Hoping to increase the ability of companies to quickly and inexpensively integrate small numbers of trading partners, Microsoft Corp. last week shipped Partner and Standard editions of its BizTalk Server 2002.
The new editions enable small businesses to take part in business-to-business e-commerce by providing lower-priced software that lets them integrate their internal ordering and inventory systems with those of outside partners, according to Microsoft officials.
Both the Standard and Partner editions are scaled-down versions of the Redmond, Wash., companys BizTalk 2002 Enterprise Edition. While most of the functionality remains intact—including secure messaging, guaranteed delivery and support for multiple file types—the number of integrations that can be done is limited.
The Standard edition of BizTalk allows for 10 connections to outside trading partners and five internal application integrations. The Partner edition allows for two outside connections and two internal connections.
The scaled-down versions also come equipped with BizTalks SEED, or Super Effective and Efficient Delivery, technology that allows large trading hubs to publish configuration information to trading partners.
Pricing for the Standard edition starts at $6,999, while Partner edition pricing starts at $999.
"Microsofts approach ... is more flexible than other vendors," said Ken Vollmer, an analyst with Giga Information Group Inc., in Cambridge, Mass. "For smaller companies, these tools would be more than adequate."