BizTalk Server 2004: When Good Configurations go Bad

Anyone who has configured BizTalk realizes the MS Team spent their budgets and their time on the important stuff: transactions, platform, security, etc.  They did NOT spend their dough on the configuration components that ship with BizTalk.  On a side note, some third-party folks have started coming to the rescue (TopXML is the one I looked at most recently), but for the time being, we must work with what we have.

Removing a configuration from a BizTalk Server requires only the execution of ‘configframework.exe /u’ at a command prompt.  However, there have been times (unfortunately, more than one), that I’ve had BizTalk configurations fail and entered into a twilight zone state; a state where I can neither remove a configuration or create a new configuration file.  It is quite frustrating: the Event Log is devoid of anything useful and even the configuration log (saved in your temp folder unless you use the /l switch to create your own) spouts garbage like "SQL Server is unavailable". 

The solution?  Uninstall BizTalk entirely and start over.  Annoying at best; maddening at the worst.

I got medieval on the server the other day and ran a registry trace utility to track what BizTalk configuration adds and takes away on a vanilla box.  Amazing, but it came down to four keys beneath HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\BizTalk Server\3.0\Administration (default settings):

  • BizTalkAdminNTGroup="BizTalk Server Administrators"
  • BizTalkGroupName=BizTalk Group
  • MgmtDBName=BizTalkMgmtDb
  • MgmtDBServer=(servername)

Remove these four keys and you will be able to generate a configuration file.

Note: Leave “Default” and "SQLScriptPath" alone (if SQLScriptPath is removed or cleared out, BizTalk configuration will fail).

I tested this twice, no more, and it worked for me.  I hope it works for you too.

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About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

One Response to BizTalk Server 2004: When Good Configurations go Bad

  1. Pingback: BizTalk Server 2004 Configuration Failures – Difficult « OpsanBlog

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