News is that BizTalk Server 2009 R2 is rebranded to BizTalk Server 2010. I immediately thought well Windows 2008 R2 Operating System could as well be rebranded to 2010 as SQL Server 2008 R2 that is due this year as well. BizTalk Server 2010 was designed mainly to bring to the table support for the company’s latest technologies, including previously mentioned and Visual Studio 2010. This BizTalk Server version now is aligned with latest and greatest, which wasn’t the case in the past.

Now with BizTalk Server 2010 we will face a situation as depicted in the picture below, where customers will have one of the BizTalk Server environments and may want to migrate to the next, which will mean also migration to higher version of VS, OS and SQL Server.

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Factors to consider are:

  • Move from x86 to x64, since Windows Server 2008 R2 is only available in x64 does support x86 applications, but needs to run on x64 supported hardware;
  • Adapter choice, since WCF will become more dominant and older (non-WCF) adapters will become deprecated in either this (2010) version or future releases;
  • Visual Studio is an important factor, what do customer have currently that staff is familiar with and how many solutions have been developed with a certain version;
  • Support towards ERP systems, what versions of for instance SAP or Oracle are running and which adapters do you require;
  • Will BizTalk become a strategy platform for the future; many customers I faced see it as strategic.

Some more capabilities have been added to this release of BizTalk Server:

  • Enhanced trading partner management that will enable our customers to manage complex B2B relationships with ease (this will be welcomed in industries, where EDI is predominant)
  • Increase productivity through enhanced BizTalk Mapper. These enhancements are critical in increasing productivity in both EAI and B2B solutions; and a favorite feature of our customers.
  • Enable secure data transfer across business partners with FTPS adapter.
  • Updated adapters for SAP 7, Oracle eBusiness Suite 12.1, SharePoint 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2 (obvious to align to most current technologies of MS and others!)
  • Improved and simplified management with updated System Center management pack.
    Simplified management through single dashboard which enables IT Pros to backup and restore BizTalk configuration (I sure like to setup an environment with BizTalk 2010, Windows Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008 R2, all x64 and SCOM 2007 R2 to evaluate management packs)
  • Enhanced performance tuning capabilities at Host and Host Instance level.
  • Continued innovation in RFID Space with out of box event filtering and delivery of RFID events.

BizTalk future release after 2010 will be vNext and this will be built on top of Microsoft’s Windows AppFabric platform (Dublin app server plus Velocity caching technology). I myself have some experience around AppFabric and definitely something to explore and try out yourself (as Brian and Richard done as well). Keep an eye on progress in future on AppFabric.

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