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In this video we'll understand how to use Azure portal 100% free with credit card registration. 
If you have any suggestions for new content, please feel free to contact me.

Introduction

The storage account is one of the fundamental pieces of cloud technology. It contains all of our Azure Storage data objects: blobs, files, queues, tables, and disks. Microsoft offers several options to store data on the cloud. Storage can be used for two purposes; one is for actually store files just as we do on a hard disk. So it becomes where we put our backup files, where we put our database files. In addition, we can store our jpeg or videos, stored them in a storage account. The other is as the back end to a Virtual Machine. So actually, many services within Azure need a storage account, sometimes for logging and sometimes as a fundamental piece of the technology. By default, Virtual Machine is run on a managed storage account, which is an abstraction on top of a storage account. We cannot use it to create a Virtual Machine on top of an unmanaged account.
 
In this article, we will understand how to create an Azure blob storage account and upload a file on the blob.
 
There are various options available in the Azure Storage Account for storing user data.

  • Blob Storage

The word blob is an acronym, which stands for a binary large object. Blobs typically include large files that are unstructured, such as images, video, music files, backup files, etc.
 
Blob storage can be divided into two access tiers;
 
 
 
Hot access tier: Those data, which is accessed frequently, will come under this tier. In addition, the hot storage tier is highly available compare to the cold access tier, like 99.9% as opposed to the 99% of the cold storage tier.
 
Cold access tier: In this tier, data that is not accessed very often will relay. In addition, the cold access tier is cheaper than the hot access tier and as much, you can store more data at a lower cost.
 
Note: We can switch between access tiers at any point if wish to do so.

  • File Storage

With the help of Azure Files, we can set up highly available network file shares that can be accessed by using the standard Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. That means that multiple VMs can share the same files with both read and write access. We can also read the files using the REST interface or the storage client libraries.
 
There are multiple common scenarios where Azure File storage is very useful,
  1. Store configuration files on a file share and access from multiple VMs.
  2. We can keep resource logs, metrics, and crash dumps on a file share and later can be processed or used for analysis.

  • Queue Storage

Queue Storage is somewhat like MSMQ. It allows us to decouple our components and have reliable asynchronous communication. In Azure Queue Storage, the number of queues is only limited by the capacity of the storage account. The Azure Queue service is used to store and retrieve messages. Queues and messages can be created programmatically or using the Storage Explorer tool.

  • Table Storage

Table storage is used to store semi-structured data in a key-value format in a NoSQL datastore. Azure table storage can store petabytes of data, can scale, and is inexpensive. Table storage can be accessed using REST and some of the OData protocols or using the Storage Explorer tool. Azure Table storage is now part of Azure Cosmos DB.

  • Disk

An Azure managed disk is a virtual hard disk (VHD). It is like a physical disk in an on-premises server but virtualized. Azure-managed disks are stored as page blobs, which are random IO storage objects in Azure. We call a managed disk 'managed' because it is an abstraction over page blobs, blob containers, and Azure storage accounts.
 
Azure offers two types of disk storage-
  1. Managed - Managed disk has some advantages over unmanaged disks in the sense that disks will be created and managed for us. This is an IaaS offering.
  2. Unmanaged - With unmanaged disks, we must manage them our self. This means, our virtual hard disks are stored in a storage account as page blobs.
Moreover, Azure offers two types of disks-
  1. Premium - Which means our data will be placed on solid-state disks
  2. Standard - Where data is placed on regular hard disk drives

Creating my First Azure Storage Account

There are multiple ways to create a storage account,
  1. Azure portal
  2. Azure PowerShell
  3. Azure CLI
  4. Azure Resource Manager (ARM) Template
In this article, we will use the first option i.e. using the Azure portal. For other options, we will understand in different articles.
 
  • Log in to the Azure portal ➜ Search Storage Accounts ➜ then select Storage accounts from the search result
 
  • It will open a Storage account, now we have to click on Add,
 
Now we have to fill in the mandatory details under the Basic section, like;
  1. Select the Subscription from the dropdown.
  2. Choose the Resource Group under this storage account will create.
  3. Provide the Storage account name, it should be unique across Azure and the length must be between 3 and 24 characters. Also, it may include only numbers and lowercase letters.
  4. Select the location of the Storage account or use the default location.
  5. Select a performance tier. The default tier is Standard.
  6. Set the Account kind field to Storage V2 (general-purpose v2).
  7. Select replication value, the default replication option is Read-access geo-redundant storage (RA-GRS). It will specify how the storage account will be replicated.
After entering all the values, it will be looks like below. If you want to keep the default values for the next section then click on 'Review + create', otherwise click on 'Next: Networking >'
 
 
  • Now we are in the networking section, and here we can change the configuration about Network connectivity and Network routing.
In our case, we will keep the default as it is and not going to change any configuration.
 
For additional options, we will click on 'Next: Data protection >'.
 
 
  • In the Data protection section, we can define multiple configurations like if want to turn on point-in-time restoration for containers. With help of this configuration, we can restore one or more containers to an earlier state. We have to keep in mind one point here if we are going to enable this 'Point-in-time restore' configuration, then versioning, change feed and blob soft delete must be enabled. The maximum restore point can be 6 days ago.
 
Next configuration, Turn on soft delete for blobs. With this configuration, we can recover blobs that were previously marked for deletion. Here we can define the number of days to keep deleted blobs.
 
Similarly, we have other configuration like,
  1. Turn on soft delete for containers
  2. Turn on soft delete for file shares
  3. Turn on versioning for blobs
  4. Turn on blob change feed
If you change these setting then it will look like below.
 
 
 
For our scenario, we will keep it as default and not going to change any configuration.
 
For additional options, we will click on 'Next: Advanced >'.
 
 
  • In the Advanced section, we can define the Security, Blob storage, Data Lake Storage Gen2, Azure Files & Table, and Queues configuration.
Please check the configuration in the below image, for our scenario I am keeping the default values.
The next option is Tags; we will bypass this section because here you can just define the tags and their values. Now we will click on 'Review + create'.
 
 
  • Once we click on 'Review + Create', it will review your storage account settings and give the result of the review. In case all configurations are properly defined, we will get the message "Validation Passed". In addition 'Create' button will appear. Clicking on that button will create the Storage account. In case of validation failed then it will give you the reason why and how to fix that issue.
Here, we will get a link to download a template that we can use for automation.
 
  • It will take hardly a minute or two to complete the deployment. Once deployment completed below screen will come, then we can click on 'Go to resource'
 
  • It will open our newly created Storage account. Once it opens then we have to create a container where we can upload the file. Click on 'Containers' and it will open to create a new container,
 
  • Click on '+ Container' where we will upload the sample file.
 
 
  • Enter the name of the container and select the Public access level based on our need. For our scenario, we will keep this configuration as it is.
 
  • A container is created successfully and now our final step left to upload the file. Click on upload and it will open a new panel where we will see a placeholder to select a file. In addition, we can see a checkbox that will be helpful to overwrite the already existing file.
In addition, we will have an advanced option there.
 
 
  • Once we expand Advanced, it will give you the option to choose the blob type, block size, and Access tier. You can find the below configuration under the Advance option.
For our scenario, we will not touch anything in this section and keep this configuration as it is.
 
 
  • Now, click on the folder icon and it will open a pop-up to select the file from the folder. Select the file and click on open. Once it selected then click on 'Upload'.
 
  • Once the file uploaded successfully, we can see the file available in the container along with other details.
Please verify the below screen to check the status of the uploaded file on the container.
 
 

Delete a storage account

Deleting a storage account deletes the entire account, including all data in the account, and cannot be undone.
 
There are again multiple ways to delete the existing storage account
  1. Azure portal
  2. Azure PowerShell
  3. Azure CLI
  4. Azure Resource Manager (ARM) Template
In this article, we will use the first option i.e. using the Azure portal. For other options, we will understand in different articles.
Log in to the Azure portal ➜ Search Storage Accounts ➜ then select Storage accounts, which want to delete
 
Once we open the storage account, we will have an option to delete it. Click on 'Delete'.
 
 
It will open the Delete storage account; here we have to type the name of the storage account to confirm. Then click on 'Delete'.
 
 
Caution: This action cannot be undone. This will permanently delete the storage account and its contents.

Conclusion

There are several advantages to using Azure storage irrespective of type. Azure storage is easily scalable, extremely flexible, and relatively low in cost depending on the options we choose.



Introduction

I have recently encountered an error during some troubleshooting related to BizTalk. The error pretty much knew to me and I want to share the solution with the community. So in the future, if anyone faces this issue then they can try this option as well.

When I was trying to expand the applications, the below error popped up and it was failed to load the applications.

Error

TITLE: BizTalk Server Administration 
------------------------------ 
Failed to enable constraints. One or more rows contain values violating non-null, unique, or foreign-key constraints. (Microsoft.BizTalk.Administration.SnapIn) 
------------------------------ 
BUTTONS: OK

Even I was able to open Host & HostInstance.

Cause

There could be multiple causes for this issue, and the most common cause connectivity issue between the BizTalk application and database. So to troubleshoot this issue we have to check the connectivity and then event log for any type of errors.

Resolution

In such cases first check if you are able to connect BizTalk databases, mainly BizTalkMgmtDb. If yes then you are good at the connectivity part. 
Now the second step, check if the DTC (Distributed Transaction Coordinator) service is running or not on the BizTalk application server. If DTC service is stopped then start it, if it's already running then just restart the DTC service. 



Verification

Issue resolved and try to refresh the BizTalk admin console, boom, all set to go :) 

Introduction

This article provides details of the hardware and software requirements for installing BizTalk Server 2020.

Hardware Requirements

Computer and processor:

  • 1.4 GHz or higher for single processors
  • Intel Pentium-compatible CPU, Not supported on Itanium-based systems
  • Hyper-threading and multi-core processors are supported

Memory: 4 GB or more

Hard Disk: 10 GB of Hard Disk (NTFS formatted)

Software Requirements

Software Requirements Required for BizTalk Component
Microsoft Windows
Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows 10
Mandatory for all BizTalk Component
Internet Information Services
IIS is included with the Windows operating system EDI, BAM, Management REST API, and the SharePoint adapter
Windows Identity Foundation
Used in the Windows SharePoint Services
Optional, and
Microsoft SharePoint
SharePoint Services 2019, SharePoint Services 2016, SharePoint Services Online
Optional, and required in SharePoint Services
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office Excel 2019, Microsoft Office Excel 2016 Optional, and required in BAM
Microsoft .NET Framework
.NET Framework 4.7.2 minimum Mandatory for all BizTalk Server managed Component
Microsoft Visual Studio
Visual Studio 2019 (Version 16.4.0)
Optional, and required for BizTalk Server Developer Tools and SDK
Microsoft Visual C++ 2015-2019 Redistributable Package
The x86 and x64 versions are required
Mandatory
Microsoft OLE DB Driver for SQL Server
Microsoft OLE DB Driver 18.3.0 for SQL Server Mandatory for all BizTalk Server devices
Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft SQL Server 2019, Microsoft SQL Server 2017, Microsoft SQL Server 2016 SP2 CU7 Mandatory
SSIS Catalog

Optional, and required to use BAM
SQL Server Database Mail

Optional, and required to use BAM alert
SQL Server Analysis Services ADOMD.NET
SQL Server 2016 Analysis Services ADOMD.NET Optional, and required to use BAM alert
WinSCP
WinSCP version 5.15.4 Mandatory for SFTP adapter
MQSeries adapter
IBM WebSphere MQ 8, IBM WebSphere MQ 9 Optional, and required in IBM WebSphere MQ
LOB and enterprise systems

Mandatory for adapters in the BizTalk Adapter Pack

References

Introduction

World's leading integration tool with the full support of new features introducing Microsoft BizTalk Server 2020. On January 15th, 2020, Microsoft announced the release of BizTalk Server 2020. The whole community world was excited to see the new set of features that got shipped in this product release and here we are with the beginning of a new era!

What are the new features?

There are many new features released with BizTalk Server 2020, let’s have a look at some of the new features:

Feature Description
Support for newer platforms - Visual Studio 2019 (Enterprise and Professional editions are supported)

- Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows 10

- SQL Server 2019, SQL Server 2017, SQL Server 2016 SP2

- Office 2019, Office 2016
Management APIs - Manage your environment remotely using the new REST APIs with full Swagger support.
Advanced Scheduling - New and improved scheduling capabilities in Adapters.
Backup to Azure Blob Storage - When deploying BizTalk Server to Azure VMs, you can backup BizTalk Server databases to Azure blob storage.
Transport Layer Security 1.2 - Securely deploy BizTalk Server using industry-standard TLS 1.2 authentication and encryption.
API Management
- Publish Orchestration endpoints using Azure API Management, enabling organizations to publish APIs to external, partner, and internal developers to unlock the potential of their data and services.


For all the latest updates on the new features to be included. Refer to the Doc page: What's New in BizTalk Server 2020

Deprecated & Removed features;

Some features of the product are deprecated or removed from the product. Let's have a look:

Samples

Removed

Removed from BizTalk Server installation

POP3 and SMTP adapters

Deprecated

Office 365 adapters

Support for ACS authentication in adapters

Removed

SAS authentication

SOAP adapter

Deprecated

WCF-BasicHttp Adapter

Old SQL adapter

Removed

WCF-SQL Adapter

BAM Portal

Deprecated

None

WCF-NetTcpRelay adapter

Deprecated

None

JDE OneWorld adapter

Deprecated

None

We can find the complete list of deprecated & removed features here.

Editions Overview

BizTalk Server 2020 offers four editions:

Enterprise Edition

Customers with enterprise-level requirements for high volume, reliability, and availability

Standard Edition

Organizations with moderate volume and deployment scale requirements

Branch Edition

For hub and spoke deployment scenarios

Developer Edition

For testing and development use in conjunction with any of the above three editions

We can download these products with MSDN account;

 
We can check BizTalk Server 2020 Licensing details here, Download Licensing Datasheet

References