We are excited to announced two things today!


1-As promised, the first public beta of BizTalk Server 2009 is now available for download.  This beta release is officially feature complete, and on track for a final release in the first half of calendar year 2009. We encourage our customers and partners to check it out today and let us know what you think.  BizTalk Server 2009 is a full-featured release and as always, will be a no cost upgrade to BizTalk Server customers with active Software Assurance. In a time when we are all trying to do more with less, we’re very pleased to be able to offer additional value for existing IT investments in BizTalk. As mentioned before, the BizTalk Server 2009 aligns with the 2008 wave of updates earlier this year – Visual Studio, SQL Server and Windows Server. To get the beta and more information, go here. We look forward to getting the feedback!


We also know that many BizTalk customers are interested in doing more with BizTalk Server as an enterprise service bus (ESB). As such, we also released the a community technology preview of the ESB Guidance 2.0 today, which delivers updated prescriptive guidance for applying ESB usage patterns with improved itinerary processing, itinerary modeling using a visual domain-specific language (DSL) tools approach, a pluggable resolver-adapter pack and an enhanced ESB management portal.  To get it, go here.


While I’m thrilled to see the 4th major version of this product since 2004, we will move to a rhythm of BizTalk Server updates every two years.  Our customers have told us that this is the right consistent cadence for their infrastructure needs.


2-BizTalk RFID Mobile is officially available today. Previously announced at RFID Journal Live last spring, RFID Mobile extends the power of RFID built into the core BizTalk Server platform even farther to the ’edges’ of the enterprise. Customers can now get a read on their inventory and orders in real time-enabling people to ultimately make more informed immediate decisions about the business.  We also officially released the RFID Standards Pack today, which supports key RFID industry standards, and will enable customers and partners to more seamlessly develop open and flexible solutions for their RFID systems. For more info, go here.


This year has inarguably been one of the most innovative I’ve seen at Microsoft. We updated the major parts of our core platform with Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2008 and introduced the Azure Services Platform. We think that using these technologies in conjunction with BizTalk Server 2009 will help our customers achieve significant productivity gains in mission critical areas such as ALM, SOA, connectivity, interoperability and BI.


So, when taken together, what does this all mean? Over the last decade, BizTalk Server has becomes a comprehensive family of solutions focused on enterprise connectivity for over 10,000 customers and partners worldwide. As we continue to expand the platform, we keep developers’ needs at the heart of everything we do, with the goal of making their hard problems simple to solve.