Most of our customers prefer to install BizTalk360 in a standalone server. Importantly, this approach does not overload the BizTalk environment or the BizTalk360 instance. Quite often, the BizTalk360 database is configured on the same SQL Server instance as where BizTalk databases reside. At the same time, few customers prefer to configure the BizTalk360 database in a separate SQL Server Instance, considering the better performance and disk usage. Considering this fact, customers are acquiring a dedicated SQL Server for the BizTalk360 database. Meanwhile, few customers are using SQL Server Express edition, when they don’t prefer to buy a separate license for SQL Server. This article covers things that need to be considered when using SQL Server Express Edition.
BizTalk360 is installed on a standalone server with all components, which are:
The customer has installed SQL Server 2017 Express edition.
Let us see features and limitations of SQL Server Express edition.
Under this circumstance, user must take care of few considerations in BizTalk360 to keep the size of database within the value supported by SQL Express Edition. For better performance of data processing, make sure you keep the database as light as possible.
The following configuration will help to maintain BizTalk360 database as lightweight:
In a BizTalk environment it’s important to monitor the Event Log to avoid any activities blocked at the back-end. A BizTalk Administrator’s main job is to keep BizTalk System Resources, Disk Usage and Database processes 100% healthy!
BizTalk360 collects Event Log data based on configured Event Logs and Event Log Sources. With this collected data, the BizTalk360 Monitoring service will send notifications based on configuration (Threshold and Data Monitoring). From the Operations section, Event Log data access functionality is also available with all kind of filtering capabilities. In BizTalk Reporting Analytics, the Event Log widget is populating the report with “Top 10” Event Log sources.
Event Log data collection will need more space based on the configured number of sources and the number of physical BizTalk Servers and SQL Servers in an environment. We can see the possibility to reduce the amount of event log data collection by:
In a BizTalk production environment most of the users are using the BizTalk360 Analytics capabilities. The ‘Analytics’ section has the Performance Analyser functionality, the Messaging Patterns and the Throttling Analyser. The BizTalk360 services are also collecting data to generate the graphical widgets which are shown in multiple dashboards. Both Throttling and Performance data are collected every 15 secs. In a complex BizTalk environment data collection is at considerable size.
BizTalk Artifacts tracking can be enabled at port level and at pipeline level. BizTalk360 uses its Analytics service to determine Message Patterns, by querying tracking data which is collected from the BizTalkDTADb. Similarly, tracking data is used to visualize messaging performance by port and by pipeline.
The Analytics service is responsible for collecting the Throttling Performance Counter data from all the BizTalk servers in the environment. The BizTalk360 Throttling Analyser helps to simplify the complexity in understanding BizTalk throttling mechanism and provide a simple dashboard view.
Users can observe the ways to optimize the data collection;
To be able to get a good overview of all the Tracking settings within your BizTalk environment and to configure these settings in one consolidated screen, you can use the Advanced Tracking Manager.
BizTalk360 comes out of the box with the ability to set purging policies. The background Monitoring service has the capability to purge older data automatically after a specified period. Data purging is configurable for different activities which can be found under BizTalk360 Settings > Data Purging. Through this feature, you can control the size of data of the BizTalk360 database.
We have seen about the performance and the size of data implications with several features in BizTalk360. Using SQL Express edition with 4 CPU Cores, 1410 MB of buffer pool size and storage of 10 GB in a BizTalk Production environment is critical. A BizTalk/Database administrator must monitor the size of the database by setting purging policies to a minimum period for data persistence.
Consider using SQL Express edition with BizTalk360 based on case by case as we discussed.