Recently we had some BizTalk issues that kept puzzling us, and in the end we turned to Microsoft Support and opened a Service Request. As always we were asked to collect different kinds of information for the supporter to help us solve our issue. However this time the supporter asked for something we had not previously been asked for: a report from the MsgBoxViewer tool.
To be honest I did not know the MsgBoxView tool when asked for the report, but I quickly started appreciating the tool after downloading it.
The tool is created by the Jean-Pierre Auconie, who is Tech Lead in the European MS BizTalk Support team. In his job as a BizTalk Support team member Jean-Pierre found himself mailing the same SQL scripts to clients over and over to collect data from the BizTalk databases, to help solve their issues.
He found the approach laborious, and eventually decided to include everything in a tool; the MsgBoxViewer was born. The name is a bit misleading though, as the tool does a lot more than just looking in the MessageBox database. Pretty much anything you would ever need to know about your BizTalk installation is included. You get several comprehensive reports including a summary report and your installation is validated against best practices and recommendation providing warnings and of different severity. I.e. very useful to get a quick overview when taking over a BizTalk installation you have not performed yourself.
If the MsgBoxViewer is not already in your BizTalk toolbox I strongly recommend you to go get it right away. It can really be a big help in your work with BizTalk Server – especially when something is not quite behaving as expected. Needless to say that as soon as we provided the report to the supporter it was only a matter of hours before our issue was solved.