Recently I have gotten a rare chance to step away from writing word documents and working with Visio to get to do some exciting BizTalk testing.

As part of my testing, I was pushing BizTalk and various Adapters until they failed. In doing so, sometimes this caused some odd side effects.

Recently, I was seeing thousands of Active Service Instances in BizTalk Administration that looked like this:

The Service Name was simply “Name is not available”. To make matters worse, I was not able to terminate the instances. I tried stopping and restarting the hosts, restarting the applications, restarting the Server, but nothing seemed to work.

Out of pure luck, I decided to check the SQL Agent Jobs… and sure enough the SQL Agent was not running. During all my performance testing none of the Message Box clean-up jobs ran and that left BizTalk in an undesirable state. I started the SQL Agent, gave the jobs a few minutes to run, and then was able to clean out the Active service instances.

So the moral of the story, if you see odd BizTalk behavior make sure you check your SQL Agent to ensure it is running and the jobs are completing successfully.

Another minor item I ran into deals with the Commerce Server Catalog Adapter. It has a property called “Import Directory”. The Adapter uses this as a temporary file store when submitting messages. This means the BizTalk Host will need read /write access to this location. This is something that can be easily forgotten… like I did.

So what happens if you forget to update this property or to give the folder the correct permissions?

Bad Things. And in BizTalk world, bad things translates into 4 Error Messages per input message in the event log.

Why we get so many errors – I do not know. If I remember correctly, none of them were very useful in correcting the problem.