So over the years I’ve had my share of “meltdowns” or failures in BizTalk. I pretty much feel like I’ve seen them all, and I would like to contribute some of the errors and solution to this problems, call it a teaser since there is a lot, this will be the first post in a huge series that I will launch here. It might even end up in a book in a few years.
So, when I arrive at a client with no idea what the main problem is I have a few steps I take, this are all general and is not specific to any special scenario. This is my checklist and it’s dedicated to issues within BizTalk and not third-party systems.
Check the event log
Check the event log on all machines that run BizTalk, this may be the BizTalk server themself, the SQL server or other servers related to BizTalk. Do they have any error messages that can tell me anything related to the problems? This may give me a pin point on where the problem is, however in many scenarios the problem is not to be seen in here.
Verify the SQL Agent jobs
Make sure that all SQL agents jobs are running smoothly and without any problems, they should not run too long and should not fail. In BizTalk 2010 we are also luck to have the monitor job that may give us information too. Large databases or throttling states may interfere with BizTalk and make it slow down.
Watch out for full disks
One big problem is that disks may go full, it it happens it will stop BizTalk, full SQL disks or C-drive (windows drive) on any BizTalk servers may give you a complete stop.
Run the tools
As a best practice on this jobs I tend to run a few tools to make sure everything is okay. I set up the Performance Monitor to log all data related to BizTalk so I can parse it with PAL later. I love to have a 24 hours and a 7 days log to be completely sure. of course it can be done faster if the problem is really critical and even live monitoring may be effective. So this will give me a good overview of the environment hardware and other aspects of the BizTalk server over time. Then I run the MessageBox Viewer to get a quick and easy health check of the environment. (if you want to do a rather extensive health check you can do it by following this guide).
When this is done read the result and see if it finds anything that can be related to your issue, this may be full disks etc. There is a few more tools, one of them is the BizTalk Best Practice Analyzer, this will also give you a good overview of your setup to determine that everything is as it should, any errors should be resolved.
It’s not often I see this, but there might be problems related to your network, you can use the DTCTester / DTCPing tools to verify everything is okay between the SQL server and the BizTalk server, to check the network it’s easy to contact some network responsible and let them verify if everything is as it should on your network.
I’ll go more in-depth and take a better lock at other aspects and more issues, for instance SSO related issues and another things that maybe a problem in an environment, call this a teaser more is coming!