biztalk360 gmsa

How does the new installer with GMSA support help the smooth installation of BizTalk360?

Introduction

BizTalk360 is a tool that provides Administration, Monitoring, and Analytics capabilities for Microsoft BizTalk Server. The product was created with the goal of being “The Single Platform” for total control over your BizTalk Server Environment. BizTalk360’s goal is to fill the gaps left by Microsoft in BizTalk Server support.

It is installed in on-premises which mainly focuses on the BizTalk server which supports Hybrid Integration.

The BizTalk360 installer’s main objective is to install BizTalk360 features Windows Services, Database, Configuration files, Registry properties, etc… on the installation machine. This installation process allows the BizTalk360 to be up and running immediately after installation with no manual intervention.

So, in this blog, let’s see how the installer’s appearance and UI experience has been enhanced, as well as how the log-on functionality has been improved in the new installer.

Key takeaways from this blog

After reading this blog, readers will understand how the,

  • The installation process is simplified with new UI designs
  • The log-on account improvements like GMSA support and Different log-on for different features increase flexibility in feature user or service logins.

Pre-requisite Checks for BizTalk360 Installation

Before we look into the installer’s enhancements, let’s go over the prerequisites. BizTalk360 being an on-premises platform, requires some additional application support for smooth operation. So, make sure the below-listed software is installed in the server before BizTalk30 installation.

Pre-requisite Checks

Installer Improvements

In the latest BizTalk360 version, the installer has been enhanced in two aspects which are UI designs and log-on account functionalities.

Let us begin with design enhancement.

Design improvements

To reduce the installer size and make the appearance more appealing compared to the previous versions, the installer theme has been modified-matching it with the BizTalk360 web application, removing unnecessary text, and adding user-friendly controls. So, now BizTalk360 installation will be done in less than a minute.

Design improvements

Logon Account Improvements

In Logon functionality, there are two improvements added,

  • GMSA account
  • Different log-on for different features

What is GMSA (Group Managed Service Account)?

Group managed service accounts (GMSAs) are managed domain accounts that users use to help secure services. GMSAs can run on a single server or on a server farm, such as systems behind a network load balancing or Internet Information Services (IIS) server. After you configure your services to use a GMSA principal, password management for that account is handled by the Windows operating system. GMSAs offer a single identity solution with greater security. At the same time, it also helps to reduce administrative overhead. To know about the GMSA click here.

GMSA with BizTalk360

GMSA accounts were not supported in previous versions for BizTalk360 Service log-on, Database log-on, and Web Application pool log-on. Users install the features with non-GMSA accounts and then manually map the GMSA accounts to the BizTalk360 features after installation. This was a two-task for the user. To automate this, we’ve included a GMSA option in the installer. So, now the GMSA account will map to all the installed features without any need for manual intervention.

Permissions required for GMSA account

As the GMSA account will be used as a log-in for the BizTalk360 web application, services, and Database, it must have some permissions to run BizTalk360 smoothly. The permissions include Sign-On permission, BizTalk Server permission to access BizTalk server, IIS permission to access Web Application, and Database permission and roles to access BizTalk360 and BizTalk server Databases. Before using the GMSA account in the BizTalk360 installer, make sure all the necessary permissions are mapped to that GMSA account.

GMSA configuration in BizTalk360 Installer

To configure the account as a login, enable the GMSA Account checkbox in the installer. When the checkbox is selected, the password field will be disabled, which is expected given that Windows manages the GMSA account’s password, and it is a password-less account.

For a fresh installation, GMSA can be configured in the “IIS and Service Account Setup” dialog.

GMSA configuration

For upgrade installation, GMSA can be configured in the “Upgrade” dialog.

BizTalk 2020 gmsa

If a GMSA account is used in the fresh installation, there is minor automation during the upgrade. During the upgrade, the installer will detect whether the previously entered account is GMSA and enable the GMSA Account checkbox while disabling the password field.

Note:

  • Make sure your GMSA account is enabled.
  • Make sure Microsoft Key Distribution Service is up & running because this service will manage the GMSA account password state.

Different log-on for different features

Next improvement in Log-on functionality is “Different log-on for different features.” Previously, when BizTalk360 was upgraded to a new version, the username field was disabled, so the users couldn’t change the username.  Now that the username field is enabled, it can be modified during the upgrade process.

Also, different log-on accounts can be used for different features, such as UserA for Monitoring service and UserB for Analytics service.

Additionally, different types of accounts can also be used for different features, like an AD user account for Monitoring service and an AD GMSA account for Analytics service.

These flexibilities allow the users to run two different services using two different log-on. This functionality is applicable only during upgrades.

BizTalk360 gmsa

Note:

If you are using different accounts for different features, make sure each one has enough Database rights and user mapping for the BizTalk360 Database. If not, map the user accounts to the BizTalk360 database manually after the upgrade installation process is complete.

BizTalk360 Database

Conclusion

The new installer enhances the appearance and feel of the installation process. It also allows the users to use GMSA accounts as well as different accounts for different features in the same installation.

Request for a free demo or take a free trial to experience the new BizTalk360 installation process and effectively control your BizTalk environment.