Steve Martin, director of product management for Microsoft’s Connected Systems Division (CSD), just announced their plans for the next version of BizTalk Server on his blog. It will be called BizTalk Server 2006 R3.

This new version will be updated to work with Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, and Visual Studio 2008. It will also be updated with the following SOA-related features:

  • New web service registry capabilities with support for UDDI v3.0

  • Enhanced service enablement of applications through new and enhanced adapters

  • Enhanced service enablement of “edge” devices through BizTalk RFID Mobile

  • Enhanced interoperability and connectivity support for B2B protocols (like SWIFT, EDI, etc)

  • SOA patterns and best practices guidance to assist our customer’s implementations

From reading his blog, it doesn’t look like they’ll be adding official support for hosting WF workflows in this particular release. It looks like we may have to wait for that until Oslo.