How does Span Across enhancement improve the existing Data Monitoring Capabilities?


For a set of diverse data that are collected in the BizTalk server to assert and detect failures happening during message processing, BizTalk360 makes it easy for BizTalk admins to automate the BizTalk administration tasks using the Data Monitoring feature. For example, if your business is expecting 100 messages from SAP at a particular time, say during the business hours between 9 AM to 5 PM. BizTalk360 provisions the users to create Data Monitoring Schedules to check this effectively, not only during business hours but also 24/7 throughout or for defined date ranges.

Adding to these existing capabilities, with BizTalk360 now users can monitor and configure Data Monitoring schedules with frequencies that fall on any time range which spans across the next day also

Use Case

Why it’s important to have monitoring during non-business hours?

With Data Monitoring automated querying, with a specific daily frequency throughout the day or for the end of the business day or month-end processing BizTalk360 provisions the user already with the features to meet out their requirements. But why would we want to monitor schedules during non-business hours? In certain cases, there are possibilities of receiving files from a trading partner during non-business hours like 7 pm to 2 am the next day or monitoring transmission failure during non-business hours. To be precise let us consider a use case where we want to monitor if any suspended messages that are not relevant are present and terminate them periodically during non-business hours.

For this, BizTalk Operational users need not wait and monitor all these messages all day long. With the automated options for service instances (Resume, Suspend, Terminate) which is already available, user can choose to perform these actions on Error Condition or Warning Condition within any time frame with this new improved Data Monitoring Span across the feature.

Challenges in Previous Versions

Issues with the existing version and alternatives to monitor during non-business hours

In the previous version of BizTalk360 V10.1, the span across feature was not working as expected. The schedules created with a span across time would either stop executing the span across part or in certain monitoring type span across was restricted. Elaborately, span across conditions with daily intervals and frequency was working fine, but the weekly and monthly scenarios with a span across conditions failed.

Even before this in the earlier versions, the whole span across the feature itself was restricted as there were discrepancies, and monitoring errors occurred instead of the actual count. The matrix table below gives a clear picture of the span across parts that were not handled in the earlier versions.

Daily span across weekly span across

In this combination of weekly scenarios, the schedule run time that falls on the span across time was skipped and hence schedules that are created with the span across option failed to execute.

monthly span across

In the Monthly condition for the span across (span across time 9:00 A.M. to 2:00 A.M.), the schedules that fall on the first cycle were only executed and the rest of the schedule executions were skipped.

To handle these failures in span across conditions (span across time 9:00 A.M to 2:00 A.M.) users had to work around and create two separate schedules. One schedule that falls on the current day, for example from 9:00 A.M. to 11:59 P.M. to monitor the events between the time from the current date. And the second schedule spans across or falls on the next day between 12:00 A.M. to 2:00 A.M. And even with these schedules monitoring was not accurate.

How this new improvement helps users?

To solve these challenges, in this recent version of BizTalk360 V10.2 now we have improved the span across conditions. Users can now create schedules with any frequency at any time for daily, weekly, monthly combinations with frequencies that fall on span across time and even end of business day scenarios for the span of time.

Hereinafter, the matrix table outlines a clearer insight into the scenarios that are handled in BizTalk360 V10.2.

span across feature weekly span across monthly span across

With a span of time that falls between any non-business hours, now users need not create two different alarms to monitor the current days’ frequency. With this new Data Monitoring improvement, it’s easier to seamlessly monitor non-business hours/ span across schedules that are created. Despite daily or weekly or monthly schedules with a span across conditions now the user can flawlessly query, monitor, and take action for the conditions set.

The information about the executed schedules can be viewed under the Data Monitoring Dashboard, in Grid and Calendar views with extended filtering options to filter the Data Monitoring schedule status based on Alarm name, Alarm Status, Monitoring Type, and date ranges. In Data Monitoring Dashboard’s grid view users can look over the span across Schedule results in a Single view, filter out the results, export results with a custom date range, and group by the results.

BizTalk360 data monitoring dashboard

In calendar view, users can view their data, visualized in the calendar for day/ work week/ week view, with monitoring types represented in different patch colors. The execution results data will be plotted in the calendar accordingly based on the time, the schedule execution was done. The below image depicts, how results are plotted in Calendar View.

BizTalk360 V10.2

Wrap Up

We hope that this improvement makes the BizTalk360 Data Monitoring feature even more complete. Now with BizTalk360 out-of-box monitoring along with span across implementation, users can fully utilize these data monitoring capabilities. Please get going in using this enhancement in your environment. If you do not have one, then why not give it a try to monitor your BizTalk environment when we have 14 days of free trial for BizTalk360?

Happy Monitoring!