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Microsoft Upgrades Name As Well Features Of BizTalk

With the release of BizTalk 2009, Microsoft will commit itself to a cycle of upgrading the software on a two-year basis, a cycle that has been somewhat unpredictable.

Microsoft said Friday that it will rename the next release of BizTalk Server, due out in the first half of next year, to make it a full version release.

The seventh version of Microsoft's integration server was slated to be known as BizTalk Server 2006, Release 3, but when the code finally gets rolled out next year, it will be called BizTalk Server 2009.

"We changed the name because this feels like a full platform release," said Burley Kawasaki, director of BizTalk product management.

BizTalk Server 2009 will have full support for Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1, and .Net Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1. It will, for example, be able to run as a virtual machine in Hyper-V on a Windows Server 2008 machine, Kawasaki said.

With the release of BizTalk 2009, Microsoft will commit itself to a cycle of upgrading BizTalk on a two-year basis, a cycle that has been somewhat unpredictable for BizTalk users until now, said Kawasaki. "Every two years, that's our intended pace," he said.

The 2009 version will also expand its growing list of enterprise application connectivity. BizTalk already has connectors and adapters for SAP, PeopleSoft, and Siebel applications, the latter two now owned by Oracle. Microsoft will add adapters for Oracle's E-Business suite as well, Kawasaki said. It will expand other enterprise connectivity as well. BizTalk 2008 will add a Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration repository for discovering and linking to Web services. It will expand its capabilities to process financial services protocols, such as SWIFT.

Support for RFID event processing that's being relayed to BizTalk from a remote Windows Mobile device is being added to the 2009 version, making it possible for a warehouse worker with a handheld device to update inventory without first uploading data through a constantly connected system.

And it will expand its guidance on how to use BizTalk as an enterprise service bus, where one system needs to improvise a connection to another without a point-to-point connector already installed, Kawasaki said.

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