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BizTalk Server 2009 : Administrative Tools (part 1) - BizTalk Administration Console, BTSTask

1/5/2013 11:48:57 AM
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BizTalk 2009 provides different tools to manage BizTalk Server applications:

  • BizTalk Administration Console MMC

  • BTSTask command-line tool

  • WMI and the ExplorerOM APIs

Each of these tools allows you to deploy and manage your solutions. While BizTalk Administration Console has been changed and improved significantly in BizTalk Server 2009, it is, as most UI tools, not intended to automate administration tasks. The BTSTask command-line tool can be used in batch files to perform automation tasks, but batch files are still not as flexible as full-featured programming languages like C# or VB .NET. If you are an experienced developer, you know that real-world projects can easily contain hundreds and even thousands of artifacts. Managing them manually is a daunting and error-prone task and in many cases simply hardly possible. To address these kinds of problems, Microsoft provides two APIs—Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and ExplorerOM, which allow you to write your own custom utilities to address all aspects of managing and configuring a BizTalk Server and a BizTalk Server Group. BTSTask can also be utilized from MSBuild and PowerShell.

As shown in Tables 1to 10, the tools have an overlapping functionality, and for the most common BizTalk tasks you can use any of them. However, for some tasks you will have a more limited set of tools to choose from. Tables 1 through 10 list common management tasks and indicate what tools are available to perform each of them.

Table 1. Application Tasks
TaskAdministration ConsoleBTSTask ToolWMIExplorerOM
Creating a new applicationXX X
Modifying application propertiesXX (but you can't modify the Default Application property)
Deleting an applicationXX X

Table 2. Assembly Tasks
TaskAdministration ConsoleBTSTask ToolWMIExplorerOM
Deploying an assemblyXXX 
Undeploying an assemblyXX  

Table 3. Host Tasks
TaskAdministration ConsoleBTSTask ToolWMIExplorerOM
Creating a new hostX X 
Modifying a hostX X 
Deleting a hostX X 
Starting/stopping/modifyingX XHost instances

Table 4. Orchestration Tasks
TaskAdministration ConsoleBTSTask ToolWMIExplorerOM
Browsing orchestration artifactsXXXX
Finding roles used or implemented by orchestration   X
Binding/enlisting/starting orchestrationsXOnly if BTSTask makes use of processing scripts that internally use WMI or ExplorerOMXX
Stopping/unenlisting/unbinding orchestrationsXOnly if BTSTask makes use of processing scripts that internally use WMI or ExplorerOMXX

Table 5. Send Port Tasks
TaskAdministration ConsoleBTSTask ToolWMIExplorerOM
Adding/enlisting/starting a send portX XX
Stopping/unenlisting/deleting a send portX XX
Modifying port propertiesXOnly if BTSTask applies binding filesXX
Managing send port certificatesXOnly if BTSTask applies binding filesXX
Adding/editing filtering expressionsXOnly if BTSTask applies binding filesXX
Adding/removing maps for inbound/outbound transformationXOnly if BTSTask applies binding filesXX

Table 6. Send Port Group Tasks
TaskAdministration ConsoleBTSTask ToolWMIExplorerOM
Adding/enlisting/starting a send port groupX XX
Stopping/unenlisting/deleting a send portX XX
Adding/deleting port to/from send port groupXOnly if BTSTask applies binding filesXX
Adding a filter to a send port groupXOnly if BTSTask applies binding filesXX

Table 7. Receive Port Tasks
TaskAdministration ConsoleBTSTask ToolWMIExplorerOM
Adding/modifying/deleting a receive portXOnly if BTSTask applies binding filesXX
Adding a map to inbound/outbound transformationsXOnly if BTSTask applies binding filesXX

Table 8. Receive Location Tasks
TaskAdministration ConsoleBTSTask ToolWMIExplorerOM
Adding/editing/deleting a receive locationXOnly if BTSTask applies binding filesXX
Enabling/disabling a receive locationXOnly if BTSTask applies binding filesXX

Table 9. Party Tasks
TaskAdministration ConsoleBTSTask ToolWMIExplorerOM
Adding/deleting a partyXX X
Adding/deleting a partyXX X
Adding/deleting a send port to/from a party Only if BTSTask applies binding files X
Adding an alias to a party Only if BTSTask applies binding files X
Adding a certificate for a party Only if BTSTask applies binding files X

Table 10. Messagebox Tasks
TaskAdministration ConsoleBTSTask ToolWMIExplorerOM
Adding/deleting a MessageboxX X 
Editing Messagebox propertiesX X 

1. BizTalk Administration Console

The BizTalk Administration Console, shown in Figure 1, is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC). This tool is the only administration tool that comes with a Windows graphical UI. It is also the easiest one for novices to use.

If you have used the Administration Console with previous versions of BizTalk Server, you will be pleased to know that once again the Administration Console has been updated with new features. Some of these new features include the remaining functionality that used to be part of HAT. With the Administration Console you can do the following:

  • Add, configure, remove, and uninstall a BizTalk application.

  • Import and export a BizTalk application as an MSI.

  • Import and export binding files.

  • Create, configure, and delete ports and receive locations.

  • Configure, start, stop, enlist, and unenlist ports and orchestrations.

  • Create, configure, delete, and install hosts and host instances.

  • Manage and configure parties.

  • Run queries from the Group Hub page.

  • Debug orchestrations.

  • Monitor the work in progress as well as any errors, suspended messages, tracked service instances, and EDI status reports.

Figure 1. BizTalk Server 2009 Administration Console

2. BTSTask

BTSTask is a command-prompt application that replaces BizTalk 2004's BTSDeploy command-prompt application. Unlike BTSDeploy, BTSTask does not come with a wizard. If developers or administrators want to use a GUI, they must use the BizTalk Administration Console.

This application allows you to

  • Add, enumerate, remove, and uninstall BizTalk applications.

  • Add, list, and remove artifacts (assemblies, bindings, pre-processing scripts, and post-processing scripts) from a BizTalk application.

  • Export and import BizTalk applications from an MSI file.

  • Export and import binding information from BizTalk binding files.

  • List all BizTalk applications in the BizTalk Management Database for the BizTalk Group.

  • List the resources in an MSI file.

The sample shown in Figure 2 creates an application named PROBIZTALK Application using the BTSTask command-line application. If you open the BizTalk Administration Console, you will see the newly created application. For the full list of the command options, please refer to the product documentation.

Figure 2. BTSTask add application example

 
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