Business Activity Monitoring
  • 15 Nov 2021
  • 7 Minutes to read
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Business Activity Monitoring

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Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) can for example be used by functional administrators and managers as it can provide 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 into 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:

  1. Gain insight into 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 business users to query BAM views, perform Activity Searches, view the user permissions that are configured in BAM, and the Activities Time Window. If BAM is implemented in your BizTalk environment, BizTalk360 automatically picks up the configuration and displays the BAM data 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.

BizTalk360 does not impersonate the logged-in user to access BAM, all the access happens via the service account (IIS app pool identity). So required permission needs to be set for the service account.

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 the 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 cannot query BAM Activities directly. You need to assign permission to the service account via the bm.exe tool.

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 the 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.

  1. Select Query - Select the BAM Activity from the drop-down. All the activities associated with the BAM view will be listed
  2. Max Matches - Select the number of records to be fetched. Ex. 10, 25, 50, 100, ...
  3. 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
  4. Run Query - Once all the values are selected, click Run Query to view the query results
  5. Column Options- Once you have selected the Run Query option, all the available columns in that activity are automatically populated. The user can select the column option which is populated
  6. Run - Once all the values are selected, click Run to view the query results

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:

  1. Log in to the BizTalk360 application
  2. Select an environment from the environmental panel
  3. Click the Administration tab in the navigation panel
  4. Click the expand button against the BizTalk Services tab and select the Business Activity Monitoring link
  5. On the BAM Portal page, click on the BAM View Name
  6. In the Activity Search tab, select the BAM Activity name from the drop-down under the Build Query Expression section
  7. Depending on the BAM Activity name selected, the Available Columns section will be populated with the column information

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

8. 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

9. Click 'Add Filter' and select the required options if you wish to add complex filter criteria while building the query expression

10. Once the query is built, click 'Run 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


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 database 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 the BAM Databases tab.

  • Log in to the BizTalk360 application
  • Select an environment from the environmental panel
  • Click the Administration tab in the navigation panel
  • Click the expand button next to the BizTalk Services tab and select the Business Activity Monitoring link
  • On 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)

BAM Time Zone Implementation

The BAM Portal which, comes with BizTalk Server, shows the results of BAM Activities by default in a 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.

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.

The 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 permission to set the BAM Time Zone. Normal users and Group users do not have 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 that represent the state of the business processes and the data that represents data types are the Business Data. Being able to get to the activities and documents within the BizTalk360 application reduces the 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:

  1. Log in to the BizTalk360 application
  2. Select an environment from the environmental panel
  3. Click the Administration tab in the navigation panel
  4. Click the expand button against the BizTalk services tab and select the Business Activity Monitoring link
  5. On the BAM Portal page, click on the BAM View Name
  6. In the Activity Search tab, select the BAM Activity name from the drop-down under the Build Query Expression section
  7. Depending on the BAM Activity name selected, the Available Columns section will be populated with the column information
  8. 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
  9. If you wish to add complex filter criteria while building the query expression, click Add Filter and select the required options
  10. Once the query is built, 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
  11. Click on the query result row to view the detailed information of the transaction, related activities, and related documents
  12. In the Related Activities tab, click the eye icon to view the Related Activities details
  13. You can download the Related Document from the Related Documents tab




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