BizTalk 2013 R2 known bugs, issues & quirks

Below a list of know bugs, issues, & other quirks* of BizTalk 2013 R2 (mainly CU3) and Visual Studio 2013 (update 4) , but I will update with fixes as the CUs come out or when I know about a new issue, so if you have another one I will add it (and link to it if you have a blog about it) if you let me know.  This in addition to the ones listed by Microsoft on Known Issues in Installation, Configuration, and Deployment

I’ve now posted the below article on a TechNet wiki

* My definitions for classifying these are
: Causes negative impact and no known work around or requires a lot of effort to work around.
Issue: Causes negative impact but has an easy or quick work around.
Missing: A feature that BizTalk doesn’t have that would make our life easier.
Quirk:  Something strange or unusual but does not cause a negative impact so far as known.

Continue reading “BizTalk 2013 R2 known bugs, issues & quirks”

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Cumulative Update 8 for Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016

Microsoft have release CU 8 for BizTalk 2016

This CU contains fixes for following fixes for Adapters

There the two remaining fixes are for BizTalk Server Setup and Configuration “Cannot insert duplicate key row in object ‘dbo.bts_LogShippingHistory’ with unique index” error while configuring log shipping destination

And BizTalk Server Accelerators Digest is not injected in the ACK in FileAct SnF PUSH mode when signature and non-repudiation are requested

As previously noted, there probably will not be a Feature Pack 3 with CU 8

MessageBox_DeadProcesses_Cleanup_BizTalkMsgBoxDb failing

I had a test environment where the SQL Agent job MessageBox_DeadProcesses_Cleanup_BizTalkMsgBoxDb had been failing for a while. This job runs exec bts_CleanupDeadProcesses in the message box DB. It was failing with the error

Executed as user: Domain\Account. Could not find stored procedure ‘dbo.int_ProcessCleanup_OLDHOSTNAME’. [SQLSTATE 42000] (Error 2812). The step failed.

Now the clue in this was that the stored procedure was trying to execute another stored procedure with a name of an a host that had been decommissioned, along with several others, after there had been some issues with them and replacement host and host instances had been created.

In that stored procedure it had this

SELECT s.uidProcessID, s.nvcApplicationName FROM dbo.ProcessHeartbeats AS s WITH (ROWLOCK READPAST)
WHERE (s.dtNextHeartbeatTime < @dtCurrentTime) OPTION(KEEPFIXED PLAN)

So to see what that was getting I ran the below

declare @dtCurrentTime datetime

set @dtCurrentTime = GetUTCDate()

select *
FROM dbo.ProcessHeartbeats WITH (ROWLOCK READPAST)
WHERE (dtNextHeartbeatTime < @dtCurrentTime) OPTION(KEEPFIXED PLAN)

This gave a list of very old heartbeats for all the old host names. To resolve the issue I changed the select * into a delete, and ran that, and the SQL Agent Job is now running correctly.

BizTalk Server 2016 CU8 & future of Feature Packs

There is an an post asking for Feedback on the new Microsoft forums techcommunity that is talking about a CU8 for BizTalk 2016. However it indicates that they are considering releasing only for the base RTM and not for those with Feature Packs, and those that have feature packs are expected to upgrade to BizTalk 2020

Feature Updates to BizTalk Server 2016 provided early production ready access to BizTalk Server 2020 features. All those features are rolled up and now available with BizTalk Server 2020 release. We believe that Feature Updates to 2016 have served its purpose by providing early access to capabilities under work for 2020. 2020 release has further enhanced those features due to the freedom to make larger code changes in new release. BizTalk Server 2020 release has been available since the beginning of year and we released CU1 recently.

Feature Updates were available for select BizTalk Server customers strictly on an opt-in basis with an understanding that these customers will move to 2020 release soon after its availability. BizTalk Server Enterprise customers with Enterprise Agreement are eligible for free upgrade to BizTalk Server 2020. BizTalk Server 2020 supports in-place and seamless upgrade from BizTalk Server 2016.

We are in the planning process for CU8 release of BizTalk Server 2016 and were hoping, keeping above in mind, to continue releasing the CUs for the base 2016 (aka RTM) versions that caters to all SKUs and customers uniformly. Those who were on accelerated cadence by opting into Feature Packs, will move to BizTalk Server 2020 for their support requirements

We want to gather community response before finalizing our decision. Let us please use the discussion space under this post with constructive comments to help us arrive at a decision that helps us optimize engineering resources without compromising the customer needs.


Do you have an opinion about this? If so, now is your chance to provide feedback.

BizTalk 2020 CU1 released

BizTalk 2020 CU1 was released on July 28th 2020 as announced here

As per previous version of BizTalk it has a number of SAP/IDOC fixes.


  • 4 SAP/IDOX
  • 2 fixes related to the WCF-SQL adapter (order of elements and FILESTREAM operations)
  • 1 for the Oracle DB adapter to handle Database artifacts with nested types in Oracle 18c and later versions
  • Fix for predefined WCF Bindings not taking in account a default Web proxy configuration
  • 2 JSON Encoder fixes (1 one which was fixed for BizTalk 2016 in CU7)
  • Fix for XLTS errors not being reported in XSLT stylesheet
  • Fix for EDI receive location with named SQL instance
  • Fix for ESB Toolkit to use gMSA.
  • Fix to remove dependency on VS 2019 version 16.3.9
  • FIX: Mapper toolbox not working for WCF Workflow Service Application after upgrade to BizTalk 2020


  • FTP improvement (macros for Before Put and After Put)
  • Dynamic send ports able to use Officer 365 Outlook adapter types.

Visual Studio Extension

In addition to installing CU package, also update/install new version of BizTalk Server Visual Studio extension ( The extension can be installed from https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=ms-biztalk.BizTalk or within Visual Studio – Manage Extensions.

As per other CUs, you can find them on the page Service Pack and cumulative update list for BizTalk Server

Max worker threads for SFTP, MQSC or DB and in BizTalk

A about March or earlier, the latest rules for BizTalk Health Monitor started to show the following important warning.

BizTalk Health Monitor Important warning – The host instances of ‘ReceivingSFTP’ need more worker threads per cpu to run correctly SFTP Receive Locations. Increase so the “Maximum Worker Threads” property to 500 for these host instances and be sure they are dedicated for this SFTP Receive Locations

I had already been advising clients to run SFTP receive locations on a separate host instance due to issues where it would silently stop receiving requiring a host instance restart to resolve, possibly related to FIX: SFTP adapter receive locations stop working intermittently during higher load in BizTalk Server

BHM rule 637 – Suggest to Increase MaxWorkerThreads for SFTP, MQSC or DB2 Receive Locations

The rule itself also talks about MQSC and DB, but as I didn’t have any receive locations for those it was only warning about SFTP.

I’ve seen that warning even on a BizTalk 2010 environment that has a Custom SFTP adapter installed, possibly because it was also called simply SFTP. However it does not warn about third party SFTP adapters such as the nSoftware one which has a different name.

BizTalk Host Instance Settings – Maximum worker threads.

However, even after changing the Max worker threads to 500 and restarting the Host Instance and re-running BHM, the warning did not go away. Even moving the receive locations running on the nSoftware onto another host instance, and un-configuring the adapter on that host instance didn’t make any difference.

The BizTalk adapter’s default configuration is to poll every 5 seconds. This is rather excessive and should be reduced.

Recommendations for SFTP Receive Locations

  1. Have a dedicated host for receive locations using SFTP
  2. Increase the Maximum Worker threads setting to 500 on that host instance
  3. Check how frequently you poll (the default is 5 seconds)
  4. Put a schedule on to only poll during the periods you need.
  5. Disable message body tracking if it is not needed.

No BizTalk Server 2020 Dev Azure VM

Back in January I wrote that the BizTalk 2020 Azure VMs were available in the Azure Marketplace, but noted that the Dev one was not yet available.

Available Azure VM

I asked Microsoft when this was going to be available, and I finally got a response.

We will welcome BizTalk community to own and publish such an image. I cannot think of anything specific here that requires it to be done by Microsoft.

So, who is up for the challenge of setting up and publishing to the Azure Market Place a BizTalk Server 2020 VM in Azure?

Update: Sandro Pereira is planning to do this

BizTalk 2016 – Host Instances refuse to start

A colleague of mine had an issue where the Host Instance would not start, and after finding my earlier blog BizTalk 2016 CU5 – 64 bit host instances refuse to start contacted me to see if it was the same issue.

However it was quickly clear that the error it was throwing was quite different and impacted both 32 and 64 bit hosts.

Internal error; “The service did not start due to logon failure” (Winmgmt)

The next clue was that whenever they tried starting it, it would ask for the password. This would work for some people after re-entering the password, but it would ask again at the next restart. For others entering the same password it would throw “incorrect username and password”.

Next we tried restarting Enterprise SSO. After this all host instances stopped and did not restart.

However, now when the password was re-entered, the host instances would start, so it looks like Enterprise SSO had gotten into a bad state. A restart of Enterprise SSO was required to resolve the issue.

BizTalk ESB Exception Notification: The server is not operational.

I was looking at a Production BizTalk Server 2013 R2 when I noticed an error message firing of every 65 seconds for the BizTalk ESB Exception Notification, complaining that “The server in not operational” and the stack trace referencing some ldap\ActiveDirectory code.

Timestamp: 15/05/2020 12:00:49 a.m.
Message: HandlingInstanceID: b406acf5-f35e-40c7-a8de-4cead73a4c3a
An exception of type 'System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException' occurred and was caught.

05/15/2020 12:00:49
Type : System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException, mscorlib, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089
Message : The server is not operational.

Source : System.DirectoryServices
Help link : 
ErrorCode : -2147016646
Data : System.Collections.ListDictionaryInternal
TargetSite : Void Bind(Boolean)
HResult : -2147016646
Stack Trace :    at System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry.Bind(Boolean throwIfFail)
   at System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry.Bind()
   at System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry.get_AdsObject()
   at System.DirectoryServices.DirectorySearcher.FindAll(Boolean findMoreThanOne)
   at System.DirectoryServices.DirectorySearcher.FindOne()
   at Microsoft.Practices.ESB.AlertService.Ldap.ActiveDirectory.GetUserByLoginName(String loginName, DirectoryEntry parentContainer) in e:\Integration\Microsoft.Practices.ESB2.3\Management Portal\Main\ESB.AlertService\Ldap\ActiveDirectory.cs:line 116
   at Microsoft.Practices.ESB.AlertService.ActiveDirectoryHelper.GetEmailAddress(String name) in e:\Integration\Microsoft.Practices.ESB2.3\Management Portal\Main\ESB.AlertService\ActiveDirectoryHelper.cs:line 103
   at Microsoft.Practices.ESB.AlertService.QueueGenerator.AddEmailNotifications(String alertName, Guid newAlertHistoryID, Guid newBatchID, Emails emails, FaultsToQueueRow fault, AlertSubscriptionsRow alertSubscription, History historyDataSet) in e:\Integration\Microsoft.Practices.ESB2.3\Management Portal\Main\ESB.AlertService\QueueGenerator.cs:line 241
   at Microsoft.Practices.ESB.AlertService.QueueGenerator.ProcessFaultsForQueue(Guid newBatchID, Subscriptions subscriptions, Faults faults, Emails emails) in e:\Integration\Microsoft.Practices.ESB2.3\Management Portal\Main\ESB.AlertService\QueueGenerator.cs:line 185
   at Microsoft.Practices.ESB.AlertService.QueueGenerator.DoWork() in e:\Integration\Microsoft.Practices.ESB2.3\Management Portal\Main\ESB.AlertService\QueueGenerator.cs:line 48

Additional Info:

MachineName : SERVERNAME
TimeStamp : 15/05/2020 12:00:49 a.m.
FullName : Microsoft.Practices.EnterpriseLibrary.ExceptionHandling, Version=5.0.414.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35
AppDomainName : BizTalk ESB Exception Notification.exe
ThreadIdentity : DOMAIN\ESBPortalAp
WindowsIdentity : DOMAIN\ESBPortalAp

Category: Default Category
Priority: 0
EventId: 100
Severity: Error
Application Domain: BizTalk ESB Exception Notification.exe
Process Id: 37624
Process Name: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft BizTalk ESB Toolkit\Exception Notification Service\BizTalk ESB Exception Notification.exe
Win32 Thread Id: 51992
Thread Name: 

Restarting the BizTalk ESB Exception Notification Service gave a further clue, asking to Verify that the correct LDAP connection string is configured in the Fault Settings page of the ESB Management Portal.

Timestamp: 15/05/2020 12:09:12 a.m.
Message: HandlingInstanceID: 2b98c0d7-a212-43c6-b61b-c8b96aa1edf1
An exception of type 'Microsoft.Practices.ESB.AlertService.AlertException' occurred and was caught.
05/15/2020 12:09:12
Type : Microsoft.Practices.ESB.AlertService.AlertException, BizTalk ESB Exception Notification, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=a0c9e2135ff8e411
Message : A connection to Active Directory could not be established using the LDAP connection string: 'LDAP://LDAPSERVER'. Verify that the correct LDAP connection string is configured in the Fault Settings page of the ESB Management Portal. 
Source : BizTalk ESB Exception Notification
Help link : 
Data : System.Collections.ListDictionaryInternal
TargetSite : Void TestLDAPConnectivity(System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry)
HResult : -2146233088
Stack Trace :    at Microsoft.Practices.ESB.AlertService.ActiveDirectoryHelper.TestLDAPConnectivity(DirectoryEntry entryToTest) in e:\Integration\Microsoft.Practices.ESB2.3\Management Portal\Main\ESB.AlertService\ActiveDirectoryHelper.cs:line 82
   at Microsoft.Practices.ESB.AlertService.ActiveDirectoryHelper.TestLDAPConnectivity() in e:\Integration\Microsoft.Practices.ESB2.3\Management Portal\Main\ESB.AlertService\ActiveDirectoryHelper.cs:line 47
   at Microsoft.Practices.ESB.AlertService.Process.OnStart(String[] args) in e:\Integration\Microsoft.Practices.ESB2.3\Management Portal\Main\ESB.AlertService\Process.cs:line 80

Additional Info:

MachineName : SERVERNAME
TimeStamp : 15/05/2020 12:09:12 a.m.
FullName : Microsoft.Practices.EnterpriseLibrary.ExceptionHandling, Version=5.0.414.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35
AppDomainName : BizTalk ESB Exception Notification.exe
ThreadIdentity : DOMAIN\ESBPortalAp
WindowsIdentity : DOMAIN\ESBPortalAp

Category: Default Category
Priority: 0
EventId: 100
Severity: Error
Application Domain: BizTalk ESB Exception Notification.exe
Process Id: 13820
Process Name: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft BizTalk ESB Toolkit\Exception Notification Service\BizTalk ESB Exception Notification.exe
Win32 Thread Id: 19592
Thread Name: 

LDAP is used by the BizTalk ESB Exception Notification to look up a user for an Alert to find their email address. As we override that using the Custom Email Address option, we weren’t actually using LDAP, so I’ve unticked the option in Admin -> Fault Settings for now, and the errors have stopped.

BizTalk 2020 – CU1 being planned

If you have some feedback for Microsoft about something you want fixed in BizTalk 2020, here is your chance.

We are actively planning content for CU1 for BizTalk Server 2020. If there is anything you like product group to consider for this, please add to this conversation.