BizTalk To Get Improvements and 2010 Branding

BizTalk Server 2009 R2, which has not been released yet, will be known as "BizTalk Server 2010" when it rolls out sometime later this year, Microsoft announced. BizTalk Server essentially functions as a messaging component in service-oriented architectures. It's used by enterprises to help tie disparate business processes together.

The new BizTalk Server 2010 name will have the effect of shifting the product's lifecycle support forward, according to John Breakwell, a Microsoft product support services team member. The shift will occur because the product is no longer associated with the current R1 and R2 nomenclature and product support timeline.

"For BizTalk 2010, the support bands start from its release...some time in 2010," Breakwell explained in a blog post.

Breakwell listed eight "key capabilities" to BizTalk Server 2010, although some of them -- such as the mapper, FTPS adapter and radiofrequency identification (RFID) improvements -- were previously announced as part of the roadmap for BizTalk Server 2009 R2.

Other key capabilities in BizTalk Server 2010 mentioned by Breakwell include:

  • Improvements to help manage trading partner connections
  • Adapter updates for Oracle eBusiness Suite 12.1, SAP 7 and SharePoint 2010
  • System Center management pack integration
  • Single dashboard management
  • Performance tuning enhancements

Microsoft previously announced that BizTalk Server 2009 R2 would include support for SQL Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio 2010 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

Microsoft's announcement did include some enhancements that weren't expected until "the next major release (2011 or later)," according to Rob Sanfilippo, research vice president for developer tools & strategies at Directions on Microsoft, a consultancy firm.

For instance, the trading partner management enhancements "should help set up and remove connections to other businesses in B2B messaging systems," Sanfilippo noted, and "will probably use technology that Microsoft purchased from Covast in 2008." In addition, the enhanced mapper "should provide better tools for translating between application message formats (especially complex formats)," he added.

Microsoft has suggested in its BizTalk Server roadmap that it plans a deeper integration with its .NET Framework and the Windows Server AppFabric sometime in the near future. Microsoft is also promising that a future BizTalk product would facilitate connecting on-premises applications with Windows Azure cloud-based services.

Sanfilippo noted a few more possible improvements that might be seen further down the road when the next major release of BizTalk Server is seen (in 2011 or later).

"[Microsoft's future plans for BizTalk Server] may also include improvements to Business Activity Monitoring (BAM), which enables organizations to capture and analyze status data from business processes, and further EDI improvements, some based on Covast technology," he explained. "Microsoft also plans asset tracking and device management components, probably built on BizTalk Server's existing RFID capabilities."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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