With little fanfare, Microsoft Corp. has shuttered its BizTalk.Org XML schema warehouse.
According to a mid-July posting to the XML-dev list maintained by the OASIS standards organization, Microsoft execs claimed the ubiquity of the XML data format, coupled with the preponderance of other XML schema repositories, eliminated the need for BizTalk.Org.
The BizTalk.Org page now refers interested parties to Microsofts BizTalk Server product home page, with no BizTalk.Org information available.
BizTalk.Org was one of a number of XML schema consortia founded in the late 1990s. These consortia, which included OASIS XML.Org, RosettaNet and the Object Management Group, were designed to house the growing number of business-to-business schema under development by companies across the vertical-market spectrum.
When Microsoft founded BizTalk.Org, there was much gnashing of teeth by the companys competitors, many of whom assumed that Microsoft had designs on monopolizing the B2B e-commerce world. Nonetheless, in the ensuing months, Microsoft signed up multiple hundreds of partners who published hundreds of schema to BizTalk.Org.
Its unclear whether Microsofts increasingly tight relationship with OASIS could lead to Microsoft backing wholeheartedly OASIS XML.Org repository. While Microsoft, IBM and other partners are working with OASIS on the standardization of several Web services security specs, Microsoft has not thrown its weight behind other OASIS standards efforts, such as the ebXML registry-interoperability effort or UBL, the Universal Business Language.
Microsoft officials confirmed the closure of BizTalk.Org, but did not have any comment by press time when asked of the companys intentions regarding the XML schema housed by BizTalk.Org.
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