BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Ships

BizTalk Server 2006 R2 ships as expected

Microsoft in September released a key update to its business process-management platform, BizTalk Server.

The company had officially launched BizTalk Server 2006 R2 in July, saying it would ship in September. Key advances in the new BizTalk release are tooling and support for radio frequency ID (RFID) technology and support for additional EDI standards such as Availability Statement 2, a method of secure HTTP-based data exchange.

The new R2 release of BizTalk adds support for key vertical industry business-to-business data exchange protocols such as SWIFT for global banking, HL7 and HIPAA for health care and RosettaNet, a key supply chain set of specifications.

Microsoft did not change any features in the shipping release since the last beta, says Steve Martin, director of product management, connected systems division. "We hardened some of the functionality. The last major version of the product was feature complete," Martin says.

With the new BizTalk Server, Microsoft also released Enterprise Service Bus Guidance, which provides best practices, architectural guidance and patterns for developers. Microsoft also released beta 2 of its BizTalk Server Adapter Pack, which provides access to competitive data platforms. The adaptors provide links from BizTalk Server as well as SQL Server 2005 and SharePoint Server.

"For customers that are using point-to-point connectivity, a middle tier or a broker doesn't make sense," Martin says. "This will be a great technology for customers who are building those point-to-point scenarios but don't want to write a bunch of code."
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