Microsoft announced the renaming of the next version of its BizTalk business process management server as well as detailed what will be in that product and what to expect in future releases.
Burley Kawasaki, director of product management in the Connected Systems Division at Microsoft, said Microsoft has renamed what had initially been referred to as BizTalk Server 2006 R3 to BizTalk Server 2009. Microsoft will make the new version of the product available in the first half of 2009, Kawasaki said. Microsoft has released a Community Technology Preview (CTP) of BizTalk 2009 to members of its Technology Adoption Program (TAP) members, and the company will deliver a public CTP by the end of the year, he said
Kawasaki also said BizTalk Server 2009 has new features in three core categories: updated platform support, enterprise connectivity, and developer and team productivity. Microsoft also set a roadmap for BizTalk, including plans to deliver releases every two years at most.
Under the developer and team productivity category, BizTalk Server 2009 delivers new Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) support including support for Microsoft's Team Foundation Server (TFS). TFS support enables development teams to leverage the integrated source control, bug tracking, support for team development, Project Server integration and support for automating builds via MSBuild. Microsoft also has made improvements to the Visual Studio based BizTalk project system that enhances debugging support for artifacts such as BizTalk Maps, pipeline components and XLang orchestrations, and enables support for unit testing via Visual Studio Test.
Meanwhile updated platform support includes support for Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 SP1, SQL Server 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. BizTalk Server 2009 also takes advantage of the latest virtualization improvements included as part of Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. And the product also features improved failover clustering, Kawasaki said.
Regarding enterprise connectivity, BizTalk Server 2009 has a new Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) 3.0 registry, new line of business adapters for Oracle E-Business Suites and SQL Server, as well as enhanced host systems integration. BizTalk Server 2009 adds a new Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) WebSphere MQ channel by providing the transport, data formatter and encoder to integrate directly with WebSphere MQ via WCF and a new WCF Service for Host Applications has been added to expose the traditional Transaction Integrator to .NET Framework developers. In addition, BizTalk Server 2009 includes updated platform support for the most recent versions of CICS, IMS, CICS HTTP transport, DB2, DB2/400, DB2 Universal Database, and WebSphere MQ. BizTalk Server 2009 also features enhanced Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) and enhanced Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) Guidance.
Moreover, BizTalk Server 2009 features enhanced support for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Applicability Statement 2 (AS2), updated Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) support, new mobile RFID and device platform management, and new RFID standards support, Microsoft officials said.
Meanwhile, Kawasaki said future releases following BizTalk Server 2009 will address enterprise connectivity, enterprise visibility and support for the latest platform technologies. Future releases will feature developer productivity enhancements such as complex mapping, enhanced B2B support, complex trading partner management, expanded industry standards and schemas and low-latency messaging enhancements and ESB guidance. Future releases also will feature enhanced device support, business intelligence and BAM enhancements and will continue to take advantage of the latest advances in the .NET Framework, Visual Studio, and Windows Server, Kawasaki said.
In an interview on Microsoft's PressPass site, Oliver Sharp, general manager of Microsoft's Connected Server team, said, "We're beginning early planning on BizTalk Server '7' and will have more information to share about the specific scope of that release early next year."
Kawasaki also spoke on BizTalk Server 2009's relationship with Microsoft's yet-to-be-released modeling platform, code named "Oslo." In the PressPass interview, Sharp said: "Many of our BizTalk customers are running mission critical applications; they need choice and flexibility in adopting future technologies such as Oslo; therefore, it's an important guiding principle to our planning efforts that we preserve our customers existing investments in their BizTalk Server infrastructure. Current BizTalk Server 2006 R2 or BizTalk Server 2009 customers will be able to benefit from Oslo by being able to leverage and compose your services into new composite applications. "