Business Activity Monitoring in BizTalk Server 2004

Basically BAM lets you expose orchestration events and message data for analysis by “information workers” - regular users. A business analyst uses their understanding of the business process to determine data they are interested in (in a spreadsheet). It is probably mostly useful where the orchestration is reasonably complex and/or has long running transactions (ie. a reasonable amount of time between significant business events or “milestones”, such as Received, Approved, Dispatched etc). The developer then “maps” the BA’s data/event items to actual steps in the orchestration and elements in messages. The output of the BA’s work and the developers work is deployed – one part to the Tracking Engine and the other to Analysis Services. You then fire up your system, put some messages through and open up a specially generated Excel spreadsheet (_LiveData.xls) and view the data exposed by the orchestrations & messages. Very cool. I'd encoruage anyone working with BizTalk to take a look at BAM.

A side note - initially I ran into an issue where the BM tool was not generating the <filename>_LiveData.xls file.

When you use a locale setting other than English (United States) while installing the English version of BizTalk Server, your deployment of the Bam.xls file generates an "fnGetString" or "Old format or invalid type library" error.

Solution
Change the computer locale to English (United States) and re-run the bm deploy command at the command prompt.

To change your computer locale to English (United States)
Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Regional and Language Options.
In the Regional and Language Options dialog, on the Regional Options tab, choose the English (United States) locale from the drop down box, and click OK.