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BizTalk 2013 R2 ESB Management Portal - Default IIS Configuration is Faulty - Unhandled Exception Error - HTTP Activation

Once again, we were tasked with installation of Microsoft BizTalk 2013 R2 ESB Management Portal. Among a number of issues that plagued the installation and configuration, we discovered that the default IIS configuration is faulty and does not work as expected. Traditionally, the installation of ESB installs various components including Web Services, AppPools, required IIS configurations, SQL, etc. For every version, there are a set of challenges, for version ESB 2.3, a couple new issues have arisen. Eventually the configuration was a success, but it is apparent that the newest ESB binaries failed to resolve IIS issues. This blog post illustrates findings to assist the community with a successful ESB configuration.

Environment: BizTalk Server 2013 R2, ESB 2.3, Windows Server 2012 R2, and SQL Server 2014

After following the documented installation and configuration steps the portal would not launch as expected, and provided the common nebulous ESB Portal Exception message:

ESB Portal Error Information


Unhandled Exception


An unhandled exception has occurred. Please view the event log for detail information


The site was throwing Event 3005 unhandled exception has occurred when it would load.


Confirmed that the IIS configuration and the installed roles and features on the server were correct...


Decided to remove HTTP Activation for .NET 3.5 and added WCF Services, including HTTP Activation for .NET 4.5


Success! The console loaded correctly!



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