Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) was introduced in the BizTalk Server 2004 release and represents a core component of the BizTalk platform. It was extended further in BizTalk Server 2006. BAM enables end-to-end instrumentation of your BizTalk solution and provides a view into the inner workings of your solution.
BAM is often overlooked due to the official line that identifies it as purely a business tool: to allow the business to "get visibility" of, for example, the number of orders received today. The product documentation fails to highlight how extensive and valuable this component can be to almost all BizTalk solutions. In the context of BizTalk, BAM is to a business process what online analytical processing (OLAP) is to a database.
BAM is as powerful and important as the overall product in many scenarios, and many BizTalk sales have been secured after the customer understands BAM and its capabilities. Indeed, a few companies have purchased BizTalk, at least initially, just to use BAM!
This chapter covers the BAM architecture and details some ways in which it can be used to provide a rich view into the system for developers, administrators, and business stakeholders.