Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) is an extremely valuable and powerful feature of BizTalk. It was introduced in the 2004 release and was extended further in BizTalk Server 2006.
When BizTalk is used to solve business problems, the processing within those solutions is often a black box, making it very difficult for business users and technical support personnel to get a view into what is happening. This is true of not only BizTalk solutions but many IT projects that involve the processing of business data and logic. Providing visibility into this processing is critical to these users. Typically, they need to understand where backlogs of processing occur and get a view as to why. They also need to understand the numbers and types of business transactions being processed.
Understanding where a given request or message is at any point in time may be problematic. You have the various BizTalk administration tools, but they paint the picture in a very technical way; they talk about orchestrations and messages, which are opaque terms to anyone other than the developers, and they don't really convey exactly what stage of processing they are currently in.
This is where Business Activity Monitoring comes in. BAM enables any messaging or business process to be fully instrumented in terms that any data consumer can understand. The first step requires a wish list of data to be collected. This is described in terms of business milestones, which are represented ...