One of the tools which come with BizTalk Server is the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) Toolkit. Although the ESB Toolkit is a collection of tools that extend the service-oriented capabilities of BizTalk, the Exception Management capability is one of the most widely used features of the ESB Toolkit. This feature allows you to perform Exception Management in a centralized manner, which can be a great benefit.
See below for a list of challenges while using the out-of-the-box ESB Toolkit portal, which comes with BizTalk Server:
Even though the Exception Management framework is very robust and strong, the Exception Management Portal that comes out of BizTalk Server is not that easy to configure (takes about 1 or 2 days to configure the default portal successfully).
Besides the quality of the portal, the ESB portal is yet another portal, users need to be aware of in their day to day operations with BizTalk Server.
Further, the ESB Toolkit gives no overview of for example the amount of ESB Exceptions that occurred, the number of itineraries processed or the number of resubmissions. This kind of information can be of vital value to know if the processes are all in a healthy state.
Also, no security and auditing is in place for this portal. Anybody with access to the portal can view the exceptions, edit messages and resubmit them, which exposes its own risks.
To be able to keep an eye on the ESB processes, it is handy to monitor these processes. Unfortunately, with the ESB Toolkit, no such capability exists.
BizTalk360 addresses these challenges in a number of ways. Firstly, the portal from the ESB Toolkit is replaced with a portal within BizTalk360. As with all features within BizTalk360, this portal is protected with security and auditing. The following policies are available:
To be able to repair ESB Faults, there is an Edit and Resubmit feature. To make repair even easier, you can write and associate Knowledge Base articles to the ESB Faults. So in case of recurring problems, you can simply document the solution in such a KB article and associate it with the ESB Fault, thereby making repairs in the future easier.
For having a good overview of the ESB processes, BizTalk360 provides a customizable ESB Dashboard. You can create dashboards based on different categories of widgets, which are:
Besides the ESB Dashboard, there is also the Data Monitoring feature in BizTalk360. In case of ESB, this will help you in making sure all the ESB processes run like expected.
With the ESB Exception Portal and all the other ESB focussed features, we think that we have brought another good feature to the product, taking away the need to use the out-of-the box features, while empowering the users with relevant other features.