses received for one order.

To view the BAM related activities and documents in BizTalk360:

  • Log into the BizTalk360 application
  • Click the 'Operations' tab in the navigation panel
  • Click the expand button against 'Data Access' tab and select 'Business Activity Monitoring' link
  • In the BAM Portal page, click on the 'BAM View Name'
  • In the Activity Search tab, select the BAM Activity name from the drop down under Build Query Expression section
  • Depending on the BAM Activity name selected, the Available Columns section will be populated with the column information. Select the required columns and click the -> (right arrow mark) to move them to the Selected Columns section.
  • Once the columns are set, select the Max Matches value from the drop down to filter the number of results in the Build Query Expression section
  • If you wish to add complex filter criteria while building the query expression, click 'Add Filter' and select the required options
  • Once the query is built, to run the query and generate the results. The Query Results section will display the results based on the values selected in the Selected Column, Order By, and the filter criteria applied in the Build Query Expression section.
  • Click on the query result row to view the detailed information of the transaction, related activities and related documents
  • In the Related Activities tab, click the eye icon to view the Related Activities details
  • You can download the Related Document from the Related Documents tab

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