Microsoft Scales Down BizTalk

New editions let companies quickly and inexpensively integrate small numbers of trading partners.

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Hoping to increase companies ability to quickly and inexpensively integrate small numbers of trading partners, Microsoft Corp. announced Monday Partner and Standard editions of its BizTalk Server 2002.

The new editions are designed to help the tens of thousands of small trading partners that have not been able to integrate with outside partners because of the high price tag that typically comes with business-to-business integration software, according to Microsoft officials in Redmond, Wash.

Both the Standard and Partner editions are scaled-down versions of Microsofts BizTalk 2002 Enterprise Edition.

While most functionality remains intact with the smaller editions--including secure messaging, guaranteed delivery and multiple file support--the number of integrations are limited.

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.

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 pricing for each edition reflects the amount of integration a user can expect. The Standard version starts at $6,999, while the Partner edition sells at $999. Both limit CPUs to one.

Besides multiple CPU capacity, the Standard and Partner editions also lack clustering capability.

In contrast, BizTalk Server Enterprise edition is priced at $24,999 per CPU. It integrates any number of external trading partners and internal applications.

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