Welcome!

Silverlight Authors: Automic Blog, Michael Kopp, AppDynamics Blog, Kaazing Blog, Steven Mandel

Related Topics: Silverlight, Microsoft Cloud

Silverlight: Article

Identify Performance Bottlenecks in Your BizTalk Environment - Part 3

Orchestration and calling external services

In my last two articles I wrote about how to Use BizTalk Performance Counters and how to Analyze Adapter and Pipeline Performance. In this final article I focus on Orchestration and calling external services.

Step 4: Analyzing Orchestration
Orchestrations can be as simple as reading a file from a file system, transforming it and writing it out to a different file. They can also be much more complex such as calling external web services depending on certain conditions in the incoming messages, taking the response of these services and calling other services or writing a transformed version of the response to a file or the database. The following screenshot shows a rather simple Orchestration taken from one of the examples that ships with BizTalk:

Orchestration Example showing a message flow including a call to  an external service

Orchestration Example showing a message flow including a call to an external service

The process starts by receiving a file from the receiving port ReceivePO. The message then gets transformed using a mapping definition that maps individual fields from the original message to the destination message. The following screenshot shows such a mapping definition:

Business Mapping for Message Transformation

Business Mapping for Message Transformation

The Orchestration goes on by sending a message to port POWebServicePort. The response of this Web Service call is transformed again using another mapping definition. The final transformed message is then sent to the SendInvoicePort which in my case means writing it to the file system.

What about performance?
In BizTalk message processing there are different components involved. We already learned how to analyze Adapters and Pipelines in my previous blog entry and what we can do there to analyze whether these components have a negative impact on message processing performance.

The actual logic behind the Orchestration Definition is compiled into an assembly, loaded into BizTalk, and gets executed when messages are processed by that Orchestration Definition. Here is a sample PurePath that shows the execution of compiled orchestration code:

PurePath of Orchestration Logic Execution

PurePath of Orchestration Logic Execution

What can we observe here?
Applying the Transformation takes 444ms in this scenario
The SendMessage method puts the transformed message back into the MessageBox on SQL Server. The actual interaction with the MessageBox happens in the Commit method which takes 541ms in this scenario.

I ran some more load against my BizTalk environment analyzing all the PurePath’s that trace the logic of my orchestration. With increasing load the bottleneck in my environment clearly is the MessageBox, indicated by the Commit method that takes up to 99% of the transaction execution time.

Commit taking 99% of execution time with huge transaction time  variance

Commit taking 99% of execution time with huge transaction time variance

Not only is Commit taking 99% of the time for the slowest transaction, it also has a huge variance in execution time – meaning, it doesn’t scale in my environment. If you look at the PurePath duration in the screenshot above we see execution times ranging from 1.1 to 6.9 seconds. Analyzing the methods that were executed in these transactions gives me the following information:

Non Scaling Methods in my BizTalk Environment

Non Scaling Methods in my BizTalk Environment

I added min and max execution time of the methods involved in these transactions. Not surprisingly do we see a huge range from several milliseconds to 6.9 seconds for the Commit method. The execute method on top is a transaction I haven’t yet shown you. It is thread that pulls out information from the MessageBox to further process the message.

Problem: In my scenario the MessageBox is clearly my bottleneck in my environment. Putting messages into the box and getting them out again doesn’t scale with the load I want to put on it.

What about performance counters?

Performance counters are always a great source of information. BizTalk provides a set of counters for the Orchestration Engine as well as for the MessageBox. Check out the two previous links for a description on these counters.

HINT: BizTalk MessageBox Viewer Tool

Jean-Pierre Auconie is the creator of the BizTalk MessageBox Viewer. Check out his blog and the download site for this tool. This tool runs a set of tests and queries against the MessageBox database. The results will be displayed in the tool and can also be exported as HTML reports including links. The following screenshot shows the output in the tool on my installation:

Analysis Output in BizTalk MessageBox Viewer Tool

Analysis Output in BizTalk MessageBox Viewer Tool

The tool gives an overview of what might be wrong in your installation. In my case it seems that I ran into a “classical” BizTalk MessageBox issue: My Sql Agent Jobs don’t run on my machine to clear up the database. Also check out this MSDN forum thread that talks about the same scenario somebody else ran into.

Step 5: Analyzing External Service Calls (SendPorts)
The last thing I want to show you is when my BizTalk Orchestration makes a call to the external Web Service. The following image shows a PurePath that shows the Orchestration engine making the call to the web service. The PurePath shows the web service client proxy as well as the execution of the web service on the server that implements the web service:

Distributed PurePath showing a Web Service call from BizTalk to  the Web Service implementation

Distributed PurePath showing a Web Service call from BizTalk to the Web Service implementation

The 2nd call in this trace is the call to the generated web service proxy within my BizTalk Host Instance. The web service is executed synchronously in the ASPX implementation hosted in IIS. The interesting thing here is that I have huge execution differences of this web service call. The method that varies greatly in execution time is the client side call to the proxy that is doing all the marshalling of data.

Final Words
This is the final article in my series on BizTalk. The key take away is to make sure you monitor your BizTalk performance counters. Use the BizTalk MessageBox Viewer to run checks against your individual MessageBox databases. In case you are interested in in-depth tracing of messages through BizTalk using dynaTrace you should check out Managing BizTalk Performance and The Business Process It Automates, our Community Downloads to get access to the BizTalk Fast Pack (registered users only), and a White Paper I wrote about Performance Management in Enterprise .NET Systems.

Related reading:

  1. Identify Performance Bottlenecks in your BizTalk Environment – Part I Microsoft BizTalk enables companies to integrate and automate their business...
  2. Identify Performance Bottlenecks in your BizTalk Environment – Part II In Part I of this blog series I gave a...
  3. Performance Analysis: Identify GC bottlenecks in distributed heterogeneous environments Garbage Collection can have a major impact on application performance....
  4. Performance Analysis: How to identify synchronization issues under load? Synchronization is a necessary mechanism to control access to shared...
  5. Performance Analysis: How to identify “bad” methods messing up the GC Whenever the Garbage Collector kicks in to free up memory...

More Stories By Andreas Grabner

Andreas Grabner has been helping companies improve their application performance for 15+ years. He is a regular contributor within Web Performance and DevOps communities and a prolific speaker at user groups and conferences around the world. Reach him at @grabnerandi

@ThingsExpo Stories
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
"Digital transformation - what we knew about it in the past has been redefined. Automation is going to play such a huge role in that because the culture, the technology, and the business operations are being shifted now," stated Brian Boeggeman, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...