February 3, 2006
If your application vendor was acquired by Oracle last year--which was the case for customers of PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Siebel Systems--then look to Microsoft to make it easier for you to use BizTalk Server as your integration software.
Some of those new Oracle customers may be restive, waiting for Oracle to come out with its new Fusion line of applications that will work with Fusion middleware. Just in case, Microsoft is doing everything it can to comfort and reassure them they will have a choice in integration software. By mid-2006, Microsoft will add nine adapters that connect BizTalk Server to JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, and Siebel applications for the next version of Microsoft's BizTalk integration server, said Michael Woods, senior technical product manager, in an interview at the Visual Studio Live Conference in San Francisco on Jan. 30. Also included in the nine will be adapters for Oracle Application Suite and Tibco's Rendezvous and Enterprise Message Service messaging middleware. "We have greatly expanded the adapter library. Our adapters speak directly to those applications," Woods noted. The added adapters will be included in the existing price for BizTalk rather than be subject to an additional charge. BizTalk Server also will allow users to get a better view into the business processes running in those applications. It will help answer the question, "How do I manage processes in an intelligent way? How is my business performing?" he said. BizTalk 2004, the existing version, already connects to SAP applications. Microsoft has come out with a new version of BizTalk roughly every two years and is on its fourth version of the server. BizTalk Server 2006 will add a business-activity monitoring portal, technical product manager Kris Horricks said. Business-activity monitoring was introduced in BizTalk Server in 2004, but display of business activities consisted of entries in an Excel spreadsheet. BizTalk 2006 will be able to display the progress of underlying business processes in charts and trend lines on the portal, Horricks said. The portal will allow system administrators to receive alerts when trends take an unfavorable turn, such as a backup of purchase orders. The portal may even be programmed to take a preapproved action, such as activating another server in a cluster, to re-establish efficient operation. Microsoft has issued two beta versions of BizTalk Server 2006, the most recent in November.
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