BizTalk 2013 R2 known bugs, issues & quirks

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

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

* My definitions for classifying these are
Bug
: 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.

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Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2

Feature Pack 2 for BizTalk 2016 has been announced, it contained the promised features, such as TLS 1.2, but also one extra, that is not even in the announcement but is mentioned in the documentation.

Use latest Newtonsoft JSON

Newtonsoft is a JSON framework for .NET. In this feature pack, support for version 10.0.3 is included. Download v. 10.0.3 directly from NuGet.

I’m looking forward to testing to see which of the many JSON Encoder / Decoder issues it fixes

Cumulative Update package 7 for BizTalk Server 2013 R2

Microsoft have just released CU 7 for BizTalk 2013 R2

These CU includes 6 fixes.

I got rather excited when I saw that they had fixed an issue with the WCF-SQL adapter polling.  However the cases the symptoms they describe aren’t quite the same as one we’ve encountered in BizTalk 2010 (so I don’t think this fix is going to help us even when do they get around to patching other BizTalk version).  But it may fix things for others or spur them to look a bit closer at this adapter to fix other issues.

As per nearly every CU, it contains a iDoc/SAP/NCo fix and one for EDI.

There are also two fixes for two-way send ports (one deployment issue and the other a runtime one), and finally a TDDS/database fix.

 

Generate a SAS Token with Postman

Integration Insights

Recently I was using Postman to push some messages to an Azure endpoint as part of testing for some project related changes that I was working on.

I found this article from a colleague that provides a C# code snippet that can be called from a console app to generate a SAS token to be used in Postman.

I had also recently attended a talk by another colleague describing some of the powerful features of Postman, like using Pre-request Scripts and Environmental variables.  This got me wondering if it was possible to generate a SAS token using Javascript in a Postman Pre-request Script.

A quick Google search helped me find this blog, with a section for Creating a SAS token in JavaScript.  Using this as a starting point, I modified this to script to work inside a Postman Pre-request Script but soon encountered some issues.

Most notably, with…

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Cumulative Update 3 for Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016

Somehow I missed the announcement for CU2 for BizTalk 2016 on May 26, but CU3 was announced on August 30, 2017 for BizTalk Server 2016.

Someone did post about a possible issue with CU2, namely BizTalk Server 2016 CU2 – receive locations are not working if too much of them are associated with the same host Has anyone else hit this issue?

Below is a summary of the fixes/changes

13 fixes/changes in CU2.

Only 4 fixes in CU3.

  • 1 x SAP/IDOC,
  • 1 x SFTP adapter,
  • 1 x MMLP
  • 1 x EDI

 

As always please test the CUs before installing in production, and for a full list of all the CUs, see Service Pack and cumulative update list for BizTalk Server

The BizTalk Purge & Archive Job now supports clean-up of orphaned instances

Pieter Vandenheede

With the latest CU’s for BizTalk Server, the Purge and Archive job can now be configured to clean up orphaned instances. The biggest advantage is that the cleanup is done without any downtime…. yes this means you no longer need to run the BizTalk Health Monitor to clean them up!

The change was marked in the following Microsoft Support article: Orphaned BizTalk DTA service instances are not removed by the “DTA Purge and Archive” job in BizTalk Server

The change is included in the following cumulative update packages:

Once you apply the CU to your servers, you will notice an additional parameter in the BizTalk DTA Purge and Archive SQL job: @fHardDeleteRunningInstances

If you would like to use the new behavior to clean-up the orphaned instances at run-time, you would need to set the parameter to 1…

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Azure Functions vs Azure Logic Apps

toon vanhoutte

Azure’s serverless iPaaS offering has two key components: Azure Functions and Logic Apps. If you consult the documentation, you’ll find out that there is quite some overlap between the two. For many people, it’s not clear what technology to use in what scenario. In this blog post, I discuss the main differences between these two event-driven Azure services and I provide some guidance to help you to make the right decision.

Comparison

Developer experience

A popular comparison states that Azure Functions is code being triggered by an event, whereas Logic Apps is a workflow triggered by an event. This is reflected in the developer experience. Azure Functions are completely written in code, with currently support for JavaScript, C#, F#, Node.js, Python, PHP, batch, bash and PowerShell. In Logic Apps, workflows are created with an easy-to-use visual designer, combined with a simple workflow definition language in the code view. Each developer…

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